Subway (pictured during construction) has been open since mid-October, but its grand opening is scheduled for Friday.

Victoria Billings

Students may have been stuffing their faces with tasty subs for several weeks now, but they will get a chance to revel in Subway’s “eat fresh” philosophy this Friday.

Cal Poly’s first and only on-campus Subway is holding its grand opening this Friday at 11 a.m. to celebrate the new sandwich shop located next to Dexter Lawn, Subway regional manager Jose Aguilar said.

“Pretty much, we wanted to let people know how thankful we are to be on campus,” Aguilar said.

Subway is showing its gratitude by giving away free sub sandwiches to the first 500 people who show up, Aguilar said.

“We will open our doors and provide free food for the first 500 students, or pretty much whoever shows,” Aguilar said.

The grand opening will include a ribbon cutting and short messages from speakers, such as Associated Students, Inc. President Katie Morrow, before the first 500 customers get free sandwiches, Aguilar said.

Subway will also be raffling off door prizes that include a plasma television, an iPad and gift cards to the sub shop.

Though Subway opened its doors several weeks ago, management wanted to postpone the grand opening to ensure quality service, Aguilar said.

“I wanted to make sure that when we did our grand opening all of our employees were fully trained,” Aguilar said.

The grand opening is also a chance to promote Subway’s round-the-clock hours, Aguilar said. The on-campus Subway is the only dining location on campus that remains open 24 hours a day, a decision that was made to provide for students who frequent the 24-hour study room at neighboring Robert E. Kennedy Library, as well as architecture students in the area who are often on campus at all hours, Aguilar said.

“There’s students busting all-nighters,” Aguilar said.

And Subway intends to be there for those students, Aguilar said.

The 24-hour schedule also allows employees to clean while Subway is open, instead of taking time before opening in the morning to neaten the restaurant, Aguilar said.

Subway will also be opening its “Grab-and-Go” window soon, so students in between classes can grab sandwiches on the run, Aguilar said.

So far, the student response to Subway has been largely positive, Aguilar said. Aguilar often hears that students enjoy having the option to eat something other than Campus Dining while at Cal Poly, he said.

“It’s just another option for them, something from outside,” Aguilar said.

And students agree that having more dining choices is a good thing.

Anthropology freshman Erica Dean said she comes to Subway once or twice a week to eat something other than Campus Dining.

“I was glad because I didn’t like dining hall food. I like sandwiches, so it’s good,” Dean said.

Other students, such as kinesiology freshman Alex Dickinson, choose Subway for the value.

Dickinson eats Subway once or twice a week, and likes to make the meal last, she said.

“(The sandwiches) are big, so they’re like two meals,” Dickinson said.

Other students might eat the sandwich all in one meal, but enjoy having the Subway options to customize their sandwich and eat it whenever they like, such as electrical engineering freshman Alfredo Sanchez.

Sanchez might eat at Subway as many as three times a week, he said. He enjoys it because it is a healthy option and available whenever he’s craving a sandwich, he said.

“It’s healthy, there’s a lot of options (and) it’s open 24/7,” Sanchez said. “That’s the good part.”