MILFORD, Conn. -- The Subway restaurant chain recently opened its 25,000th location worldwide.
I was just 17 when I opened Subway to pay my college tuition, said Subway chain cofounder and president Fred DeLuca. In my wildest dreams I never imagined 25,000 restaurants in 83 countries. Every person on our team deserves great credit for their role in making Subway what it is today.
The milestone was reached recently with the opening of 17 new locations across the United States, Canada and Mexico, demonstrating that the chain has [image-nocss] perpetuated its success by diversifying development strategies.
Nearly simultaneously, the lights were turned on for the first time and hungry customers filed in at new Subway restaurants inside Wal-Mart stores in Amelia, Ohio; Toccoa, Ga.; and Mebane, N.C., while travelers and commuters filled up and fueled up at Subway shops inside a Phillips 66 convenience store in El Paso, Texas, and an Exxon -store in Franklin, Conn., the company said. And Subway franchisees served low-fat Subway submarine sandwiches to health conscious customers at Clifton Park, New York's newest Subway sandwich shop in the local YMCA.
Still other new Subway restaurants opened for business on the same day in Vancouver, B.C.; Markham, Ont.; Puebla, Mexico; as well as in Little Rock, Ark.; Tulsa, Okla.; Ocoee, Fla.; Freehold, N.J.; Des Peres, Mo.; Greensburg, La.; Brea, Calif.; and Santa Fe Springs, Calif.
The Subway chain's 25,000 milestone coincides with the chain being once again named the No. 1 franchise opportunity by Entrepreneur magazine in its 2006 Franchise 500 listing. This marks the 14th time in 18 years that the chain has achieved this honor. The chain also recently took two first place spots in QSR magazine's inaugural Best of awards. The Subway chain was cited for Best Use of Space for its nontraditional location strategy and Best Grassroots Giving for the ongoing efforts of its franchisees to give back to their communities. In addition, the Subway chain was named Best Franchise for North America in the November 2005 issue of Global Finance magazine.
The Subway brand has grown, the company said, by offering low startup costs, ease of operation and healthier menu options, allowing it to open more than 2,400 new locations and add nearly 900 new franchisees to its ranks by the end of 2005. Internationally, the company has set a goal of opening 7,500 restaurants outside the United States and Canada by the year 2010.
This year, the Subway chain opened its 5,000th nontraditional location, which means you can find a Subway restaurant in such places as college campuses and schools, athletic clubs, hospitals, airports and department stores. You can even find a Subway restaurant in a car dealership in California, a motorcycle dealership in Las Vegas and a church in Buffalo, N.Y. The restaurant chain also opened its 5,000th international location.
Headquartered in Milford, Conn., the Subway restaurant chain was cofounded by Fred DeLuca and Dr. Peter Buck in 1965.