In August of 1965, a 17-year-old named Fred DeLuca borrowed $1000 from a family friend named Peter Buck in order to open a restaurant that would sell submarine sandwiches. As a result, Pete’s Super Submarines was opened in Bridgeport, Connecticut as a submarine sandwich specialty takeout restaurant.
In 1966, DeLuca and Buck created a company called Doctor’s Associates, Inc. They chose this name because Buck had a doctorate in physics and DeLuca was raising money to attend medical school. This business was created in order to manage the operations of any expansions of the restaurant. The pair opened another located of their restaurant in 1966, and, by 1988, they had changed the name of their up and coming sandwich chain to Subway.
The Birth of a Franchise
The first Subway franchises opened in 1974 after an already successful expansion to 16 owned and operated locations. The brand quickly expanded, becoming the largest “sub chain” in the United States by 1982. The first Subway location opened outside of the United States was in Bahrain in 1984. By 2010, Subway boasted over 40,000 locations around the world – all of them were franchisees.
Changing with the Times
Deluca died in 2015 from leukemia, and his sister Suzanne Greco became CEO of the Subway brand. Following her appointment as head of the company, the brand experienced a net loss in 2016 for the first time. This caused the closure of hundreds of locations. In spite of the loss, Subway remained the top food chain in the United States, still holding over 25,000 locations.
Under the direction of Greco, Subway made changes to appeal to the food of a new generation. It announced a new logo in 2017 and redesigned its restaurants, introducing its “Fresh Forward” campaign. The campaign included new menu items, additional condiments, and bread made without gluten.
However, the changes were not enough to stop net loss. For three years in a row, Subway experienced a drop in profits. More money was being used for advertisements to try to drive profits up, which ended up causing more profit loss. The declining profits were attributed to the changing tastes of the American people.
The Submarine Sandwich
No matter the rise and fall of the brand popularity, Subway has definitely been the leading brand of submarine sandwiches, commonly called “subs.” The restaurant offers a variety of different sandwiches and practically endless customization, making it a great choice for picky eaters who have to have their sandwiches made a certain way. The brand also generally offers wraps, salads, paninis, pizzas, and cookies.