How Subway Grew Worldwide


Many companies have spread out over the years to become a global force. One such company is Subway. Subway started out as an independent sandwich shop in 1965 in Connecticut, opened by a young man who was hoping to earn enough money to pay for medical school. Today, the sandwich chain stretches out over 100 countries and has over 40,000 shops worldwide. From brand recognition to appealling to local tastes, here are three things that helped Subway grow worldwide.

International Branches

One thing that has helped Subway grow so rapidly, despite a global-wide recession, is their stores in other countries. Originally, Subway’s director of development, Don Fertman, had named ten foreign countries that Subway was looking to grow in. Today, other countries have been added to that list. He points out that the companies with the quickest growth are countries that are seeing an increase in population, construction, or tourism. These factors work together to increase the likelihood of a successful Subway restaurant in that specific location. In countries like Russia and the United Arab Emirates, a couple of shops are placed, and then added to as the demand for the product increases.

Brand Recognition

When asked what he thinks is the reason that Subway has been so successful internationally, Fertman cited the fact that Subway has a commitment to quality food. Subway works to make food that is good for the consumer, tastes good, and is not too expensive. These factors are true at every Subway store, creating positive brand recognition. Wherever a consumer is in the world, the Subway there will have healthy, tasty food, prepared by a well-trained and pleasant staff. These staff members have additional benefits that they can take advantage of while working at Subway. No matter where someone is in the world, a Subway job application might be the perfect fit. Not only are Subways found all over the world they are also found in many different places, from inside a church to a riverboat.

Local Tastes

Another important part of the Subway success story is their ability to allow the restaurants to appeal to local tastes, while still having a uniform look. Each store has a certain line-up of sandwiches that you can get anywhere in the world at a Subway restaurant. However, within the restaurant, there are also sandwiches and wraps that are unique to the local town and country. This gives Subway a local flavor, while still allowing brand recognition to be a factor. The specialty sandwiches can be developed by the local stories, so long as they follow the guidelines and the larger company approves. This works well. There are also special promotions that are done in one or more countries.

At one point, Subways in other countries were making sandwiches that were not quite as recognizable as part of the brand. After a little bit of time, however, the company and each individual location were able to get on the same page, changing to the structure that the chain operates under today.

Subway is a company that has managed to span the globe. By using brand recognition, appealing to local tastes, and successfully moving into foreign markets, Subway has become an internationally recognized sandwich shop chain.


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