Sandwich franchise, Subway, plans huge expansion

Subway, the world’s largest restaurant franchise, is looking for 500 new franchisees across the UK and Ireland.   

The expansion, which it hopes could create 5,000 new jobs, would bring the number of Subway stores in the UK and Ireland to 3,000 by 2020.  Some 150 stores are planned for this year.

The move will secure Subway’s leading market position, surpassing its rival sandwich chain Greggs, which currently has 1,689 outlets.  Subway overtook McDonald’s as the world’s largest restaurant chain six years ago.

Subway operates using a traditional franchise business model, where all stores are independently owned and operated as franchises of the US master brand.  The majority of its outlets are found on high street locations.

The firm has said previously that its franchisees benefit from some of the lowest start-up costs in the industry.  It has also been reported that Subway franchisees generally sign a 20-year franchise agreement, with the level of investment dependent on the location, rent and size of the outlet.

When questioned about the impact of Brexit on the chain’s operations, Peter Dowding, Subway’s UK director, said that they have yet to experience any adverse effects related to the Brexit vote and that they were working with suppliers to minimize any potential risk by locking down prices for the next two years.

“The growth expansion has been continual. What we have achieved over the last few years has been phenomenal for the brand and for our franchisees across the UK and Ireland,” said Dowding.

“We set some very ambitious targets in 2012, where we said we would get 3,000 stores by 2020 and we are well on our way to achieving that.

“In fact, we will be opening our 2,500th store, which is a fantastic achievement for the brand in the UK. It strengthens our position in the market as being the leading quick service chain in the UK.”

The restaurant chain is also in the process of refurbishing its stores and plans to launch a revamped menu and new online ordering system.

Subway franchise plans huge expansion