Subway, a renowned global restaurant brand, is making strategic moves to expand its presence internationally, with its most recent master franchise agreements being signed in the regions of Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), Asia Pacific (APAC), and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). These new agreements, celebrating Subway’s 15th such deal in the past two years, will introduce more than 4,000 future restaurants over the next two decades, solidifying the brand’s position as a leader in the global fast-food industry.
The expansion strategy involves partnering with experienced and well-resourced operators in specific markets, ensuring the brand’s continued growth and success in new territories. These master franchisees will hold exclusive rights to manage and develop Subway locations within their respective countries. Part of their commitment includes remodeling existing outlets to adhere to Subway’s contemporary image, along with opening new restaurants to cater to the increasing demand for its freshly-made and crave-able food offerings.
Subway’s CEO, John Chidsey, expressed his confidence in the brand’s potential for global expansion, emphasizing the significance of these agreements in the context of Subway’s ongoing transformation journey. Chidsey highlighted that the master franchise agreements reflect the operators’ trust in Subway’s brand and vision, enabling the company to serve more customers worldwide.
Among the new agreements, Subway is set to reestablish its presence in Bahrain, where it opened its first restaurant outside the U.S. in 1984. The new master franchisee, Food Innovation Company, is a well-established, family-owned business in Bahrain. Their partnership aims to reignite Subway’s popularity among loyal Bahraini customers and attract new patrons with their fresh and delicious food offerings.
In Georgia, Subway has teamed up with the Wissol Group to expand its restaurant network significantly. This strategic move aims to introduce Subway to new cities and strengthen its appeal to Georgian customers, both existing and potential. The agreements in Bahrain and Georgia mark the sixth and seventh master franchise deals in the EMEA region, as Subway plans to double its footprint in the area in the near future.
Notably, Subway’s largest master franchise agreement to date is in Mainland China. A consortium of investors, operating as Shanghai Fu-Rui-Shi Corporate Development Co., Ltd. (FRS), will bring decades of experience managing large global quick-service restaurant chains across Asia. Their expertise will help Subway grow its presence in the Chinese market by more than sevenfold, demonstrating the brand’s ambition to solidify its position in the Asian market.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, Subway has partnered with Grupo Vierci, a multi-unit, multi-brand operator with experience in the quick-service restaurant industry as well as retail brands. With their assistance, Subway aims to more than double its presence in Uruguay. In addition, master franchise agreements have been signed in Costa Rica and Panama with operators who have a successful history in their respective regions and are familiar with Subway’s business model. These new agreements add to LAC’s four existing master franchise deals, with further expansion planned for the region.
Over the past 18 months, Subway has achieved significant growth, opening over 1,000 new restaurants globally, with more than 40% of these developments attributed to master franchise agreements. This surge in expansion is a testament to the brand’s popularity and the confidence placed in it by experienced operators worldwide.
As one of the world’s largest quick-service restaurant brands, Subway continues to serve freshly made-to-order sandwiches, wraps, salads, and bowls to millions of customers daily. With a network of thousands of dedicated franchisees and small business owners, Subway remains committed to delivering the best guest experience possible in local communities across over 100 countries in nearly 37,000 restaurants.
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