Subway to Open 2,000 North American Locations in 2011

Chain also testing upscale cafe concept

MILFORD, Conn. -- With more than 2,000 franchisees actively searching for locations, the Subway sandwich chain has an aggressive growth strategy for 2011, it said. The chain is also testing a new Subway cafe format, specifically designed to satisfy the needs of landlords of office buildings and upscale properties.

"To continue to provide career opportunities to entrepreneurs and offer our world famous submarine sandwiches, which includes a wide range of healthier meal options, we will be aggressively looking for sites and ready to make deals," said Chris Kan, training and [image-nocss] business promotion specialist for Subway Real Estate LLC. "We have a proven system in place and an ever increasing consumer base. We will have more than 100 Subway developers, field staff and leasing specialists from all across North America will be attending the event."

The Subway chain is moving forward with new opportunities in traditional shopping centers, mall and freestanding locations as well as nontraditional venues such as convenience stores, hospitals, colleges, sports arenas and airports. Since this past January, the Subway chain has opened nearly 700 new stores in 50 countries, 43 U.S. states and eight Canadian provinces, which equates to approximately 840,000 square feet of prime commercial retail space. In total, Subway franchisees lease more than 37 million square feet of property around the globe.

From 100 to 5,000 square feet, Subway restaurants come in all shapes and sizes. Because of the chain's unique business model, which has minimal equipment and space requirements, a Subway restaurant can operate just about anywhere. To illustrate just how flexible the Subway concept is, recent openings include a restaurant housed on a crane at the World Trade Center construction site in New York City. As the building rises, so does the store.

Other unique Subway locations include a Jeep assembly plant in Ohio; a new car showroom in California; a church in upstate New York; a combination laundry and tanning salon in Wisconsin; a high school in Detroit, in which students can earn college credits for running the restaurant; and floating restaurant aboard a river boat in Germany.

The Subway cafe concept is a combination sandwich shop and coffee bar, featuring feature brick or wood-paneled walls, comfortable armchairs and an expanded menu that includes baked goods and frozen coffee drinks.

Headquartered in Milford, Conn., the Subway chain was co-founded by Fred DeLuca and Dr. Peter Buck in 1965.