Healthier Subway Jon Hancocks Harmesh Kumar Cllr Lynn Denham

The three Worcester branches of quick service restaurant Subway have signed up for a scheme that aims to encourage cafes and takeaways across the county to serve healthier options.

The Healthier Choices Food Award is backed by Worcester City Council and is for food businesses that have achieved Level 4 or Level 5 in the national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme and offer healthier menu options along with the choice of different portion sizes.

Councillor Lynn Denham, City Council Cabinet member for Sustainable communities, said: “Offering a range of menu choices including healthier food options is good for customers and good for businesses. A restaurant with the Healthier Choices Food Award can attract more customers by making it easier for people to choose healthier lifestyles. 

“Subway is the first national group to sign up to this important scheme, so I want to welcome them on board and hope they will inspire many other city food outlets to follow their example.”

Harmesh Kumar and his business partner Matthew Neale have run Worcester’s three Subway branches - at The Cross, Friar Street and Warndon Villages – as a franchise operation for over a decade.

Forty per cent (seven out of 17) of the items on Subway’s core menu feature a low fat option with less than 370 calories and three grams of fat.  These options are clear for customers to see, marked on the menu panel with a heart symbol – tying with the brand’s charity partner, Heart Research UK. 

All Subs can also be ordered as a salad bowl without bread for an even healthier option. 

Harmesh Kumar said: “We are delighted to have been able to sign up our three Worcester branches to this excellent scheme.

“Subway offers something that appeals to young and old and we’d love more people to be aware of our healthier options which represent a large portion of our core menu and reflect our brand’s core values. 

“We have already signed up to the Government’s Public Health Responsibility deal and we are the only restaurant group fully committed to six nutrition-related pledges.  We have achieved a 48% salt decrease on average across our product range and continue to look for ways to improve our offering.  We were the first Quick Service restaurant group to display our calorie information on our menu panels because we are proud of our product.”

The Healthier Choices Food Award scheme is administered by Worcestershire Regulatory Services (WRS) on behalf of Worcester City Council. The initiative is not about getting food outlets to completely change their menus but is focussed on encouraging them to offer a few healthier options. WRS officers can provide advice to businesses on how they can qualify for the award.