Last month we started accepting Bitcoins at my Subway as the first Subway in America. One month later, we are still selling sandwiches and accepting Bitcoins- It can be done!

Thanks to the support of the reddit community, we were featured on CNBC: and on CNN:

It would be really awesome to see what questions redditors have and what I can do to guide businesses that want to start accepting Bitcoin.

Thanks! @sapan211

My Proof:

Comments: 260 • Responses: 24  • Date: 

Destroyer-of-Words39 karma

Hey, I go to Lehigh. I'm literally in the building across the street from you. I was also your 2nd bitcoin customer.

If I happen to see you, I'll say hi.

sapan21119 karma

Do say hi if you see me. I'm always there

PatentAtty34 karma

How has your staff taken to accepting bitcoins? Do the number of decimal places freak out the staff? Do you have a minimum purchase requirement for use of bitcoin?

sapan21153 karma

My employees are simply awesome. They have dealt with all of this with a smile on their faces and have actually shown a lot of interest.
They don't have to deal with decimals because I have set it up so all they have to do is input the total dollar amount into a tablet at the register. The app automatically generates the code that the customer scans. It pops up on the screen when they receive the payment.

We don't have a minimum purchase requirement.

BipolarSmith26 karma

Hi. How many bitcoin customers have you had so far? Are you a bitcoin investor as well?

sapan21151 karma

I can not disclose exact sale figures or numbers, however I can say it has steadily been growing. We have a couple bitcoin paying customers almost every day.

I am indeed a bitcoin investor myself.

Arkata24 karma

Would you be able to pay an employee in BTC if they desired?

sapan21114 karma

There are no Bitcoin Payroll Services to my knowledge. I'm not sure how feasible this would be.

CJZhang21 karma

How many times a week does someone ask you what a Bitcoin is?

sapan21161 karma

4 Zillion

Plain and simple.

fishyfish720 karma

Do you immediately sell the bitcoins for cash to take away the currency risk or are you keeping the bitcoins in your account?

sapan21124 karma

This has been one of the most complicated parts of the process. Since I started accepting Bitcoins, I have switched my Merchant Services Processor 3 times. I am actually looking for a longer term solution. Until I find a more permanent solution that is fully integrated with our bank account, our Bitcoins are remaining as is.

Since this has been relatively new we are still working out all the kinks in the process. I am not worried about the currency risk at all.

Keith_Creeper15 karma

I thought bitcoins were worth about 1K each. How would it work if I forked over a bitcoin for a Footlong Tuna Fish sandwich?

sapan21137 karma

We calculate the total sale amount (i.e. $10.53) and convert that to the equivalent Bitcoin value (roughly 10.09 mBTC or .01009 BTC). We generate a QR code with an address and the amount. The customer scans that code and sends us instant payment.

You can take a look at to see what I mean.

Cthulhuhoop9 karma

Don't sell yourself short, 10.09 milli would be .01009.

roughly 10.09 mBTC or .001009 BTC

would be $1.13.

sapan2119 karma

You are correct- I changed it..thank you :)

Apoptosys12 karma

I thought it took like an hour to confirm a bitcoin transaction. I remember reading that it was too slow for most consumer transactions like this. Am I completely misinformed?

sapan21125 karma

In our case, we have not had a payment take longer than 2-3 seconds. The merchant services take care of everything on the back end. A transaction has never taken us 1 hour to process.

daRockinRabbit11 karma

Just a Redditor that lives in Allentown. I just wanted to say its awesome to have a local company jump on the Bitcoin ship so early. I'll have to stop by sometime and buy a nice Cold Cut Trio (no bitcoin, though ;)).

sapan2117 karma

Come down and say Hi!

grantmoore3d10 karma

How have you been keeping records of sales? I'm planning to accept Bitcoin but am unsure how to do so legally as a business. So you convert to USD and simply keep record of those earnings?

mogifax9 karma

Can you write a little FAQ for Subway patrons to convince owners in their area to accept bitcoin? Would love a little list of hardware, software, which accounts to create with which companies, etc.

sapan2118 karma

Most of the equipment used in Subway's are fairly standard. I have a Nexus 7 next to my register with the POS app on there. They would just need to tweak some settings on the POS.

If you draft up some questions I might be able to help you out with an FAQ

Benze22946 karma

Hey there Sapan, I'm located in easton and I was just wondering which subway it is that you run so that I can possibly stop by and say hello?!

thetimpotter6 karma

How can I persuade other Subway Owners to accept Bitcoin at their stores?

sapan21111 karma

This is a very good question. I think it is entirely up to the owner if they want to start accepting it or not. There is definitely a learning curve involved along with some risk and doubt.
A good start would be educating them about what a Bitcoin is. Even if you ultimately can't persuade them, at least you have taught one more person about Bitcoin.
The second thing maybe to show them some articles or videos about me accepting it. Tell them I have been accepting it for over a month. If they see another franchisee accepting it, they may be more willing to try it out.
Many may be deterred by the initial costs involved. Perhaps eliminating those costs would help to convince many to come on board. You could also try telling them it is non-binding, they don't have to sign a contract and there is no catch. Print out a sign and set it up for them. Tell them to try it out for a week and if they don't like it- ...nevermind, I doubt that will happen.

Tuck_de_Fuck6 karma

Do you have any BTC for yourself? Also, what do you think about altcoins such as Litecoin, Namecoin, ect.

sapan21110 karma

I do have BTC myself. I do not have any plans to start accepting any Alt. currency at my store. I think they are very interesting and we may see many more in the future.

qtip-pitq5 karma

No questions, but thank you from the Dorney Park team for making lunch for us on many occasions!

sapan2115 karma

You guys are Awesome. Can't wait till everyone comes back in the Spring.

OfWelcomeAndWarning5 karma

I'm from Plymouth Meeting, which is really close to Allentown! I think this is awesome, I should come buy something with Bitcoins sometime. Also, what was the most difficult part about integrating Bitcoins into your store?

sapan21111 karma

There have been so many challenges from the start. I think the biggest one has been trying to explain to everyone what a Bitcoin is. For example, in order to train my employees, they needed to fundamentally understand what a Bitcoin was. I had to explain it over and over again answering the same doubtful questions.

We would love to have you at our store!

ghostofpicasso5 karma

  • Is your store a franchise?
  • what do you do if the value of bitcoin drops? Does the company you go through for scanning take care of that?
  • what company do you use?
  • what kind of training did you give your employees?
  • if i wanted to start getting my local business owners in on this, what do you recommend i show them?


sapan21110 karma

Subway is indeed a franchise. We are currently using Coinbase to process our payments and I have personally walked all of my employees through the process.

I have found this page to be the most helpful if you want to show other small business owners:,_for_small_businesses

It was most helpful for me.

powerfulmalemodel4 karma


sapan2114 karma

Yep, Subway Dorneyville. I was born and brought up in Allentown!

WayUpHighintheSky4 karma

I spend a lot of time in Allentown. Where is your store located? I'd love to stop by and buy some subway with bitcoins

TheBitcoinKidx4 karma

You're a very smart man according to the fever going on in r/bitcoin.

According to them, you are going to be a millionaire by accepting bitcoin right now.

sapan21114 karma

Thank you, I'm not that smart. Just a man with a Sub...and a Bitcoin

According to me. They all are probably millionaires. I've gotten to meet some of them in my store. Great group of people. on r/bitcoin

speewave3 karma

Was really excited to see the fact that more brick and mortar stores are accepting bitcoin, of course even more so when it was a more well known chain store (compared to a mom and pop place)

Any way Question time:

  • Has the news coverage about this given you more business from local bitcoin users?
  • How many bought with bitcoin (before the whole news thing)? and is bitcoin popular down there?
  • Do you think we'll see bitcoin in other chain stores?
  • Whats you're current process for accepting bitcoins (how do you go handle payments, exchanges and such)?
  • Do you cash out often or do you hold in bitcoin
  • Do you pay employees with bitcoin or typical fiat
  • Ever heard of Coinkite? and if so would you consider using them as a way to accept bitcoins (and Litecoins?) *They're like a wallet service with a credit-card esque terminal where you get a bitcoin debit card and can make payments through that (or the traditional way of QR Codes works too)

I know its a lot of questions, feel free to answer as many or little as you like, best of luck to you

sapan2114 karma

I did consider Coinkite. They were very nice and responsive, just not the right match for us at this time.

I did not expect this to be as popular as it has been. Right now what we are doing is a good temporary solution, but I am looking into more permanent ones. It is a work in progress.

I hope more businesses will begin accepting Bitcoin!

ufmace3 karma

I'm most curious about the things that would encourage or discourage a small business owner who is less knowledgeable/enthusiastic about bitcoin from accepting them.

About how much time a week do you spend dealing with Bitcoin processing related issues? What was your worst week? What are the biggest pain points in accepting bitcoins right now? Training staff, integrating with existing POS systems, getting reliable conversions back to USD, something else?

I've thought for a while that there is a need for somebody to create a well-executed, hard to screw-up, system for small businesses to accept bitcoins for in-person transactions. As far as I can tell, nothing like that exists on the market today, and most businesses accepting BTC are mostly rolling their own solution, at a high cost in time for whoever is managing it. Would you buy such a system, if it was available?

sapan2114 karma

I don't spend too much time dealing with Bitcoin Processing related issues too much. They go fairly smoothly.

I set up most of my system by myself. It took a little bit of technical knowledge (and interest). There are people available that can come in and set everything up, I just wanted to keep it simple and easy. I doubt other business owners would want to pay start up costs in addition to take the risk of accepting a new form of tender.

warhammerwalrus2 karma

Allentown resident here. Which Subway?