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World's largest fast food chain plans massive expansion

Posting in Food

It's already the world's largest fast food chain, overtaking McDonald's in 2010, but Subway, with its nearly 39,500 restaurants in 102 countries, isn't satisfied. It's looking to have 100,000 stores by 2030, with 10,000 of those opening by 2017.

So where is there left to expand for the already pervasive brand? Bloomberberg Businessweek reports:

About half of Subway’s roughly 200,000 franchise inquiries each year come from North America, but the company sees most of the growth opportunity overseas. [Don] Fertman [Subway's chief development officer] expressed particular excitement about sub-Saharan Africa amid ongoing growth in South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia; Subway shops in Kenya will open soon. There are still some potential U.S. targets, he says, namely in Philadelphia, New York City’s outer boroughs, and Boston.

And as Fertman explained to Bloomberg Businessweek, the current plan could be seen as a conservative one. Subway's most high-density stores have one store for every 8,000 people. If Subway had one store for every 10,000 people in all areas where Subway does business, it could reach an astounding 480,000 stores.

But despite being the world's largest fast food chain, Subway doesn't crack the top 50 most valuable brands for 2013. McDonald's and Starbucks both rank higher in the fast food category.

However, neither have had as much growth in brand value from 2012 to 2013 as Subway, according to a report from Millward Brown. And in the last eight years Subway's brand achieved the greatest brand value increase, rising an astonishing 5,798 percent. And since 2007, Subway has added 11,000 stores. But will more rapid expansion give Subway another astronomical boost in brand value, or will its ubiquity be its downfall? Subway will take its chances on the former.

Subway Imagines a Future With 100,000 Sandwich Shops [Bloomberg Businessweek]

Photo: Flickr/_chrisUK

— By on June 9, 2013, 11:56 PM PST

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure