Have you ever gone into a Subway sandwich shop? If so, you likely know its distinctive smell — the smell of its signature sandwich bread being proofed and baked. It smells exactly the same in every Subway everywhere always.
Have you ever been in the Vietnamese restaurant next door to Subway? Which Vietnamese restaurant next to which Subway, you ask? It doesn’t matter. Pick any of them. Or a Thai restaurant neighboring a Subway? Or even an outpost of The Paper Zone that happens to be so unfortunate to inhabit the same building as a Subway, even if it they are at the opposite end of a large strip mall?
They all smell like Subway. They are all infested with the signature smell of Subway’s bread. It permeates the entire building, polluting every cubic inch of air. That Vietnamese Pho shop can have the most fragrant basil and savory beef broth, but all you will smell when you walk in the door is the smell of Subway’s friggin’ bread.
I don’t expect Subway to change its practices in any way that would result in the protection of the airspace of its neighbors anytime soon, though you’d think there really ought to be a law about it. But I cannot stand that smell. It smells like big, corporate sandwiches to me — nothing like the hoagie and sub rolls I revere back East that vary in flavor, smell, texture and appearance depending on who made them, how they made them, or even what city’s water system they used. No, Subway wants it so that no matter where you go on Earth, your Subway sandwich will taste exactly the same, and no matter what kind of business neighbors that Subway, it will smell exactly the same, too.
My advice to any would-be restaurateurs, and anyone, really, who wants my business, is to refuse to sign a lease on any commercial real estate that shares a building with Subway. In fact, demand a clause in your lease that prohibits your landlord from leasing space in your building to Subway in the future. Maybe then, when Subway finds itself unable to lease any space for its omniodorous franchises, it will figure out a way to keep its smell from invading the space of its neighbors. I could hope for Subway’s sandwiches to stop being so corporate, but I think that would be hoping for too much.