young woman in Subway with caption 'is no one else going to talk about why subway has their meats locked up now???' (l) Subway storefront (c) Subway counter (r)

Rob Wilson/Shutterstock @issssaaabbel/TikTok (Licensed)

‘How am I going to choose my meats?’: Woman says Subway is now locking up the meat

'I thought my subway was the only one.'


Braden Bjella


Posted on Feb 19, 2024   Updated on Feb 28, 2024, 1:06 pm CST

A user on TikTok has sparked discussion after claiming that her local Subway location began locking up their meats.

In a video with over 299,000 views, TikTok user Isabel (@issssaaabbel) shows herself looking questioningly off-camera before showing what she’s looking at: a deli counter with a locked tray of meat.

“Is no one else going to talk about why subway has their meats locked up now???” she asks in the text overlaying the video. In the caption, she adds, “Like what is the reason.”

Commenters were similarly confused by this development.

“I thought my subway was the only one,” wrote a user.

“I just went today and I was like great heavens how am I going to choose my meats,” added another.

However, others claimed that there was an easily understandable reason that explains why Subway decided to lock up their meats.

“I work there. It’s actually for freshness. We slice meats now so the lid lock keeps the meat fresher,” detailed a commenter.

“I was told it was to air seal/lock when put down, so the meat stays fresher,” echoed another.

This appears to be true. In 2023, Subway announced that it would be freshly slicing its meat, a departure from its previous method of delivering the meat to stores pre-sliced, although “cheese, steak and rotisserie chicken” are still delivered pre-sliced, per CNN.

@issssaaabbel Like what is the reason 🤨 #foryou #subway #fyp #trend #meats #questions #amongus #sus ♬ Among Us – Sembari +

That said, some did not believe that this was the true reason for covering the meats.

“My guess is that people complain that they didn’t put enough meat and ask for more without wanting to pay extra. I don’t work there though so just a guess,” said a commenter.

“Subway says for freshness but I think it’s bc people always order by looking at the meat, and saying something like, roast beef, now they have to look at the menu and order,” offered a second.

The latter claim is a common theory online. On the subreddit r/Subway, several threads have been made about the meat covers, with a few users making similar allegations.

“So customers will only look at the menu,” said one commenter in response to a question about the new covers. “They are completely trying to remove the build your own aspect of subway. Wouldn’t be surprised if they added one to the veggies and get rid of everything except lettuce tomato onion.”

“I believe the goal is to get the customers to look up at the menu. Everyone looks down while they order. Build your own sandwiches are slowly being phased out,” alleged a different user in another thread.

The Daily Dot reached out to Subway via email and Isabel via Instagram direct message.

Update 1:05pm CT Feb. 28: In an Instagram DM exchange with the Daily Dot, Isabel says she does not know why the company decided to begin locking up their meat.

“I honestly had no theories on it. It was just so random that one day they had the meat locked up and shielded out of the blue. Don’t get me wrong, I love Subway, but it was just so weird,” she wrote. “I know it’s not the employees fault either, I see people going back and forth in the comments.”

That said, she noted that she had observed other changes in the store.

“They added a few things and when I was trying to build my own sandwich, the employee kept asking me if I wanted the #15. I told them I was building my own and she just said yeah it’s the #15 I was wanting,” she said. “I know she was just doing her job but it was weird.”

Otherwise, she regarded the change to locked-up meats as little more than a “curiosity.”

“Like I said, I love Subway, and no fault to employees, but it was just so random to see that one day,” she detailed. “Someone had made a comment that there were plenty of advertisements about that change but I had not seen anything anywhere about it.”

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*First Published: Feb 19, 2024, 7:00 am CST