Is Subway Fast Food? (You’ll Be Surprised…)

Subway is known for offering its customers ultimate customization when it comes to its food. With a range of sandwiches, salads, melts, and more on the menu, it’s easy to find something for everyone at Subway.

Fans of the franchise may wonder if Subway is classed as fast food. I’ve done the research, and here’s what I’ve found out about Subway!

Is Subway Fast Food?

Subway is classed as fast food. The franchise is fast-food because all of Subway’s food is prepared before the customer arrives and doesn’t need cooking. With over 400,000 stores in operation, Subway is considered the largest fast-food franchise in the world. 

For more information on whether Subway can be considered fast-food, including how it’s classified and if Subway is fast-food or fast-casual, just keep reading!

Can Subway Be Considered Fast Food?

Fast food is a type of service that involves partially prepared, limited options often sold through counter-service, the same model Subway uses.

Therefore, people classify Subway as a fast-food franchise.

For example, many menu options at Subway are pre-prepared or pre-cooked, like vegetables, chicken, steak, and meatballs.

According to the “History” section of its website, Subway classifies itself as the world’s largest restaurant chain, likely due to fast food’s unpopular stigma.

Is Subway Fast Food or Fast-Casual?

While some people have defined Subway as fast-casual due to its method of preparing the food before its customers, several people still classify it as fast food.

For example, FastCasual has defined Subway as fast food due to its low prices, around the $4 to $5 range, and informal décor.

Also, many menu items at Subway are pre-cooked and pre-prepared.  

Is Subway the Biggest Fast-Food Chain?

Is Subway The Biggest Fast-Food Chain?

Yes, Subway is the largest restaurant chain globally due to its business method of franchising its restaurants, which allows for fast expansion.

Initially, Subway started as an individual sandwich shop in Bridgeport, Connecticut, in 1965 and didn’t become a franchise until 1974 with the opening of the second store in Wallingford, Connecticut.

In 1974, over 16 Subway stores were in operation within Connecticut before expanding to other locations, including Bahrain in 1984, the United Kingdom in 1996, and more.

In 1990, Subway opened its 5,000th restaurant, and now it has over 400,000 individual stores in operation, making Subway the biggest fast-food chain.

Due to its business model, which allows for rapid expansion, Subway has overtaken rival McDonald’s for the number of stores in operation.

Is Subway Better Fast Food?

Subway uses its reputation as a healthy fast-food alternative as a competitive advantage to expand its business.

McDonald’s, which was previously the largest fast-food chain in the world, has been overtaken by Subway in the number of franchises the sandwich shop has opened.

The rise of attention regarding obesity, animal rights, and other ethical issues has created a bad reputation for fast-food restaurants such as McDonald’s.

On the other hand, Subway has avoided a negative image due to its reputation, allowing continued growth.

Now that you know about Subway, you can also see our related posts on whether or not Subway sells coffee, whether Subway’s veggie patty has eggs, and if you can buy Subway bread.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of

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