Save $$ with the Sandwich Calculator
Jimmy John's isn't trying to rip you off--they need to tack a few extra bucks onto their sandwiches to pay for the grocery shopping, ingredient prep, and sandwich making that they're taking care of on your behalf. Not to mention that they're providing you with a clean, well-lit place that isn't your cubicle to sit and eat--they might even throw in a little soothing muzak, or at least a little death-metal seeping out of a bike messenger's earphones.
But those trying to adhere to a strict budget will appreciate Rob Cockerham's Sandwich Calculator, a simple algorithm that allows you to mark your sandwich inputs (bread, cheese, meat, mustard, etc), and tabulates the total sandwich cost.
When I tried to approximate one of my favorite JJ's subs (#5, the Italian), the Sandwich Calculator priced my ingredient cost at a healthy 3 smacks. (It also returned a "WHOA!" in all caps, with an exclamation mark...is it trying to say that I'm an extravagant spender when it comes to sammies? Come on, Sandwich Calculator, think of what I could be spending on Jimmy Choos!)
Besides the reassurance that JJ's markup isn't unreasonable, my favorite part of the Sandwich Calculator was the documentation of its development process, complete with scientific-looking shots of mustard squirts and lettuce leaves being weighed and formulas for calculating the cost per ounce.
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