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The rise of Subway: the triumphant and turbulent last decades of the world’s largest fast-food chain

The chain took a turn in 2015 when sales declined and after a scandal tied to pitchman Jared Fogle. Despite closing thousands of sub shops, Subway was able to sell itself this  Roark Capital ...

Insider Today – In the past few years, Subway restaurants have been dealing with growing pains, declining sales, and a public-relations issue with legal troubles for Jared Fogle, its former spokesman. [Not to mention its even worse PR disaster, the pink-haired, openly anti-American Megan Rapinoe. – HH]

The sandwich company has been closing hundreds of stores all over the US for the past few years and fighting allegations that its tuna isn’t tuna.

But it hasn’t always been like this. In the ’80s, ’90s, and early 2000s, Subway was expanding rapidly, becoming the world’s largest fast-food chain in terms of locations.

Despite its recent issues, Subway was able to sell itself this week to Roark Capital.

Peter Buck, a nuclear physicist, and Fred DeLuca, a college student, opened Pete’s Super Submarines in 1965, in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

“It was one of the cheapest brands to franchise in the fast food world and as a result, expanded quickly, both in the US and overseas.”

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On the first day, the shop sold 312 sandwiches, each costing less than $1.

In 1968, the two founders rebranded the shop and called it Subway. By 1974, the company had 16 shops throughout Connecticut.

By 1981, Subway had 200 locations across the US, with 100 more opening the following year.

At the time, the chain was known for its BMT — marketed as the “Biggest, Meatiest, Tastiest” sandwich — and its Snak, which eventually became the 6-inch sandwich we know today.

The company charged a $15,000 franchise fee, and startup costs range from $229,050 to $522.300, according to the chain’s 2023 Franchise Disclosure Document …

“We used to go to subway. Not since we saw the tv commercial with Megan Rapinoe [throwing up emoji],”  Kelli Sobonya, Facebook page of a Subway in Bakersfield, Calif.

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