In the grim future years to come, we will be mandated daily to eat not a McDonald’s burger, but a Subway sandwich. Some credit for Subway’s ascension goes to the chain’s willingness to expand fast food franchising to nontraditional locations such as schools, churches, and bodies of water. CNNMoney introduces our new corporate overlords:
Subway has surpassed McDonald’s to become the world’s largest restaurant chain in terms of units, the sandwich company confirmed Monday.
Subway had 33,749 restaurants around the globe at the end of 2010, said company spokesman Les Winograd. McDonald’s had 32,737 at year end, according to a February regulatory filing from the burger giant.
“Last year was actually pretty average for us, growth-wise,” Winograd said. “We aim to open between 1,000 and 2,000 locations globally each year.”
About half of the company’s unit growth is overseas, Winograd said. Subway now has more than 1,000 locations in Asia, and it just opened its first store in Vietnam. Other high-growth nations include Brazil, Mexico, India, China, Russia and France.
“A lot of our growth has been in non-traditional spaces that our competitors might not touch,” Winograd said. “We have really unique ones, like on a riverboat in Germany, a church in Buffalo, car dealers, bowling alleys and casinos. We’re not just in strip malls.”
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