Downsizing at Subway


When someone recently asked me if I was still writing at the Café Pasadena, I knew it was time – past time – to post something here!   It’s certainly not for a lack of “material”!  I’ve got plenty to write about our city of Pasadena.  Lemme say I’ve turned into a photographer more than writer. But I love doing both. Anyways, lettuce get back to my role as a scribe,…

The Subway name/brand is nearly as recognizable as McDonald’s is in the USA.  So even if they’re not to your taste, it’s unlikely you’ll take your last breath unless you’ve been their customer at least once.  I visit Subway approximately once per month.  Mostly for their 6’’” breakfast sandwich and 16oz coffee combo for $3.75. 

It’s one of the very best breakfast deals.

You can find similar, such as at TOGO’s. But their sandwich is smaller, their coffee cup is smaller, and for giving you less they charge you more: $4.00 here in Pasadena. Don’t ask me to explain the difference.  I’m sure Subway & TOGO’s have very bright, college-grads who have figured out their pricing strategies for them, and, us. 

Sometimes in lieu of price changes businesses will use downsizing as a means to reduce expenses or increase profit.   They give you less or smaller quantity for, initially, the same price. They feel it will work, for among other reasons, because you be less likely to notice or protest the fact they’re giving you less for the same, or sometimes, higher price!

My first recollection of encountering this downsizing business tactic was with rolls of paper towels. Slowly, over a few years, the number of towels per rolls and related thickness of them was decreasing. At first, the price stayed the same, but soon it too changed –  prices increased.  Therefore, with this paper towel industry they had the best of both worlds: downsizing, along with price upswings!

Now, with restaurants you’re entering a very, very competitive business. Everyone from your high-end, $500 a meal celebrity restaurant up to your gasoline stations are selling food & drink.  And everyday eateries are opening, and, closing! 

Subway & TOGO’s are direct competitors. So it wasn’t too surprising to see in the past month  Subway make a move in this breakfast combo race. They chose to downsize their coffee cup from 16oz to only 12oz. Same size as TOGO’s.   25% quantity decrease for the same price.   I suppose it’s similar to a 25% price increase. Even the annual inflation rate is much, much lower!   Price unchanged , for now.




I suppose the smart people at Subway made this decision because they believe it’s either what their customers would want, or which would  benefit the customer. And, therefore, probably benefit Subway. Give the customer what they want and your business will be rewarded!

Now, as far as your customer/writer is concerned, I don’t want to be given less of anything for the same (or, higher) price!   You?  However,  I will give Subway credit for free refills, something that many others don’t. 

My guess to why Subway is offering less coffee to its customers is perhaps they’re paying more for coffee beans or simply to get by with offering less to we the customer  in order to get more profit. Usually companies don’t announce price increases or quantity decreases.  Not the kinda of sales promotion they usually want to promote.

I will say this. This particular downsizing is not gonna stop me from ordering their breakfast combo.  Bet you they are betting this will be the normal customer response.


What about you, my loyal reader: are you inclined to take my view on this downsizing, or are you in agreement with Subway?

Where have you noticed downsizing, or when did you first notice this business tactic?

Do you prefer a price increase over a quantity downsize, or the other way around?



Gotta Go Get Coffee To Write More! Stay Thirsty My Friends

Red rose


Nick Ut: Photographers Photographer

I last wrote on this website at the end of last year. It’s now 2014.  So, before this new year gets too old lemme be one of the 1st to wish y’all a  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

New years should bring new articles/topics to write about, you’d think. The catalyst for my new article comes from 1)the cover story of the current LA Weekly (LAW), and, 2)I’ve actually met with the subject of the LAW article.


per LA Weekly


Y’all likely remember this famous/infamous photo taken in 1972 during the Vietnam War, (with “Napalm Girl”  Kim Phuc posing now as an adult in the foreground):


The now famous photographer was Nick Ut of the Associated Press.  Nick, a Vietnamese, was looking for that one shot which would “end the war”, or as the LAW article called it, “the shot of a lifetime”!   The following year the war would be officially over, and, that shot has followed the life of photographer Ut since.

His shot of the young girl running in pain, naked, out of a napalm bombing won him the Pulitzer Prize for photojournalism. He was only 22.

Ut was in his 60s when I finally learned who took the photograph, thanks to a mutual friend & news reporter.  Later, I would notice him a couple of times when I was out & about. Yet I was aware of the sometimes burden of fame & people always wanting some of his time so I’d avoided introducing myself besides just saying, “Hi.”

That changed when I was at a Tournament of Roses (PTOR) event to announce the 2015 Grand Marshall (GM). Until last year I never attended this particular PTOR event despite my “white-suiter” friends making mention of it to me.  I’ll write about that 2014 GM event, sooner or later, since I may have had a small part to play in the naming of Vin Scully as GM, haha!

So, here I am at the 2015 GM introduction, and I notice a few people who I usually don’t notice at PTOR events: Pasadena’s Mayor, Police Chief & Fire Chief.  And, Nick Ut, who I’ve never seen before at a PTOR event:




I try to avoid getting in the way of professional photographers trying to do their job among amateurs & paparazzi fighting them for position, unlike some “Iphone shutterbugs.”  My photo above captures four pros, including Ut, doing their job capturing the 2015 GM the late, great Louis Zamperini.  I’ve been lucky to meet & speak “shop” with these pros.  Nick Ut is one. Next time I’ll talk about another – sooner or later…


Afterwards, I was getting refreshed by getting my monies worth of PTOR hospitality via downing as much catered food & drink as fast I could, short of a Dog Haus or Nathan’s hot dog eating contest.  I noticed Nick Ut at my shoulder next to me with the same idea.  So I said something like, “You probably don’t remember me but we exchanged “Hello’s” at some other event.”  Before another word could be said, some official chimed in to say something like, “You know that’s Nick Ut. He’s a famous photographer.  He took that famous shot of that little girl napalmed in the Vietnam War and won a Pulitzer Prize for it!”

I replied, “Yes, I know.  Congrats again, Mr. Ut!”   Then I asked Nick when was the last time he saw our mutual friend – the news reporter who made me aware of who he is – and he said, “Oh, I haven’t seen her in over a year…”  I was afraid that would be the reply. Anyway, our small talk ended, I think, with me asking him for a photo tip.

This is an all too brief and incomplete a way of introducing you to the thrilling LAW article on Nick Ut. A sort of condensed biography of the man who lives here in the San Gabriel Valley. Please grab the current issue of LAW out on newsstands now or read all about it at this link:  Nick Ut’s Shot of a Lifetime!  A must read!

Lemme know what you thought of the LAW article! And, if you ever see Nick Ut out shooting some event say, “Hello” & “Thanks!”



Gotta Go. Have a Happy 2014!

per LA Weeklya

With Family…

The annual family holiday of ThanksGiving has just come, and gone.  The holiday season is every month, all year long but ThanksGiving is one of the big ones.  Today, most Americans give thanks a back seat relative to using it as the day to bring the family together to share a meal (for 1 day at least) & watch football games. And now with some retailers opening on Thanksgiving, to get a headstart on Black Friday for buying & consuming even more material things!

Last weekend I got a headstart on some of those traditions – football, and coming together to share a meal with the  USC Alumni (and future alum’s) Association (USCAA) family.  The San Gabriel Valley (SGV) chapter to be exact. Ok, it’s an extended family but we’re like-minded people, the allies, wearers of the white-hats, from the same cardinal & gold blood, those who root for the home/family team!

Alumni associations do many things for their alums in exchange for their membership dues!  Holding football game watching parties where the family/alums meet to eat, drink, and root our team onto victory against the bad guys is only one thing USC AA does. The SGV chapter usually gathers at El Cholo, a spanish/mexican cafe here in Pasadena.  Listen, I don’t eat often at El Cholo, but when I do, it’s always with the SGV USC AA!

As in any family there are bumps in the road and last weekend didn’t go as planned for your poor Dog. I thought it would simply be a nite with family, food, fun, football, and then catch up on sleep deprivation.

Our game watch gatherings always bring in a good crowd, yet for some reason (no sleep?) I convinced myself that this would be less crowded than normal.  For one, we’re only playing Colorado!   The first change in my simple plan: upon arrival at kick-off this is the 1st scene I saw…IMG_8615

The Main Bar. This is just a snapshot of the Trojans in the bar! And believe me – just a tiny portion of the USC alumni in the SGV. The bar was SRO and the walking aisle was a bumper to bumper lane of traffic. 



Ok, no problem. Most of the dining space at El Cholo is reserved for our game watching events – and besides, it’s the bar – so I’m sure there’s some empty seats elsewhere.  I visited the dining room overlooking Colorado Blvd and took a look…

IMG_8626 Also packed in.  Later, I would come back to this dining room to tell an alumna, “Heard the bad news? ucla won.”  She replied, “No they didn’t. They lost!”  I went back & forth with her trying to convince her I was right & she was wrong!  Fortunately I woke-up to tell her: “You’re right! I’m wrong.”  Blame it on the margarita I downed I told her.  (We were rooting for ucla to defeat the sun devils!  ucla was no help. What else is new.)


Next, I checked out the dining room on the other side of the bar… 


Again, beyond capacity. Busier than I anticipated alright. In fact, it was the biggest turnout of the 3 game watches  I’ve attended this season.


Nevertheless, seating would not be the main problem.  There was still one area with some seats available and 2 big wide screen TV’s: the Al Fresco outdoor dining area!

And it’s where I met the problem!  Q: Why were these Trojans watching a game with Baylor  playing?? A: Cuz these 2 TV’s literally not connected to the Pac 12 cable network!   Seats, but without our USC game on these same 2 TVs which have had our games before??  So much for my simple plan for the nite.

So the game was on – but not on our sets!  I was scrambling around to make sure the organizers and El Cholo knew the problem and reassuring the alums that a solution was coming.


Another thing that didn’t go according to my plans: I did not eat, besides settling for the chips/salsa of the alumni from South Pasadena at our table! However, I made sure to shoot some porn from my friends at the next table!  Food porn. It was that kind of a busy night for me.IMG_8632 


But I did have a nice drink to celebrate & toast our victory over Colorado last Saturday nite!





Oh yeah, we finally got the Al Fresco TV’s correctly connected to our game on the Pac12 channel… in the 2nd quarter. I watched most of the game here…



In addition to my main seat on the patio Al Fresco, I got around to view the game from each of our reserved areas I previously showed, even though it usually meant standing or sitting with a view, and, an angle…





Now it’s a new weekend, with new threats to the family. Tonite it’s those growlin’ animals the ucla bruins who feed off your trash-cans/dumpsters, the bad guys from across town.  They’ll again try to disrupt the peace & love of our family, especially with our injuries and manpower shortage. And once again we’ll have to rally behind Tommy Trojan & Traveler to protect all that is good & peaceful in the family. Time to spoil the bruin plan.


On days like Thanksgiving, if it doesn’t stress you out!, it’s good to eat at the family table, at least once a year.  But on days/weeks like the last it’s even better if you have another family, an extended family, that bleeds your own cardinal & gold.  Btw, the USC AA holds raffles at halftime.  No-Luck me actually had my name called & won something!  That wasn’t in my plans either – it was that kind of a nite.


Gotta fight off bruins tonite. Stay Thirsty My Friends, and, Fight On!