SUBWAY celebrates store number 2,000 in UK and Ireland

SUBWAY started the New Year in style, reaching a milestone as the brand continues to spread. UK and Ireland Area Development Manager, Greg Madigan, revealed how it has become popular enough that the next goal of 3,000 branches, by 2020, is within reach.

In late January, the famous SUBWAY brand celebrated the opening of its 2,000th store in the UK and Ireland, in Hemel Hempstead’s Jarman Leisure Park. An average of five new stores per week in 2014 saw a total 269 stores open last year, making the UK and Ireland SUBWAY’s third largest market, behind only the US and Canada.

Reaching such a milestone is indicative of the brand’s ongoing and increasing popularity on British and Irish shores, which, Area Development Manager Greg Madigan explains, comes from the rich choice SUBWAY offers to consumers.

He says: “SUBWAY’s success is all about choice for the customers. It is convenient, is good value and has a range of healthy choices, which is important. We have a low fat menu that 40 per cent of our customers purchase from, and there are nine low fat subs. When it comes to choice, customers are thinking of SUBWAY as number one.

“The menu is pretty much constantly evolving to ensure we give fresh choice to the customers. We are bringing in a couple of limited edition subs this spring; every year we have Limited Time Offers, as well as permanent menu changes that cater to customer feedback.”

Greg is confident that 2015 will see the company at least matching the growth this approach has ushered in. “We have a really solid pipeline at the moment. We are looking for a balance of traditional high street locations as well as non-traditional locations,” he comments, confirming that SUBWAY will continue its strategy of expansion into locations like convenience stores, garage forecourts and universities. The company has been aided in reaching the figure of 430 such stores from prosperous partnerships with organisations including Welcome Break, Euro Garages, Applegreen and Sodexo.

Greg adds: “Our non-traditional strategy allows us to put SUBWAYs in places that probably couldn’t support a traditional location, which allows us to get into more communities in more locations and provide a better choice for our customers.”

The growth targets for 2015 will be aided in large part by the franchise system, whereby those investing in a SUBWAY franchise are helped on the road to success by a strong support system.

Greg comments: “We have more than 800 entrepreneurs who have already started the SUBWAY journey. That represents an investment of more than £200 million into the local economies and supports about 20,000 jobs. I don’t see that slowing down in 2015, and the support networks that SUBWAY provides are very strong, particularly our training.

“We have an e-training resource that franchise owners utilise, as well as classrooms and a regular series of phone training sessions, where they can provide feedback to the brand. I don’t see that changing; we see that as an investment in our franchise owners to help them with their businesses, and it is in both our interests to do as much for each other as we can.

That more than 70 per cent of all new SUBWAY franchises sold worldwide are sold to existing owners is evidence both of the brand’s strength, and its ability to deliver results for its investors, and the confidence they have in the solid support.

The now 2,000 stores in this region stand as part of a total 43,000 globally, in more than 105 countries, making SUBWAY the largest Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) brand worldwide, and the company has no intention of stopping there.

Greg concludes: “Our next milestone is obviously going to be 3,000 stores, and we have set a target of 2020 to achieve that.”