Who Owns Subway? + Other Common FAQs

Subway is known for its signature submarine sandwiches and other freshly prepared and customizable menu items. Subway has over 40,000 locations across the globe, indicating the appeal for healthy fast food.

Fans of the fresh sandwich franchise may be wondering who owns Subway, including which company owns Subway, who founded Subway, and more. I’ve done some digging, and here’s what I’ve learned!

Who Owns Subway?

Subway is owned by the parent company Doctor’s Associates, Inc. Originally, Subway was founded by Fred DeLuca in 1966 after a $1,000 donation from Dr. Peter Buck, after whom Subway was initially named ‘Pete’s Super Subs.’ Also, all Subway restaurants are franchises, which pay the parent company around 8% of their revenue.

For more information about who owns Subway, including if it’s owned by McDonald’s, how much it costs to open your own Subway, and more about where Subway is originally from, just keep reading!

What Company Owns Subway?

Subway is owned by Doctor’s Associates, Inc., which is its parent organization.

Furthermore, Doctor’s Associates, Inc. was created by founder Fred DeLuca and Dr. Peter Buck, who opened the first Subway together.

The DeLuca and Buck heirs are now in charge of Doctor’s Associates, Inc., with 50% of the company each following the passing of Fred DeLuca in 2015.

However, Doctor’s Associates, Inc. does not own a single Subway location, as each store is a franchise, yet collects 8% of revenue. 

Is Subway Owned By McDonald’s?

No, Subway is not owned by McDonald’s and is instead a direct competitor. While McDonald’s is a public company, Subway is privately owned.

Because Subway does not own any of its restaurants (they’re 100% franchised), McDonald’s owns around 20% of its restaurants, with 80% owned and operated by an independent franchisee.

Also, there are more Subway stores in the world than McDonald’s stores.

Is Subway Individually Owned?

Subway is franchised, meaning the company does not own any of its stores.

That said, the 40,000 Subway locations worldwide are all independently owned and operated, including individual pricing for each area.

Where Is Subway Originally From?

Where Is Subway Originally From?

Subway was originally founded in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Additionally, the first Subway store was opened in 1966 by Fred DeLuca in association with Dr. Pete Buck. By 1974, there were 16 Subway stores in Connecticut.

Why Is Subway Called Doctor’s Associates?

Subway is owned by the parent company Doctor’s Associates, Inc., which was created in 1968.

The company was named for the founders, Fred DeLuca and Dr. Pete Buck.

Because one founder, Buck, had a doctorate in physics and the other founder, DeLuca, planned to attend medical school, “Doctor’s Associates” was born.

What Does It Cost To Open a Subway Franchise?

To open a Subway franchise, it’s estimated to cost $15,000. With that, Subway has been noted as one of the cheapest fast-food restaurants to open and franchise.

However, there are additional start-up costs to opening a Subway, ranging from $116,000 to $263,000, depending on the location.

Subway has links on its websites to instruct you how to open your own Subway franchise, including owning a franchise.

Furthermore, Business Insider has conducted a breakdown of costs for opening a Subway restaurant, including potential property costs, which can be around $2,000 to $24,000, and equipment, which can be around $3,000 to $65,000.

After all of these costs, a Subway franchise can generate around $417,000 annually in sales.

But, Subway franchisees are required to give 12.5% of sales to corporate.

Of the 12.5% charge, 8% is used for franchise royalties, whereas 4.5% is used for advertising.

Who Founded the Subway Sandwich Franchise?

Fred DeLuca founded the Subway franchise in 1966 with the help of a family friend, Dr. Peter Buck, who loaned him $1,000.

However, Subway didn’t become a franchise until 1974, when DeLuca and Buck opened the second Subway store in Wallingford, Connecticut, around 30 miles from the site of the original Subway.

Then, the first international Subway franchise was opened in 1984 in Bahrain.

Today, there are around 500 Subway stores per state within the United States, with 26,000 franchises.

Also, DeLuca continued to oversee the day-to-day operations of the Subway company until he passed in 2015.

To know more, you can also read our posts on why is Subway so expensive, why is Subway called Subway, and the Subway refund policy.

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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 QuerySprout.com.

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