Subway, one of the world’s largest restaurant brands, is continuing to strategically expand its international footprint and recently celebrated the signing of its 15th new master franchise agreement over the past two years.
The brand’s latest agreements in Bahrain, Georgia, Mainland China, Uruguay, Costa Rica and Panama will add more than 4,000 future restaurants across Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Asia Pacific (APAC), and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) within the next 20 years. Since 2021, Subway has signed 15 master franchise agreements or country development agreements across EMEA, LAC and Asia Pacific, totaling more than 9,000 future restaurant commitments.
The master franchise agreements are a continuation of Subway’s international strategy to partner with experienced, well-resourced operators with specific market expertise as it strengthens its global presence. The master franchisees will have exclusive rights to manage and develop Subway locations in their respective countries and have committed to remodeling existing locations as well as opening new restaurants in the brand’s current, contemporary image.
“There is significant opportunity for Subway to expand its presence around the world and the new master franchise agreements are a reflection of the confidence that operators have in Subway and our transformation journey,” says John Chidsey, CEO of Subway. “As we continue to execute against our international expansion strategy, we are excited to grow the brand with new and existing international multi-unit and multi-brand operators to serve more guests around the world.”
The agreement in Bahrain will reestablish Subway’s footprint in the country — where it opened its first restaurant outside the U.S. in 1984. Food Innovation Company, the new master franchisee, is one of the oldest, family-owned companies in Bahrain, and will help reconnect loyal Bahraini guests to the brand and introduce new ones to Subway’s freshly-made, craveable food.
In Georgia, Subway’s agreement with Wissol Group will significantly increase the number of restaurants in the country, expand the brand’s presence into new cities and solidify Subway’s position as a destination for new and existing Georgian guests. Bahrain and Georgia mark the sixth and seventh master franchise agreements in EMEA as the region plans to double its footprint in the coming years.
Mainland China marks Subway’s largest master franchise agreement to date. The consortium of investors, joining the Subway family as Shanghai Fu-Rui-Shi Corporate Development Co., Ltd. (FRS), bring decades of experience managing large global QSR chains across Asia and will grow Subway’s current footprint in the market by more than seven times.
In LAC, Subway is partnering with Grupo Vierci, a multi-unit, multi-brand operator with experience in the quick service restaurant industry as well as retail brands, to more than double its presence in Uruguay. In addition, Subway signed master franchise agreements in Costa Rica and Panama with operators that are familiar with Subway’s business model and a history of success in their respective regions. With these new partners, LAC now has four master franchise agreements in the region, including Brazil, with more to come.
In the past 18 months alone, the brand has opened over 1,000 new restaurants globally, with more than 40% driven by master franchise agreements.