Q&A: Does Subway Franchise in the UK?

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Subway is one of the UK’s biggest restaurant brands. In recent years, it’s seen huge success catering to customers who want a delicious sandwich ‘to go’. But does Subway franchise?


Even if you’re not a fan of takeaway food, you’ve probably heard of Subway. The American brand has firmly established itself in the UK and built up a huge pool of loyal customers, who are always keen to get their hands on tasty ‘subs’. The company’s distinctive green and yellow branding sets it apart from its competitors and attracts hungry consumers in need of a quick bite to eat.

Subway has bagged spots in all the major towns and cities in the UK, but it also has a strong international presence. In fact, the sandwich brand operates more than 2,500 stores in the UK and Ireland, and over 44,000 stores across 110 different countries. You don’t need us to tell you this is a multi-billion-pound business. It’s famous across the globe for its delicious food options, from its classic ‘sub’ sandwiches to its wraps, salads, drinks and snacks.

Does Subway franchise?

Yes! Subway uses the franchise model to expand across the world. Interestingly, more than 70 percent of new stores are launched by existing franchisees, which shows just how highly investors regard it. Clearly, they’ve reaped the benefits and are keen to increase their stake in the business by opening additional units.


History of Subway

This sandwich franchise has come a long way since its launch in 1965. Back then, college student Fred DeLuca borrowed some money from his friend Pete Bucks and opened his first store in Connecticut. It was originally called ‘Pete’s Super Submarines’, after his friend, and sold the submarine sandwich (all the rage at the time). As the business grew, the name changed a couple of times, and, in 1968, the Subway brand was born.

Today, Subway is popular for its customisable sandwiches and vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. The brand can cater to a large market and has stores in a huge range of locations. You’ll find Subway stores in shopping centres, retail, industrial and business parks; hospitals; universities; transport terminals; sporting facilities; amusement parks; and even convenience stores and petrol stations.

Starting a Subway franchise unit

You don’t need any specific qualifications or experience to become a Subway franchisee. Instead, you need the skills, personality and market knowledge to run your own business – the brand’s training team will teach you the rest. You’ll also need to be committed to the company, as a Subway franchise agreement lasts 20 years. Here’s a little more information about joining the franchise.

Becoming a Subway franchisee

If you think Subway is the right franchise for you, you can request a brochure and complete an application form. Filling out this form does not commit you to investing; it just signals your interest. Once you’ve sent off your application form, Subway will send you a Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). This record will contain everything you need to know about running a Subway store. It also includes details about the franchise fee and profit potential.

The FDD can be quite a lengthy and complex document, so we recommend you review it with a specialist franchise solicitor or financial advisor. At this point, you may also want to start discussions with your bank if you need a loan to finance your unit and talk to existing Subway franchisees. This will help you get a better sense of what it’s like to be part of the brand.

How much you need to invest

You can expect to invest a total of around £200,000 in your Subway store. While this sounds like a lot of cash, the sandwich brand offers good value for money, as it’s one of the most affordable franchises to buy based on its size and reputation. The final amount you pay will depend on several factors, including the location and size of your store.

Don’t forget, you’ll also need to pay an ongoing royalty fee and marketing fee. These are charged at eight percent and four and a half percent of your turnover respectively.

Handy tip: A more cost-effective way to join the brand is to buy an existing Subway franchise from a current franchisee. By doing this, you can reduce the amount of money you spend on set-up costs, as the store and all its equipment are usually included in the purchase price. The business’s workforce will probably stay on too, so you won’t need to dedicate time to recruitment or training.

What you get for your investment

Franchises run extensive training schemes to make sure their new investors have all the tools and knowledge they need to build a thriving business. Subway’s comprehensive induction programme gives you the chance to learn a range of hard skills and ask any questions you may have. This is your chance to find out what makes Subway such a successful franchise.

This initial course gives you a good base of knowledge, but ongoing support is always available from experienced mentors, should you need it. Whenever you have a question, concern or problem, you can get in touch with your franchisor and their support team, or talk to your fellow franchisees. The bottom line is, you’ll have an extensive network of likeminded people around you, so you’ll never be alone in business.


Get started today!

If you are passionate about succeeding with the Subway brand and have access to enough capital to set up your franchise unit, you’re in a good position to start your sandwich store. You can find out more about the Subway franchise model and how to get involved on its profile page. Click the Request Information banner to get the ball rolling.

Alternatively, why not take a look at some of our other high-performing food franchises? You’ll find everything from pretzel stalls to sweet shops, vending machine businesses to bubble tea franchises – there really is something for everyone.

>> Read more articles on the Sandwich sector

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