Suburban exclusive: Subway now has bilingual menus

Subway’s new bilingual menu at Quartier Cavendish

This is the latest in a series of articles looking at stores and companies and their language policies in areas with majority and significant anglophone populations, as documented by Hampstead’s Harold Staviss, a lawyer, and Côte St. Luc Councillor Ruth Kovac.

As promised late last year, some Subway outlets in Montreal now have bilingual menus, replacing ones that were in French only.

The Suburban and Staviss, as of Friday morning, have seen at least three locations with bilingual menus — downtown under the Scotiabank movie theatres, the power centre at Decarie and Jean Talon and Quartier Cavendish in Côte St. Luc. On Saturday, we discovered bilingual signage at Promenades Cathédrale and Place Montreal Trust, both downtown.

In the case of the latter, this now means every eatery at Quartier Cavendish — including McDonald’s — has English content on their menus. The Suburban was told the downtown eatery had the signs installed a week ago Thursday.

The new menus are the result of persistent emails and calls by Staviss and Kovac to the company. Late last year, Subway Quebec president Guy Laframboise told The Suburban that franchisees would have the option of putting up the bilingual menus, and they would go up early this year.

Staviss was very happy.

“The change by Subway to allow their franchisees the option to have bilingual menu boards in their retail outlets is definitely a big step in the right direction,” he said. “After many years of trying, of encouraging and of attempting to get Subway to go bilingual, they finally did what is only right and respectful.”

Staviss added that Laframboise was true to his promise, “so a big thank you to Guy and his team for listening and for following through.

“It just goes to show that as an anglophone, if you want to be treated as equally as a francophone, you have to be persistent and go that extra step. This is not a matter of language, it is just a simple matter of respect. And with the positive changes being made by Subway, wouldn’t it be so inclusive if other retailers followed suit and made English more visible — all within the parameters of the Charter of the French Language?”

Kovac was also pleased, and expressed it bilingually.

“Félicitations, congratulations,” said Kovac. “We really appreciate that Subway listened to the public, and respected the requests of the English-speaking population. To me, it’s just good business sense.”

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