Subway opens Monday at Camp Foster
CAMP LESTER, Okinawa — Subway Restaurants is coming to The Spot at Camp Foster.
The new restaurant opens Monday after a 10 a.m. ceremony featuring remarks from Maj. Gen. Timothy Larson, U.S. Forces Japan deputy commander.
Planning for the new restaurant — the first Army and Air Force Exchange Service Subway in Asia — began in March and the last of the equipment arrived last weekend, said Doug Woodhouse, the Pacific region’s senior food manager. Employee training began Tuesday and continues through the weekend.
“We’re projecting to sell about 2,000 sandwiches the first day,” Woodhouse said, adding he expects the restaurant to be busier than most Subways in the United States.
The decision to bring Subway to Okinawa was easy for AAFES, officials said.
“AAFES’ goal is to provide a quality product at a low price, and [Subway is] something [customers] want,” spokeswoman Sgt. 1st Class Amanda Glenn said Wednesday. “People are excited about it.”
In addition to providing fast, fresh food, Subway also offers a healthy menu, officials said.
“There are seven sandwiches that have less than 6 grams of fat,” said Dolly Thomas, The Spot food court manager.
The staff is ready for the big grand opening, she said.
“We gave them a list of the sandwiches on Tuesday, and they’ve already memorized them,” she added.
Customers won’t notice any difference between this Subway’s sandwiches and others, Woodhouse said. The ingredients are from the United States and the menu is identical to the restaurants back home.
“When something is brought in from the States, it brings comfort,” Lance Cpl. Jorge Gonzalez of the 3rd Transportation Support Battalion said. “A lot of people are waiting for it to open.”
Gonzalez, who calls himself a Subway fan, said he’ll probably eat there two or three times a week and be among the many waiting in line opening day.
He also thinks AAFES is on the mark with the restaurants they’ve chosen for Okinawa.
“There’s a great variety of fast-food restaurants in the States, but [AAFES] tries to bring more of those here that the armed forces like to eat,” Gonzalez said. “Subway is a good choice for those that like to eat healthy.”
The new Subway, the 16th brand-name restaurant offered by AAFES, will be open seven days a week from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Subway will be coming to South Korea in 2004, when restaurants are expected to open at Yongsan Garrison and Camp Humphreys, Woodhouse said.
According to the restaurant chain’s Web site, Subway operates 20,039 shops in 73 countries.