Arun Singhal has claimed to be a victim of the "Sandwich Mafia." Singhal is a former owner of a Subway franchise in Australia, and as he tells the story, he was punished by his corporate bosses after taking issue with the "six grams of fat or less" claim Subway puts on their menus and in advertising.
Singhal, who had invested $350,000 into the Subway location, claims that a Subway leasing manager approached him about exchanging his space for a "new busier location." Instead, Singhal closed his old shop, but was left with nothing but a $350,000 loss and a lot of Subway sandwich secrets.
Singhal told Vice in an interview that the leasing manager "completely changed their words. I was told that they don’t have any new location ready and I might have to wait 2-3 years." This directly led him to having to declare bankruptcy.
However, Singhal remained armed with information about Subway's sandwich practices, including information into exactly how "six grams of fat or less" could be possible in a business built on fluffy, saucy subs. Seeking to get his franchise fee of $350,000 back from the company, Singhal threatened to go to the media with his sandwich info.
In response to this threat, Subway filed for an emergency restraining order, issued by the Supreme Court of Victoria this May. The order prevented any public release of Subway sandwich recipes or operations details. In the order, Subway claimed Singhal had created a series of videos with this information, which he used to threaten them. In an interview with Vice, Singhal said Subway determined the information in the videos would lead to Subway losing $35 million worldwide.
The video has now become public after being put on YouTube by "Mark Lee." Singhal claims that he did not have the chance to put out the videos himself because his laptop was stolen three months ago — right around the time the restraining order was issued. Therefore, this mysterious "thief" published the video. Oddly, Vice, which interviewed Singhal as well, stated he issued the video himself. It still remains unclear exactly how it became public, but the videos are still available to watch on YouTube.
For a video Subway thinks could do $35 million in damage, it was pretty mild. It notes that the six grams of fat statement relies on a clause about preparing the sandwich "according to standard recipe." However, it also claims Subway does not have a known "standard recipe." Additionally, the six grams statement depends on making the sandwiches on white bread, without cheese, and without sauce. The mystery narrator says 99 percent of Subway sandwiches do not meet these requirements, making them more than six grams of fat. This might be shocking if every person eating a Subway sandwich was extremely concerned with only consuming six grams of fat and does like to read fine print.
Here's the video containing $35 million of sandwich secrets:
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.