How This Viral Photo Is Changing Subway Sandwiches Forever

March 1st 2016

Taylor Bell

Fast food chain Subway is giving its sandwiches a major makeover thanks to one man's viral picture of the restaurant's famous "footlong" sub from three years ago, Business Insider reports.

In 2013, Australian Matt Corby posted this image of what was supposed to be his 12-inch Subway sandwich on his Facebook page. But unlike what the restaurant famously advertises, Corby's sandwich fell one inch short. The post received more than 130,000 likes and almost 4,000 shares.

On Monday, a class action lawsuit stemming from the viral photo was settled, with Subway agreeing to change its menu to accommodate the demand for true 12-inch subs.

According to Forbes:

Subway agreed to settle the case for about a half-million dollars–almost all of which goes to the plaintiffs’ lawyers–plus some minor changes in Subway’s practices, such as additional disclosures to consumers.

Matt Corby facebook picture of subway sandwich

The Photo that Changed Everything

The post quickly garnered a lot of attention on social media and even graced the cover of the New York Post. Today, the post is currently unavailable.

But the real game-changer came when two men from New Jersey filed a lawsuit against the restaurant. Although Subway tried to attribute the 11-inch subs to restaurants not complying with corporate baking standards, other states followed up with lawsuits alleging false advertising, AP reports.

"It's no different than if a wireless company is profiting on a 14-cent hidden fee," one of the plaintiff's lawyers, Stephen DeNittis, explained to Today in 2013.

According to the AP, Subway has 38,000 stores around the world and its $5 footling specials have been one of the biggest marketing points for the restaurant.

Subway's other marketing woes

Today's ruling comes amid a time of public relations crisis for Subway. In August of 215, restaurant spokesperson Jared Fogle pled guilty to charges of child pornography and traveling to have illicit sex with a minor, according to CNN. He was sentenced to more than 15 years in prison.

Prior to his conviction, Fogle worked as the company's pitchman for 16 years, after famously dropped 200 pounds while eating the restaurant's sandwiches, Business Insider reports.

In 2014, the chain also received a slew of bad publicity for including the chemical azodicarbonamide in it's bread. Though azodicarbonamide is approved by the FDA as a bleaching agent, one health-conscious blogger dubbed "The Food Babe" launched a popular social media campaign noting that the chemical is also used in yoga mats, and urging Subway to remove it from their bread. The company followed through on those demands April of 2014.