Thursday, January 24, 2008

Sham: Low Cal Fast Food - Quizno's Fraud in Advertising

As everyone knows, the USA has a lot of weight to lose. Most of it stems from the fast food society, a culture that we seem bent on exporting throughout the world. This does no one any good.

I think it is a SHAM the way that certain fast food corporations treat the consumer who is trying to eat healthy. Let's use Quizno's as an example of what I mean here.

I'm sure you've been to one of these restaurants. It's basically a Subway with a toaster in the middle, and the sandwiches taste relatively good although they have been criticized for the excessive calories and fat count in most of their sandwiches. And, of course, it goes without saying that they really push their side orders of chips and large soda drinks as well.

But I personally never felt bad about Quizno's until their recent round of advertising. They are now pushing a flatbread sandwich they call the "Sammie." Have you seen these ads? The photographs are guaranteed to get you into their franchises, especially if you are watching calories and trying to eat healthy. There's a photo in your Sunday paper of a Sammie Grilled Chicken Balsamic sandwich . . . the sandwich is literally bursting at the seams, stuffed with 12 or 13 visible chunks of grilled chicken, a ton of lettuce and tomato, and right above it -- in giant letters -- ONLY 200 CALORIES.

That, my friends, is one of the most blatant shams I've seen in a long time.

The ad drew me into my local Quizno's franchise, where I ordered the above sandwich and then sat there in disbelief looking at the tiny little thing that I was served. Yes, the sandwich you GET might be only 200 calories. The guy making the Sammie used what appeared to be a teaspoon to dole out one level spoonful of a lettuce and tomato mix, on top of what were 6 or 7 small bites of chicken. All of it very carefully measured onto a tiny round piece of bread. (The sodium content of the balsamic dressing was off the charts, giving this little appetizer sized "meal" an overly-salty and unhealthy flavor.)

I'm a consumer advocate, so I called the 800 number on the door of my franchise with a complaint. Oddly, the number was right below a giant photo of the sandwich I was eating - or, I should say, the sandwich I THOUGHT I'd be eating.

They have "never gotten a complaint about this before" according to the Quizno's representative I spoke with. When I later spoke to the franchise owner, he told me that he hears this same concern from everyone, and agrees 100% with me that this is unorthodox advertising.

Looking for truly healthy and low-cal food in a fast food restaurant? Look further than Quizno's. Those folks are SHAM operators, at best.


1 comment:

BrainDrain said...

I can appreciate the sentiment on this, I just thought by now everyone knew the marketing was full of crap and marketing people were a virus. I mean, who believes what they see on TV/NET/NEWS anymore without investigating it for themselves. Wait. That's a dumb question, this is the marketing mecca isn't it?