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5. Subway

Last Year's Rank: 5

Investment Range: $150K to $250K

Category: Restaurant

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Company Description


Though No. 4 in terms of revenue, Subway is second only to the convenience-store chain 7-Eleven in terms of unit count. Although its pace of expansion has slowed since Subway's peak in the 1990s—the chain still builds hundreds of new units each year, and remains one of the fastest growing franchises in the world.

As of March 2016, the United States alone held over 27,000 outlets. It has over 44,600 restaurants in 111 countries and territories.

Subway started serving breakfast in 2010, and discontinued their famous “Five Dollar Footlong” promotion in 2014. In the wake of the Jared Fogle scandal in 2015, the company introduced its “Founded on Fresh” marketing campaign, focusing on corporate heritage and individual menu items over celebrity endorsements. After co-founder Fred DeLuca died in September 2015, sister Suzanne Greco took over the role of company president.

Company Statistics


Global Sales: $17,000,000,000

US Units: 26,741

International Units: 19,195

Total Units: 45,936

Percent Franchised: 100%

% International Units: 42%

US Franchised Units: 26,741

International Franchised Units: 19,195

Sales Growth %: -0.6%

Unit Growth %: 4.2%

Information Provided by Franchisor


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