Subway and SouthRock, a leading Brazil-based multi-brand restaurant operator, have signed a master franchise agreement to expand Subway’s footprint in Brazil, one of the company’s largest markets. The agreement is the first of its kind for Subway in Latin America and aims to further the company’s broader international growth strategy.
Under the agreement, SouthRock, a licensed operator of Starbucks and TGI Fridays in Brazil, will acquire the exclusive rights to manage and develop all Subway locations in the market, including providing operations, development and marketing support to franchisees. The partnership will accelerate Subway’s growth, with SouthRock expanding Subway’s current footprint of more than 1,600 locations in Brazil over the multi-decade term of the agreement.
“As Subway’s first master franchise agreement in Latin America, and the company’s largest agreement in an established Subway market, today's announcement with SouthRock marks an exciting moment in our global and regional expansion plan,” says John Chidsey, Chief Executive Officer, Subway. “We are looking forward to leveraging SouthRock’s extensive knowledge of the Brazilian market and guest preferences as we begin this new chapter for Subway in Brazil.”
SouthRock plans to update existing and open new restaurants in Brazil with Subway’s modernized "Fresh Forward" design, meeting the needs of today’s guests with comfortable, inviting indoor dining spaces. In addition, they will expand delivery and online ordering options, with a strong digital first strategy.
“At SouthRock, we pride ourselves on our hands-on approach to food and beverage management in Brazil with a focus on building trust with our partners (how we call our employees) and empowering them to deliver experiences that exceed our customers’ expectations,” says Ken Pope, Founder and CEO, SouthRock. “Our management team’s track record is one built on growth through operational excellence, and our values are based on our respect for our employees and the communities we serve. SouthRock is committed to caring for and growing the Subway brand, now and into the future.”
“Today’s agreement signifies the first step in our ambitious growth plans for Latin America, setting the tone for similar agreements in other countries throughout the region as we work to partner with sophisticated operators to support the brand on our growth journey,” says Jorge Rodriguez, President of Subway’s Latin America & Caribbean region. “SouthRock’s extensive experience growing brands in Brazil and focus on operational excellence will elevate Subway’s presence in the market even further.”
SouthRock’s executive management team holds extensive experience owning and operating major national and international food and beverage brands in Brazil. Prior to founding SouthRock in 2015, Pope previously built a multi-brand portfolio of leading Brazilian food and beverage brands. With more than 25 years in the retail and food & beverage industries in Brazil, SouthRock partner and COO Antonio Neves was the Managing Director for Brazil at International Meal Company (IMC) prior to working alongside Pope in his previous multi-brand portfolio. Fabio Rohr, SouthRock partner and CFO, brings more than 20 years of experience in the local and international financial market.
The agreement with SouthRock is part of Subway's multi-year transformation journey to improve across all aspects of the brand as the business expands its presence around the world. In Latin America and the Caribbean, Subway plans to significantly increase its restaurants count in the coming years.