The Real Reason You Can't Order Sprouts From Jimmy John's Anymore

Jimmy John's is not bashful when it comes to sharing their enthusiasm for a vast line of sandwich offerings. The brand's website hails themselves as serving "the sandwich of sandwiches" and touts their use of fresh vegetables. "We don't hate salads, we just feel bad for them," they note. The chain also points out that they hand-slice fresh provolone cheese and meats in-house every day, as they say, "because packaged pre-sliced meats doesn't have the same ring to it." And don't forget about the fresh bread

With so much care put into the sandwich-making process, it seems customers are getting their money's worth. But, unfortunately for Jimmy John's, the chain hasn't always managed to avoid controversy. There was the time in 2020 when founder and namesake, Jimmy John Liautaud, was heavily criticized as photos of him hunting surfaced on social media (via USA Today). The chain is now owned by another entity, amidst calls for boycotts. 

Not that long ago, another controversy caused trouble for the sandwich restaurant, though this one was tied to a more unusual topic: sprouts.

Jimmy John's faced a lawsuit over sprouts — seriously

In 2014, an angry California customer sued Jimmy John's because she was upset about the lack of alfalfa sprouts in her order, feeling the restaurant cheated her. According to the Star Tribune, the customer in question took issue with the fact that sprouts were listed on the menu but were clearly missing from her sandwich. In her court filings, the customer lodged outlandish claims against Jimmy John's for "intentional misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, fraud, violation of California's False Advertising Act," and more. Again, we're just talking about sprouts here.

Jimmy John's stood up against the allegations but the restaurant made amends for the confusion anyway, finalizing a class action lawsuit that awarded $1.40 vouchers to customers filing a claim. 

The other interesting part of this story is that even though sprouts were still listed on the menu at that time, the brand had actually removed them from their list of ingredients all the way back in 2012. This was attributed to an E. coli outbreak that was linked to raw sprouts at Jimmy John's. It turns out some locations just forgot to modify their menus in the meantime in possibly the worst case of bad timing.