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Franchise Europe Top 500 - Subway

Learn More About Subway


Fred DeLuca founded the first Subway store in in Connecticut, USA, in 1965. Fred was looking for a way to pay for his university tuition, and family friend Dr. Peter Buck suggested he open a submarine sandwich store. With a $1,000 loan from Dr, Buck, the two went into partnership and opened Pete’s Super Submarines in August 1965.

Today, Subway operates in 112 countries worldwide. It is the number one QSR brand by total store count (as of January 2016). They market themselves as providers of healthy convenience foods, aimed at their target audience of 16-39 year olds.

Franchise System

The brand began franchising the concept in 1974, with the first franchise store opening in Connecticut, USA. The first franchise to open outside of North America was in Bahrain in 1984.

Subway has consistently ranked in Entrepreneur magazine's Top 500 Franchises list. Over many years of operation, Subway have developed a successful franchise system with proven success across the world. They attribute much of their franchising success to their strong support network for franchisees, assisting them in all aspects of the business including training, advertising and site selection.

The company offer a complete training programme for franchisees, including an initial two-week training course and ongoing online training with 700 courses for staff and manager to avail of.

Subway have an international advertising fund which franchisees participate in. This ensures sales are driven by advertising and PR, contributing to the success of individual franchisees and the success of the Subway brand. Communication between franchisees and support services ensures a two-way understanding of each other’s goals and needs.

Franchise Numbers

Franchise Units Total: 44,819

Franchise Units in Europe:​ >5,000

Established in USA:​ 1965

Established in Europe: 1996

Financial Information

Required investment: €75,400 - €231,200

Capital Required: €75,400 - €231,200

Upfront fee: €13,500

Corporate Social Responsibility


Subway are committed to providing healthier food choices for its customers, and promoting healthy lifestyles. They have reduced the salt, saturated fat and calories in their sandwiches, as well as removing artificial trans-fat. Calorie labelling is shown on menus in their stores and a wide range of low fat options under 370 calories are available. As the popularity of convenience food rises with our increasingly busy lifestyles, Subway provide an alternative to the typically unhealthy, high-fat fast food options available.

In the UK, Subway have partnered with Heart Research UK, supporting local communities with Subway Healthy Heart Grants for projects that promote healthy lifestyles.


Subway are dedicated to reducing the impact their operations have on the environment. This includes reducing transportation and fuel emissions, the use of recycled and recyclable packaging, water and energy conservation, and the use of biodegradable cleaning products. An impressive 97% of Subway’s packaging items are fully recyclable. They recycle their own packaging where possible, and encourage customers to recycle also. Their goal is to reduce any unnecessary packaging, and to reduce as much single-use packaging where possible.

Giving Back to Communities

Subway franchisees are committed to making a difference in their local communities all over the world. In the UK, Subway franchisees are involved in several charities, fundraising activities and community events including Comic Relief, Louis Smith’s Gymnastics Holiday Camp, Subway Helping Hearts Family 5K, and Design a Sub.


Total Units:
Food: Fast Food
Year established:
Year franchising:
United States of America
Total Countries:
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