The Subway restaurant chain recently recognized the achievements of several outstanding franchisees and developers, who each contributed to the brand’s record-breaking year as it reaches new milestones, sets records, and continues to provide business and employment opportunities globally.

"We have great admiration for the hard work and dedication of the thousands of franchisees throughout the world, who continue to be the heart and soul of the Subway family,” says Subway Chief Development Officer Don Fertman. “The franchisees are on the front lines daily, and their ability to deliver a great customer experience again and again is what keeps our fans coming back.

“In the background, providing the first line of support for the franchisees, are the development agents, who play an essential role in moving the Subway business forward, setting records in franchise sales, leases signed, and restaurants opened as we expand globally,” he continues. “Focused on three main areas of business-building profits through operational excellence, building sales through effective marketing, and building restaurants through smart development, the development agents work tirelessly to help our franchisees grow their businesses.”

To celebrate their achievements, the Subway chain has named seven franchisees, or franchisee teams, as recipients of its 2012 Franchisee of the Year awards, as well as three teams from its development community as recipients of its Development Agent of the Year awards, presented during the company's convention in Orlando, Florida.

Subway Franchisee of the Year awards are presented to the overall winners of the multiunit and single-unit owner categories from North America and the chain's international emerging and developed markets.  

Selected from among the chain's more than 18,000 franchisees from around the world, the franchisee recipients are: Eduardo DeMattos from Salvador, Brazil; Petronio Ribeiro from Belo Horizonte, Brazil; Jahangir Khan from London, England; Laurent Robin and Stephanie Lamy Libolt from Lyon, France; Tretya Kolomma LLC of St. Petersburg, Russia; David Berri from San Diego; and Mohammad Ahmed of Hackensack, New Jersey.

Competing among nearly 50 regional winners from around the globe, the Franchisees of the Year are honored for accomplishments such as adding new stores, building sales, and increasing profitability, while also achieving excellent store evaluations.

All Subway restaurants are individually owned and operated by independent franchisees who pride themselves on being active members of the communities where they live and work. They come from all different backgrounds, with varying education, business, and life experiences, yet share a basic entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to compete in the quick-serve restaurant industry.

Often from the ranks of franchisees themselves, and chiefly responsible for building and managing a geographical territory, Subway development agents provide their local franchisees with the necessary support and expertise to run a successful business.

Selected from among many exceptional candidates in North America and the chain's developed and emerging markets from around the globe, Development Agents of the Year are honored for their accomplishments in developing the Subway brand within their territory, increasing sales and profitability, and the level of service and support provided to their local franchisees.

The recipients of the 2012 Subway Development Agent of the Year awards are Leandro Debone and Guto Fugiwara from Brazil; Abdul Almutairi from Kuwait; and Kris Perrier from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, in Canada.

Since January, Subway franchisees and DAs have been responsible for adding more than 1,500 new outlets worldwide, which have provided job and career opportunities to some 15,000 men and women around the globe.

Nearly 700 of those new branches debuted across the U.S. and Canada, while almost 900 opened in other international markets.

As a result of these openings, milestones reached so far in 2012 include 37,000 locations worldwide; 25,000 U.S. outlets; 12,000 international locations; and 2,800 Canadian branches.  

Among some of the country milestone are 1,300 restaurants in Australia; 900 in Brazil; 400 in Russia; and the chain’s first locations in Romania and Suriname.

In the U.S., milestones include 2,000 restaurants in Texas and 1,200 in Illinois.

In order to maintain and surpass expansion and milestone numbers like these, the Subway brand has become known for targeting unusual or non-traditional sites where customers are, but the competition will not or cannot go.

Recent openings include Dubai International Airport, the showroom floor of Tustin Toyota in California, the campus of Pontifica Universidade Catolica in Brazil, and the Life Care Medical Center in Kuala Lumpur.

Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, Growth, News, Subway