Allison Brown has always been conscious of her weight.
That’s one of the reasons she’s been a loyal Subway customer, often taking inspiration from the sandwich franchise’s commercials featuring Jared Fogle, known for losing weight by eating Subway menu items.
But all that changed after the Murrieta, Calif., resident placed a Subway takeout order for a six-inch tuna sandwich and two flatbread “Flatizzas” — one for her and the other for her husband.
Upon returning home from the Vista shop, Brown took out a Flatizza box and noticed two words written with black marker on top of the box: “Big Mama.”
“It’s not right. It’s not right,” Brown told KGTV in San Diego, choking back tears.
“When I took it out, I saw ‘Big Mama’ … What is this?” she added. “I was hurt. I was devastated. I was crying.
“It’s not nice to be picked on. It’s not nice to be made fun of. This really destroyed me,” she said.
When Brown addressed the incident to the Subway franchise owner, she said he apologized and said it was a young employee who wrote the words on the box. “He just said he doesn’t know better. He kept trying to explain it to him and his worker didn’t get it.”
Not satisfied, Brown hired attorney Dan Gilleon, who fired off a letter to Subway’s corporate office that stated legal action was possible — but Brown doesn’t want money.
Instead, she wants Subway to enact anti-discrimination training led by an outside firm for all employees.
“This was discrimination, harassment, teasing, mocking somebody — a customer,” Gilleon told KGTV.
Brown said her actions are also for anybody ridiculed for their weight and never spoke up.
“We all come in different shapes and sizes, and then you see something like this … ‘Big Mama’? How is that helping anybody?” Brown told KGTV.
In a statement, restaurant owner Sanjiv Mehta said that “as a small-business owner, I do not tolerate discrimination of any kind. When I learned of this incident I immediately investigated and disciplined the employee involved. I also made contact with the customer in an effort to resolve this matter.”
KGTV said it did not receive a response from Subway’s corporate offices. Gilleon said they have “basically blown [his] client off.”
“I will never stop foot in a Subway again,” Brown declared. “You couldn’t pay me to eat there again.”