Meet John Chidsey, Subway CEO

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subway ceo

You don’t have to walk far down a British high street to be greeted by the smell of herby, doughy goodness. Today, we consider who the current Subway CEO is and whether you can start your own franchise with the brand.


In recent years, there have been a number of changes at the top of one of the fastest growing franchise’s hierarchy. Here, we take a look at the two men who have been in control of the brand most recently.


Who is Subway CEO, John Chidsey?

The current Subway CEO is John Chidsey. He was formerly the Chairman and CEO of Burger King Holdings and became the CEO of Subway in November 2019. Before joining Burger King, John Chidsey was the Chairman and CEO for two corporate divisions of business and consumer services provider, Cendant Corporation. He was responsible for the Vehicle Services division, including Avis Car Rental.

subway ceo

The owners of Subway made this statement when John joined the leadership team:

"We're very pleased to have John join our Subway family. His diverse business background and global food and beverage expertise will help us continue the evolution of the Subway brand. He will help drive our commitment to always deliver exceptional experiences for our guests and continued support for our franchise owners. Interim CEO Trevor Haynes will continue with the brand in the role of President North America."

Who is Trevor Haynes?

The Australian businessman joined Subway in 2006 and was appointed as the acting CEO from June 2018 until November 2019.

A first for the Subway restaurant brand

Trevor Haynes’ appointment marked a remarkable departure for the fast food chain, as it has previously always been headed and managed by a member of the founding family. John Chidsey is, therefore, the first permanent CEO of Subway who isn’t related to one of the founders.

trevor haynes

Trevor Haynes as Subway CEO

It would be wrong to suggest that Trevor Haynes was neither capable of performing the role, nor sufficiently qualified to become full-time CEO of the business. Time and time again, within the Subway organisation and outside, he proved himself a genuinely competent businessman. His appointment also suggests that those at the top of the company have some idea of the challenges that face Subway.

Previously responsible for franchisee and field engagement, Trevor Haynes represents a step away from the management style of previous CEOs. While Suzanne Greco was a talented businesswoman, she was not universally beloved by franchisees, and many considered her an inept CEO.

John Chidsey hasn’t made many comments on his appointment to CEO. However, he did release this statement:

"I am honoured to be joining such an iconic global brand, and I am most excited about the future of Subway. I look forward to learning from and working with the many constituents who have built this brand."

What is Subway?

Subway is one of the largest fast food restaurants in the world and one of the most recognisable brands in the quick service restaurant (QSR) sector. With around 42,000 locations spread across 112 countries, the CEO position is a prestigious and demanding role that requires great talent and a wealth of experience.

How did it all start?

The Subway story began over 50 years ago when a nuclear physicist called Dr Peter Buck uttered a few simple words to his college friend, Fred DeLuca: “Let’s open a submarine sandwich shop”. Buck came up with the initial investment of $1,000 and, with this, created a business relationship that would shape the future of the fast food industry and the cravings of millions.

The business went from strength to strength under Fred DeLuca’s stewardship. Presiding over a period of astounding growth, he took Subway from a single restaurant in Connecticut to the global superpower that’s found on high streets and in shopping centres all over the world.

The brand is now the biggest submarine sandwich chain across the globe. This is most likely because it is the leading choice in the industry for hungry customers who want a quick, healthy meal and enough choice to keep the whole family happy.


Does Subway franchise?

Yes, it does! And it’s looking for franchisees through our franchise platform. Below, you can see the full details of the franchise opportunity.

  • How to become a Subway franchisee: Subway is looking for savvy entrepreneurs with a passion for the brand. You should have expertise in the market and display good time management and communication skills. You also need to abide by its procedures and follow the training and site selection processes.
  • How much you need to invest upfront: In order to be accepted as a franchisee, interested entrepreneurs will need to make a minimum investment of £85,570. However, you can get help with funding from one of Subway’s financial partners, so as long as you have good credit standing, you could get bank loans that cover up to 70 percent of the cost.
  • What you get for your investment: In order for you to be able to run your own Subway franchise confidently, the brand provides a two-week training course that is carried out in one of its many training centres across the globe. Even after your business gets off the ground, Subway continues to provide support in the form of e-courses and communicates through newsletters. There is help with finding the perfect location, but bear in mind that setting up a store could take anything from two months to a year. Don’t fret though – Subway will be there for you every step of the way.

Other franchise opportunities in the fast food industry

Papa John’s

As a leading pizza delivery chain, Papa John’s offers thick crust pizza, dough-based snacks, drinks and desserts. Founded in the US in the 1980s, Papa John’s expanded into the UK in 2000 and now has more than 5,000 branches across 45 countries worldwide, achieving an annual revenue that exceeds $3 billion.

  • How to become a Papa John’s franchisee: Investors looking for a slice of the action do not need previous experience with a food franchise, as long as they are business-oriented and possess good communication skills.
  • How much you need to invest upfront: A minimum investment of £100,000 and £18,500 in franchise fees will be required to get a Papa John’s store up and running.
  • What you get for your investment: New franchisees will benefit from a six-week training scheme that includes marketing support, as well as a royalty reduction programme and a free oven.

Wok to Walk

You’ve probably seen Wok To Walk’s black and orange logo on the high street somewhere. Ever wondered if you could own your own? Well, read on to find out more about the exciting opportunity.

There are over 85 Wok To Walk stores giving customers their Asian food fix and taking the food service industry by storm.

  • How to become a Wok To Walk franchisee: The franchise opportunity is flexible. You can open a flagship store or a hole-in-the-wall spot, it’s up to you! It’s the versatile business model that attracts all types of customers.
  • How much you need to invest upfront: Restaurant start-up costs can vary, but you’re looking at around £100,000 for the minimum investment cost.
  • What you get in return: As well as operating under a globally recognised brand name, you will benefit from a tried and tested training programme. The HQ team works with franchisees and provides bespoke consultancy services and support.

Own your own Subway franchise

We’ve taken a closer look at Subway’s current CEO and the businessman who held the temporary position before. If you have ambitious dreams to become the Subway CEO one day, running your own business is a great start. You can view Subway’s company profile here for more details and see another one of our articles dedicated to the franchise opportunity here. Or, if you’re not convinced that Subway is the right fast food franchise for you, why not consider seven other well-known brands that operate a franchise model?

>> Read more articles on the Fast Food sector

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