Making a good submarine sandwich has usually been a private affair. Subway isn't publicly traded. Neither is Quizno's. Cosi (NASDAQ:COSI) is, but probably regrets it. That awesome sub shop two blocks away from your house? Don't even ask. So when a shareholder suggested that Schlotzsky's (NASDAQ:BUNZ) explore a sale of the company, would other investors listen?

Well, last night nearly two-thirds of the restaurant company's shares were voted against looking for a sub suitor. Good for them. Shares of Schlotzsky's are fetching less than the price of any sandwich, pizza, or salad on its menu.

Schlotzsky's bears the sad distinction of being one of the few companies to not only be showcased in our Daily Trouble feature once but twice. And at the time, it was actually still moving forward with growing profits, a five-year streak of growing quarterly comps and closing in on 800 locations.

The unit count now is down to 619 locations. When you're running a franchise business, that pretty much says it all. If you're a hot concept and the franchisees are getting a healthy return on their investments, the unit count grows. With Schlotzsky's going the other way, do you think that shareholders are being naïve? Are you thinking that maybe they should have opened up the bidding process at half-sub prices before the stock sinks down to the going price on ice water?

The key here is that Schlotzsky's realizes that it has a problem and it's got a strategy in place to mend it. That was enough for Institutional Shareholder Services to advise against the vote, but that certainly doesn't mean that your investing dollar should be put at such great risk. Burger chains such as McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) and Wendy's (NYSE:WEN) have been able to grow despite the occasional drive-thru speed bumps. And, man, is there any prime corner location that doesn't have a Subway resting on it?

If you're a fan of Schlotzsky's grub -- and it's good stuff, to be sure -- keep your investing dollar in your pocket until you see the unit count growing again. Franchisee satisfaction provides the best kind of insider information. If they're not buying in, follow suit.

Are subs really healthy fast food, or is that Jared guy from Subway a piece of marketing fiction? Six months removed from your last New Year's resolutions, are you looking to shed a few extra pounds? What's the skinny behind the latest wave of fad diets? All this and more -- in the Fools Fighting Fat discussion board . Only on