UPDATE: After discussing with the owner of the Middletown Subway, this isn't being "mandated" for Subways, but is being highly encouraged by Subway as a way to make customers aware of new specials/etc. The actual cost is $180 per year, not per month.
It is still the belief of the editor that Subway should support local radio and the local economy, instead of using "Subway Radio".
I stopped in my usual Subway this morning on the way to work. The Subway is very convenient for me, because I can stop in at Middletown on Alt-40, and listen to local radio traffic reports while waiting for my food. By the time I'm ready to leave, I'll know which way to continue going to get to work on time. It's really become part of my morning routine, and it's working out pretty well.
Today I was very disheartened when I was informed by Birdie, the wonderful lady who always makes my subs for me, that they're going to have to stop playing local radio in the Subway.
Apparently, Subway came up with some brilliant idea to switch all the music systems to some sort of music box that plays "easy listening" elevator music, as well as Subway commercials (you know, because obviously you need advertising to tell you to go to Subway, while you're at Subway). Even worse, they're going to charge the franchises well over a hundred dollars a month for this "service". This is an unnecessary cost for franchise owners to worry about! Even if it only cost $100 - that means an owner must sell 20 additional $5 footlongs to make up the difference.
Sure, I get it. You want to make sure that while customers are in a Subway, they only hear Subway advertisements, and not advertisements for competitors. However, this reasoning is fundamentally flawed. If a customer is already inside a Subway, it's because they've chosen to eat there! The key to getting a customer to come back is good service, reasonable prices, and excellent quality food.
I'm not stopping in Subway to listen to elevator music. I'm stopping in to get my breakfast, knowing that if there's a traffic accident, I'll still be able to hear it on the radio.
More importantly, by just allowing local radio stations to be played in your stores, you're helping the local economy! You see, local radio stations actually help the local economy of the area they serve - in fact they generate approximately $1.24 Trillion per year in local economic stimulus. See http://www.nab.org/documents/newsroom/pressRelease.asp?id=3320
I hope that you will reconsider this, and keep local radio in Subway.
Editor, WashCo Chronicle