If one had to guess the favorite go-to sandwich house in Houston – and practically everywhere else – it would be Subway!
The nationwide sandwich chain answered the early bell to help Hurricane Harvey-ravaged Houston and the Texas Gulf Coast in the best way possible – providing free Subways to every first responder in sight.
The portable sandwich truck wasn’t driven from the company’s continental headquarters in Milford, Connecticut. No, company official Bryan Christian braved high water and drove it to the overflowed Bayou City.
As members of the Houston Police Officers Union readily learned, volunteer providers like this one didn’t show up at City Hall or 1200 Travis.
Christian found a parking place on the backlot of the HPOU’s State Street headquarters.
“We handed out 6,000 or 7,000 Subways every day,” Christian said, although his numbers were updated in the HPOU general membership meeting when a local Subway franchise holder ventured to say the total number would keep going up.
For Subway extended the free sandwiches to police and other first responders to be effective in every Subway store throughout the Greater Houston area.
Christian said the company’s direction toward Houston and its police department came directly from the top – Jack Luttrell, the company’s North American Regional Director. Luttrell appeared with other Subway executives and local store owners before HPOU.
HPOU members gave them a well-deserved standing ovation.
Christian said the company thrives on being available to storm crisis victims but pointed out that “we have not done anything like this ever before.”
He said the effort extended to HPD substations as the long rescue-and-recovery week unfolded on a 24/7 basis.
Christian and the Houston Subway dealers made it clear that “for two more weeks any officer can walk into a Subway and get a free sandwich. We may extend it.”
Recapping the Subway distribution throughout the week, Christian said, “Officers could take two at a time and some took hundreds to their units. They took 400 or 500 hundred to the George R. Brown.
“We’ve never done anything this organized. Our sandwiches are portable and storable.”
At one point Christian said he had to finally leave the “portable store” in the form of the Subway refrigerated truck, only to get a call from one of his colleagues asking for more sandwiches.
Christian felt it was safe on the HPOU back parking lot. He told the caller, “It’s okay. The truck’s unlocked and there’s food in it.”