Subway is one of the biggest restaurant chains globally, with more than 37,540 locations worldwide in more than 100 countries. Further, Subway’s success can be seen in its $8.3 billion in domestic sales in 2020.
However, Subway has been declining over the past few years as competitors take over. So, if you’re curious about Subway’s competitors, you’re not alone! I’ll tell you about some of those top Subway competitors!
Subway Competitors In 2023
Subway’s primary competitors are McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King, and Wendy’s since they have a loyal customer base with quality food as of 2023. Submarine shops, including Jersey Mike’s and Jimmy John’s, are competitors to Subway because these restaurants have comparable menu items and similar earned revenue.
Do you want to know even more about Subway competitors, such as which fast-food restaurants come close in size or revenue, read below to find out those details and more!
McDonald’s is the biggest competitor to Subway since it’s the most well-known and popular fast-food chain in the world.
So, while you can’t get the same items at McDonald’s as you can at Subway, it has a loyal customer base that enjoys hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, and fries.
Currently, there are over 39,000 McDonald’s locations worldwide in more than 120 countries, making it the biggest competitor to Subway.
Additionally, McDonald’s earned $19.21 billion in revenue in 2020, and it continuously earns considerable revenue, whereas Subway’s revenue has been steadily dropping through the years.
KFC is known all over the world for having insanely good fried chicken. That said, it’s a top competitor to Subway for sandwiches.
Also, there are over 25,000 KFC locations worldwide, in 145 countries, so it has excellent advertising and resources to lure in consumers, whether in America or overseas.
On top of that, KFC’s revenue topped $5.65 billion in 2020, making it one of the leading fast-food chains in the world.
While you might not think of Starbucks as competition to Subway, it’s when you look at how Starbucks has adapted to the needs of customers and comes out with new products.
Furthermore, Starbucks is known as the second-best quick-service restaurant where it’s created a name for itself, specializing in coffee products and other beverages.
Currently, Starbucks has 32,943 locations, allowing it to generate revenue in 2020 of $23.5 billion, significantly more than Subway with fewer locations.
Domino’s has been able to make a name for itself and establish a loyal customer base, making it a competitor to Subway, even though Domino’s is Italian cuisine and not subs.
Additionally, Domino’s has become a hit in the international market and has continued to add products to the menu that people want, such as pasta and wings.
Further, Domino’s has 18,300 locations in more than 90 countries with a 2020 revenue of .12 billion.
5. Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut is a competitor to Subway in that it can maintain a customer base and quickly respond to the needs of customers by adding new products and making existing products better.
Also, Pizza Hut has 17,600 locations throughout 110 countries and topped $11.955 billion in revenue for 2020, making it more successful than Subway.
6. Taco Bell
Taco Bell is one of the top fast-food restaurants in the United States and abroad since it offers a vast menu selection.
On top of that, Taco Bell is constantly innovating and coming out with new products to keep customers interested, which is why it’s a top competitor to Subway.
What’s also great about Taco Bell is that it’s cheap, so you can feed an entire family for less than $20, which you can’t do as easily at Subway.
Additionally, there are over 6,000 Taco Bell locations in 26 countries, and in 2020, Taco Bell made “.03 billion in revenue.
7. Burger King
Burger King has established itself as one of the top burger chains globally, competing with Subway and similar restaurants as the go-to place for quality fast food.
What’s more, Burger King continues expanding, and it now has 18,000 locations worldwide in more than 100 countries!
On top of that, Burger King amassed “.6 billion in revenue in 2020, showing it’s a stiff competitor to Subway all over the world.
8. Dunkin’ Donuts
Dunkin’ Donuts competes with Subway for the fast-food consumer and has a loyal fan base that loves its coffee products as much as they love the sweet treats.
At Dunkin’ Donuts, it offers some great breakfast sandwiches, and its coffee is one of the most well-known brands in the world.
Further, Dunkin’ Donuts posted $287.4 million in revenue in 2020 from its 11,300 locations within 36 countries.
A major competitor to Subway is Wendy’s, one of the top burger chains in America. That said, Wendy’s serves delicious hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, and dessert items.
Additionally, Wendy’s has decent customer service, and the drive-thru is usually quick to get through compared to some restaurants.
Moreover, Wendy’s has 6,500 locations throughout 29 countries, helping it generate “.73 billion in revenue in 2020.
Known as one of the healthiest fast-food restaurants, Chipotle has become a dominant force in the fast-food industry. Therefore, it’s a great competitor to Subway.
Whether you want a taco, burrito, or bowl, you can find it all at Chipotle with the ability to customize your meal with a host of toppings and ingredients.
Currently, Chipotle has 2,768 locations and 33 stores internationally, allowing it to make a whopping $6 billion in revenue in 2020.
Chick-fil-A is a top competitor to Subway because it offers chicken sandwiches, salads, and other delicious food items. Also, Chick-fil-A has an overlapping customer base with Subway.
On top of that, you can get Chick-fil-A almost anywhere regardless of where you live, and quick delivery services make it easier to choose Chick-fil-A over Subway.
Further, Chick-fil-A is one of the healthiest fast-food restaurants you can go to, and it’s known for being one of the top choices in customer satisfaction and excellent customer service.
Currently, Chick-fil-A has 2,769 locations that you can find in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, with a reported .3 billion in revenue in 2020.
13. Pret a Manger
Pret a Manger is a competitor to Subway since it’s a sandwich shop based in the United Kingdom known for fresh sandwiches, soups, and coffee.
That said, there are 502 Pret a Manger locations in the United Kingdom, United States, France, and Hong Kong with a reported 2020 revenue of £299m.
Popeyes is one of the top chicken chains in the United States that competes with Subway for the fast-food consumer, plus it has some amazing chicken sandwiches!
With that, Popeyes has been a player in the fast-food market for a long time but has become even more famous after releasing the classic and spicy chicken sandwich.
With more than 3,400 locations in 30 countries, Popeyes has become a huge success, which is indicated by the $5.143 billion systemwide sales during 2020.
15. Papa John’s
Papa John’s is another pizza restaurant that has become quite the competitor to Subway. At Papa John’s, menu items include Italian cuisines such as pizza, wings, and subs!
Further, it offers delivery which is great for people who don’t want to go out and get food. On top of that, the food quality has improved significantly over the last several years.
Additionally, Papa John’s has over 5,400 locations in 50 countries, making it a perfect competitor for Subway.
Also, it earned “.81 billion in revenue for 2020, which shows just how powerful and popular the pizza market is.
16. Tim Hortons
Tim Hortons has quality customer service and is known for having amazing coffee. That said, it’s incredibly popular in Canada but has excelled throughout the United States too.
Further, Tim Hortons has 5,000 locations worldwide, mostly in Canada, but the United States has the second-most locations.
Moreover, Tim Hortons operates in 14 different countries, helping it earn $5.488 billion in 2020 revenue.
Arby’s is a direct competitor to Subway in the sandwich market because Arby’s has some great sandwiches, such as Fresh Market deli sandwiches and the iconic curly fries.
On top of that, Arby’s made .22 billion in revenue in 2020 from 3,500 locations within the United States.
However, you can find Arby’s in countries outside the US, like:
- South Korea
18. Jimmy John’s
Jimmy John’s sandwiches are delicious, and if you live near any of the 2,700 locations in the United States, it’s worth a try if you’re into subs and deli sandwiches.
Therefore, it’s a competitor to Subway in that Jimmy John’s specializes in cold deli subs, with an excellent variety to ensure you can find a sub that is just right for you.
Further, the popular sub shop posted $1.925 billion in sales in 2020, which is right up there with all of the other Subway competitors.
Another famous sub shop is Quiznos; although subs at Quiznos are primarily hot subs, it has a decent menu selection to make it a competitor to Subway in this market.
However, Quiznos is declining rapidly and now makes less than $100 million a year in sales from the mere 300 locations within the United States and 200 locations internationally.
20. Jersey Mike’s
Jersey Mike’s offers delicious subs at all of its 1,910 locations in the United States. So, it’s a big competitor to Subway for those who love subs and sandwiches.
On top of being a hit in the United States, there are three locations in Queensland, Australia, and two found in Ontario, Canada, helping it post $255.4 million in revenue in 2020.
21. Raising Cane’s
Raising Cane’s specializes in chicken fingers, but it’s still a competitor to Subway that now has more than 360 locations in 23 states.
In addition to that, it has international locations, including in Lebanon, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia. Further, Raising Cane’s made $1.5 billion in revenue in 2020.
22. Penn Station East Coast Subs
Penn Station East Coast Subs is a competitor to Subway, although its hot and cold subs are more expensive than Subway.
Still, Penn Station East Coast Subs operates in 310 locations within 14 states, allowing it to earn $212.5 million in revenue in 2020.
23. Mod Pizza
Mod Pizza allows you to customize your pizza order and include any toppings you want, making it a great competitor to Subway in the fast-food market.
Currently, there are more than 500 Mod Pizza locations in the United States, with one site in Canada and the United Kingdom.
On top of that, Mod Pizza is incredibly popular, as evidenced by the $388 million in 2020 revenue it reported.
24. Shake Shack
If you like hamburgers, cheeseburgers, or milkshakes, then Shake Shack is the place to go! That said, it’s a competitor to Subway for the fast-food consumer.
Moreover, the restaurant is becoming more popular and expanding into new locations to lure more customers away from other establishments such as Subway.
Shake Shack has 250 locations globally, including Europe, the United States, the Middle East, and Asia, which helped it post $157.5 million in revenue for 2020.
To know more about Subway, you can also see our posts on why is Subway called Subway, why is Subway failing, and how old is Subway.
Subway has quite a few competitors, including fast-food restaurants such as McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s, which are all global fast-food chains that have a loyal customer base.
On top of that, pizza chains such as Pizza Hut, Domino’s, and Papa John’s compete with Subway, as pizza is known as one of the most popular fast-food items!
Also, Subway competes with other sub shops, including Jimmy John’s, Jersey Mike’s, and Quiznos.
However, other fast-food restaurant chains such as KFC, Chick-fil-A, Raising Cane’s, and Popeyes compete with Subway, although these chains specialize in chicken.