The SUBWAY restaurant chain, purveyor of customizable, made-to-order submarine sandwiches, and now one of the world’s largest restaurant chains, has reached the milestone of 3,000 open and operating locations throughout Canada, providing job and career opportunities to approximately 30,000 people.
The landmark restaurant, which is open 24 hours a day, is located on the arrivals level of Terminal 3 at Toronto Pearson International Airport. It is owned by SUBWAY multi-unit operator, Raj Chhoker, who is celebrating his 11th year as a SUBWAY franchisee. This is Raj’s sixth SUBWAY restaurant; his second at Pearson, and he has two additional sites in the Toronto area in the planning and construction stages.
“My wife Angie worked as a part time Sandwich Artist at our neighborhood Subway restaurant. From that job we became interested in becoming business owners, and Subway seemed perfect for us,” Raj says. “After years working as a manager of large retail outlets, we wanted to have our own business, where we could grow and fulfill our dreams.”
The first SUBWAY restaurant in Canada opened in St. John’s, Newfoundland in 1986, and the brand has been growing steadily ever since. The chain recently achieved the milestones of 600 stores in Quebec and 400 in British Columbia, and so far this year, SUBWAY franchisees have opened more than 130 new locations across the country, with about half in Ontario.
“Canada is truly a land of opportunity. I’m thrilled that the 3,000th is right here in Ontario, and we owe it all to the hard work and dedication of our franchisees and their staff,” says Dan Burns, SUBWAY development agent for the greater Toronto area. “Having the milestone open in such a high profile location as Pearson International is an added bonus and really shows how Canada has embraced the Subway brand.”
Much of the brand’s growth and popularity among entrepreneurs can be attributed to the chain’s low start-up costs and minimal space and equipment requirements, which has also made it a popular option for non-traditional sites, such as college campuses, hospitals, and airports. Non-traditional development accounts for more than 20 percent of the current store count, including 170 SUBWAY restaurants found in airports around the world.
According to Dan Burns, his office was approached by the airport after receiving feedback from travellers and employees saying they wanted a SUBWAY at Toronto Pearson. In fact, he recalls that the person who originally contacted him was a former sandwich artist who had very fond memories of working at SUBWAY while going to school.
“We are proud to have opened the 3,000th Subway store here at Toronto Pearson,” says Michael Ross, director of commercial development for the Greater Toronto Airports Authority. “We know that passengers and employees at Terminal 3 will love the new location and we look forward to working with our partners at Subway for a long time to continue to bring fresh, healthy food options to the airport.”