Subway is back in the news for a couple of reasons:
One reason is strictly business: Reuters reported last week that a pair of private equity firms may team up to buy the restaurant chain, which put itself up for sale early this year.
The other reason is also about money, of course, but in a zany, “wait a minute, they did what?” kind of way.
Subway announced Thursday that their promotion asking superfans to show their super fandom had gone so well that 10,000 people had moved to change their names legally to “Subway” in exchange for sandwiches for life.
The “Subway” name promotion is in line with the latest installment in what Subway calls its “multiyear transformation journey.” The company, which remains one of the world’s largest chain restaurant operations despite closing thousands of outlets in recent years, is under pressure to improve the bottom line both for itself and its individual franchise owners.
“This update is Subway’s most complex, investing more than $80 million to bring deli meat slicers to more than 20,000 U.S. restaurants and installing a slicer every five minutes over the course of nine months to get ready for this summer’s debut,” Subway said in a news release. “To showcase its new freshly sliced meats, Subway’s culinary team spent over a year crafting the recipes for its Deli Hero subs.”
Subway will select one winner at random from those nearly 10,000 people who vowed to adopt “Subway” as their first name. The winner will also get money to cover legal fees to complete the name change.
The Reuters report, quoting people familiar with the matter, said private equity firms TDR Capital and Sycamore Partners are in talks to join together to acquire the sandwich giant.
Subway is one of the largest restaurant chains in the world. In an in-depth look at Subway and at how much an average Subway franchise owner makes, StartupNation found these key points:
- Initial investment in a Subway franchise is often lower than outlays for other franchises: Expect a franchise fee of $15,000 plus an estimated $207,000 to $477,000 to invest in a store, according to Subway’s estimates.
- Success depends not just on total sales, which can be affected by location, competition and other factors, but also on how well franchise owners manage labor, food and other costs.
- The benefit of Subway is not in owning a Subway franchise so much as owning multiple Subway franchises, according to several Subway franchise owners who posted about their experience on the StartupNation community forum. Posters say that multi-unit owners get the most out of the experience.
In early 2023, Subway confirmed it had hired JPMorgan to explore a possible sale of the company. Coming off a strong 2022 that saw its same-store sales climb 9.2%, Subway said its strategy was paying off.