In the last decade, while other franchise chains have bounced in and out of the Top 10 like corn in an air popper, Subway has topped the Franchise 500Â® list nine out of 10 years. Considering the ups and downs of the economy, not to mention the rapidly changing American palate, it’s astounding that one company could sustain that level of momentum and profitability without faltering. Even this year, when the recession seems to have reshuffled the entire Franchise 500Â®, the $5 Footlong is still on top. It’s a true testament to Subway’s strategy â€” and America’s love affair with the sandwich.
In all, 21 sandwich shops made this year’s ranking â€” smaller chains scattered across the U.S., but in many cases, showing strong growth in the shadow of the giant sub itself. Charley’s Grilled Subs has 120 new outlets; Jimmy John’s, 170; Jersey Mike’s, 42; and Firehouse Subs, 30.
Meanwhile, Subway opened 1,833 new locations last year.