The story begins in Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA during the summer of 1965. Fred DeLuca, an ambitious 17-year-old high school graduate, was looking for a way to make enough money to pay for his university tuition. The solution came at a BBQ during a conversation with a family friend, Dr. Peter Buck. Dr. Buck suggested to Fred that he open a submarine sandwich shop – having seen a sandwich shop in his hometown become a huge success.

With a $1,000 loan from Dr. Buck, the partnership was formed and Pete’s Super Submarines opened in August 1965. The first year was a challenge and a learning experience for the young entrepreneurs. They opened their second location a year later and quickly realised that marketing and visibility were going to be key factors in the success of the business – the third outlet was in a highly visible location and it’s still serving sandwiches today. The name was shortened from Pete’s Super Submarines to SUBWAY® and the familiar bright yellow logo was introduced.

The next step was to formulate a business plan that outlined the SUBWAY® brand’s goals. In an effort to reach those goals, SUBWAY® outlets began franchising, giving others the opportunity to succeed in their own business venture. The first SUBWAY® franchise opened in Connecticut in 1974.

UK and Ireland History

  • The first SUBWAY® store is opened in the Republic of Ireland in 1994 by David Morrissey
  • In 1996, the first UK SUBWAY® store is opened in Brighton by Murray and Maria Speirs
    Fred DeLuca attended his first media tour of the UK in 2001 when the SUBWAY® franchise reached the 50 store mark.
  • In 2002, the SUBWAY® brand opened its 100th store in the UK and Ireland
  • By the end of 2003 the number of stores in the UK and Ireland had doubled to 200
  • In July 2003 the SUBWAY® brand became the largest specialist sandwich chain in the UK and Ireland, according to a report by Mintel
  • By mid-2004, there were 300 stores
  • By February 2005, there were 400 stores
  • By mid- 2005, the SUBWAY® brand hit the 500th store mark with the opening of a store at Bristol International Airport
  • In 2006, the 600th store opened in Huntingdon, home town of the Earl of Sandwich
  • In August 2006, the SUBWAY® brand announced that it had more stores open in the UK and Ireland than Burger King, KFC and Pizza Hut
  • In January 2007, the SUBWAY® brand was awarded the coveted Number 1 franchise opportunity spot in Entrepreneur magazine’s annual “Franchise 500″ rankings – the 15th time it has won the award in the past 19 years
  • The SUBWAY® brand supports the Department of Health’s 5 A DAY programme – by choosing all the salad ingredients for your Sub you get one of the five servings of fruit and veg recommended by the Department of Health
  • In January 2008, the SUBWAY® brand was recognised as the Number One Global Franchise opportunity by Entrepreneur Magazine
  • By July 2008, there were over 1,250 stores open in the UK and Ireland
  • In 2009, the SUBWAY® brand entered into a partnership with leading national charity Heart Research UK to encourage people across the UK and Ireland to eat better and lead healthier lifestyles
  • In May 2010, the SUBWAY® brand launched SUBCARD®, Europe’s first fully mobile-enabled QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) loyalty programme across the 1,400 SUBWAY® stores in UK & Ireland
  • In June 2010, the SUBWAY® brand won Specialist Sandwich Bar Chain of the Year Award at the prestigious “Sammies Awards 2011″
  • At the beginning of 2012 there were 1,423 SUBWAY® stores in the UK, almost a fivefold increase on the 2004 store count, and 99 stores in Ireland.
  • In January 2012 SUBWAY® President and co-founder Fred DeLuca visited the UK and announced plans to increase the number of SUBWAY® stores in the UK and Ireland to 2,000 by 2015, creating around 6,000 new jobs
  • The SUBWAY® brand has endorsed all four of the UK Government’s Responsibility Pledges, committing to reduce salt, eliminate trans fats, display nutritional information on menu boards and cut calories across the product range.