After 40 years of franchising, Subway remains fastest-growing concept

April 3, 2014

Entrepreneur's 35th annual Franchise 500 list once again featured numerous restaurant brands, with Subway coming in at No. 3, behind leader Anytime Fitness and Hampton Hotels.

Subway's investment costs are listed between $85.7K and $262.9K. The company is seeking new franchise units worldwide, the publication stated, and currently has more than 26K units in the U.S., more than 3K units in Canada, and nearly 12K units internationally. None of these restaurants are company owned.

Entrepreneur specifically recognized Subway for supporting its franchisees through:

  • Training: Two weeks of training is available at the company's headquarters in Connecticut, and is also available in select international offices.
  • Ongoing support, with newsletters, meetings, a toll-free line, purchasing coops, lease negotiations, field operations/evaluations and more.
  • Market support through coop advertising, national media, regional ads and more. 
  • Local store marketing.

Other concepts in the top 10 were:

No. 5: Jimmy John's, which requires an investment of $300.5K to $489.5K.

No. 9: Pizza Hut, which requires an investment of $297K to  $2.1M.

No. 10: Dunkin' Donuts, which requires an investment of $294K to $1.5M.

Restaurants were included throughout the top 50 list, as well, including:

  • No. 11, Hardee's
  • No. 14, KFC
  • No. 16, McDonald's
  • No. 20, Taco Bell
  • No. 26, Sonic Drive-In
  • No. 27, Papa John's
  • No. 31, Papa Murphy's
  • No. 37, Auntie Anne's
  • No. 41, Baskin-Robbins
  • No. 46, Carl's Jr.
  • No. 49, Church's Chicken
  • No. 50, Cold Stone Creamery

Fastest growing

In the fastest growing category, Subway — founded in 1969 and franchising since 1974 — came out on top, over all other brands in all other industries. Dunkin' Donuts (No. 5), Jimmy John's (No. 8) and Pizza Hut (No. 10) were also on the list.

Topics: Franchising & Growth , Trends / Statistics

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