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What does a Subway Franchise Cost?

Subway is one of the largest opporunities in the food franchise industry with an established global brand with a proven operating system already in place. To get started, a Subway franchise costs $15,000 for the franchise fee (in the USA and Canada). The total investment is estimated between $116,000-$263,000 in the USA and $102,000-$234,000 in Canada. Subway franchisees pay 12.5% every week (8% royalties, 4.5% advertising).

Total Investment$105,800 - $393,600
Cash Required$15,000
Business TypeFranchise
Target MarketSee List

Join the #1 quick service restaurant chain in the world.

When you own a SUBWAY® restaurant, you’re part of the world’s largest restaurant chain and one of its most recognized brands, and you’ll get the support and experience that comes with it. Be part of a winning brand that keeps customers coming back for delicious meals made just the way they want.

The SUBWAY® franchise has some of the lowest start-up costs in the industry. When you join the SUBWAY® family, you’ll get world-class support before you even make your first sandwich and well beyond.

Find out if SUBWAY® is the right fit for you.

Open a Subway in any of these available states:


Become Part of a Winning Team with the #1 Franchise.

More than 44,800 locations throughout the world!

Fred DeLuca and Dr. Peter Buck opened the first SUBWAY® restaurant in the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA, in the summer of 1965. They later incorporated in the name of Doctor’s Associates Inc. The SUBWAY® chain is the largest restaurant chain in the world with more locations than any other restaurant.

Each SUBWAY® location is focused on making great sandwiches. In fact, it is so great, that many SUBWAY® customers have become franchise owners simply because they believe in the product.

Exceptional growth

Since its founding the SUBWAY® franchise system has experienced phenomenal growth, and has become the #1 Quick Service Restaurant chain in the world. In most years, about 70% of new franchises are purchases by existing owners.

Subway provides:

  • Access to formulas and operational systems
  • Store design and equipment ordering guidance
  • Site selection
  • Training program
  • Operations manual
  • Field support - representative on-site during opening
  • Periodic evaluations and ongoing support
  • Research and Development on menu
  • Informative publications
  • Continuing education

Training and Support

Before you open your Subway, you and your designee or manager will participate in a 2-week intensive training program.

Franchise World Headquarters, LLC is proud of the excellent support systems available to SUBWAY® franchisees. Ongoing support is provided before and after you open your store. As soon as you join the SUBWAY® team, you’ll have access to help to get you started. Once open, systems are in place to help you operate your location effectively.

Franchise Options

The SUBWAY® franchise has some of the lowest start-up costs in the industry. Your complete investment will depend on your location, size, and the extent of renovations required. There are traditional and nontraditional locations for SUBWAY® franchises.

  1. A traditional restaurant is one you see in a shopping center or on the street corner.

  2. A non-traditional restaurant is a store located in an airport, hospital, truck stop, college, bus terminal, or other sites associated with another business. The non-traditional locations are usually owned by existing franchisees that have proven to be very successful with the SUBWAY® system. If you own a location such as a convenience store, or any non-traditional site, you may have the opportunity to buy a franchise for that location.

Committed to Franchisees and the Environment

The SUBWAY® brand is committed to making SUBWAY® restaurants and operations as environmentally and socially responsible as possible. The brand strives to conduct business in a way that creates profit for franchisees while minimizing the impact the business has on the environment and improving the lives of SUBWAY® customers, employees, franchisees, vendors and communities world-wide.

Subway Franchise Feedback

"After working in the Subway system for seven years as an employee, first as a sandwich artist and eventually as a store manage, all while in college, I had the change to work as an Area Supervisor for a multi-unit owner. I witnessed firsthand how the Subway franchise is such a great opportunity. When I was offered the chance to buy five restaurants and become a multi-unit owner myself, it was a dream come true. The Subway system has been a very lucrative and exciting business to be a part of. It has made all my financial and personal goals a reality, while at the same time, I enjoy a quality lifestyle." - Brad Harris, Franchisee, Denver, CO. 6 franchises

"As an American, I grew up on Subway food and I was always a huge fan. I was looking for a business opportunity when I was living in Scotland and Subway was a great fit for my husband and me. We opened 3 restaurants in Scotland and we were very happy but we saw an opportunity to develop the Subway brand in France. Since my husband Eric is French, we decided to take it. We are responsible for development in Normandy and the Center North of France and now have 20 restaurants in our region. We are scheduled to open 5 more this year and we are proud to be part of the Subway family." - Allison and Eric LeFebvre, France, 20 restaurants

Join the Subway team and learn more about becoming a franchise owner. Complete the inquiry form today.

Everything you Need to Know About Starting a Subway Franchise Location

There’s no denying the fact that Subway is a household name. The fastfoodsandwich mega-brand has more than 40,000 locations worldwide. Yes let that number sink in – it’s staggering. In fact, Subway is one of the largest, most recognizable brands of fast casual chains in existence.

Located in 100+ countries, primarily in the United States and Canada, Subways are independently owned and operated. The chain hosts a wide range of location types, including mall, food court, and stand-alone locations. In 2017 a new motto was announced as “Fresh Forward,” which will include locations with self-ordering kiosks.

Subway is known for its customizable submarine sandwiches (AKA subs), salads, and fountain sodas. They also offer kids meals and sides like chips and cookies. Often marketed as a healthy way to eat fast food, Subway’s main stake is customizable orders. Customers can choose every aspect of their entrée, from opting for a wrap, to condiments, to a wide variety of meats, cheeses, and veggies. In fact, for years their motto was “Eat Fresh,” which only furthered this mantra. They are also famous for marketing tactics like “$5 footlong” where certain 12-inch subs were available for $5, regardless of location. The accompanying song and hand motions made it a $3.8 billion deal.

To-date, Subway has been listed as one of the fasted growing franchises in the world and remains as the largest single-brand restaurant chain.

The History of Subway Locations

Subwaygot its start in 1965 under the original name of Pete’s Super Submarines in Bridgeport, Connecticut.Founder Fred DeLuca was 17 years old and looking for ways to pay for college. He got the idea to start a sandwich shop, borrowed as little as $1,000 from a family friend, Peter Buck, and named the joint after its investor. The location was not a success, but taught DeLuca the error of his ways. A few years later, in 1968, the pair rebranded as Subway, and listed under its parent company of Doctor’s Associates Inc. (Named for DeLuca’s goals of attending medical school and Buck’s doctorate degree in physics.)

Next, the pair created a plan to expand their newly successful stint in making sandwiches, this time, through franchising. By 1974 they expanded into Wallingford, Connecticut and in 1978, they had made their way to the West Coast by opening a location in Fresno, California. Then in 1984 they made themselves an international chain, opening a franchise in Bahrain, a country in the Persian Gulf.

By 2007, Subway broke records as they surpassed McDonald’s for having the most franchise restaurant locations inside Walmart supercenters.

Other notable milestones:

In 2015 they were named as the Fastest Growing Franchise. In 2010 they were the largest fast food chain worldwide with a whopping 1,012 more locations than McDonald’s.

While undergoing recent changes to the business, founding member, Fred DeLuca remained the company’s CEO until he died from leukemia in 2015, after which his sister, Suzanne Greco took over as president and CEO of the worldwide chain.

Challenges Ahead for Subway Restaurants

Is Subway a dying franchise? According to the data, not by a longshot.

In 2016, Subway closed hundreds of restaurant locations in the United States, after experiencing their first fiscal year with net losses at those locations. Despite downsizing, however, the chain remained the most-occurring franchise restaurant – again ahead of McDonald’s, which was listed as second in line. (A common theme is McDonald’s and Subway running neck-and-neck for various titles, including most-recurring fast food locations.)

At its peak, Subway had 27,000 units. But between 2015 and 2020, they downsized by 12%, a path that was further exasperated by the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, the location was also met with negative media allegations and unflattering publicity, which led to their rebranding and updating the company’s marketing practices.

It’s safe to say this was a less than favorable time in Subway’s history. However, despite the hits, the brand remained overwhelmingly popular. They re-branded and incorporated new strategies to offset the bad energy, and they persevered through it all.

In a large part, this was done through following data and remaining on-brand for the franchise location. They didn’t reinvent the wheel, they didn’t carry dead weight. They cut what wasn’t working and focused on what was – and for their efforts, they came out ahead on the other side. And then some.

Despite the obstacles that have been put in their path, Subway’s franchise locations have continued to dominate the market and remain profitable.

Why Choose the Subway Franchise System?

Have you ever wondered if a Subway franchise is a good investment? Do you wonder how much profit Subway makes? Or even how much Subway makes per sandwich?!

As a potential investor or Subway franchise owner, these are all valid questions.

Opening a business can be risky and doing so alone is generally a longer and more detail-oriented process. Especially in its beginning stages. However, the beauty of working with a franchise – and an established one at that – means that the kinks have already been worked out of the business. All that’s left is to move forward with a successful model, and to adapt it to your particular market.

In addition, partnering with a renowned brand brings customers to the door immediately.Upon opening, people know who you are and what you do; your brand is set up for success. In addition, customers typically like to know what they are getting before they frequent a business, and this includes restaurants. Oftennewly opened, unknown restaurants do not see business start to become consistent for months, sometimes even taking years to build trust.

Why? When folks don’t know who you are, they’re less likely to patron your services. People want to know what type of food there is available, they want to know if it’s going to be good, and they want to have a handle on price-point – just to name a few deciding factors in why folks eat where they eat. The main take-away, however, is that customers are more likely to eat at well-known, established franchise locations. And Subway is more than just well-known.

When a new franchise location is opened, that new spot carries the reputation of its sister restaurants across the globe; this reputation allows new unit owners to be off and running immediately. As the franchise owner, you can rest at ease with this peace of mind. But you can also revel in the fact that smart, professional, and pointed help is there for you when you need it. You aren’t opening this business alone, but instead, you have an entire list of qualified pros on your team.

This means new franchisees can earn more money, in less time, just by working with an established brand. And one that holds a solid reputation. Keep in this mind when choosing your franchising brand and consider how your pockets can grow by choosing well. Not only in brand recognition and reputation, but in help for your franchise location when you need it most.

What’s the Cost of a Subway Franchise Location? Subway Franchise Costs (Including Subway Franchise Royalties)

As mentioned above, Subway franchise locations come with an established brand that reaches global audiences. They also offer quick brand and product recognition for the majority of consumers. That being said, Subway operating fees are lower than most businesses within the quick casual food space. AKA, with Subway, you can get more bang for the buck.

In the United States and Canada, the franchise fee sits at $15,000. Outside of North America, it ranges between $10,000 and $15,000, depending on location. For instance, Subway franchise costs will vary from Subway franchises in Pakistan, and so on. Each continent, each country will have its own fees. To find you more exact Subway franchise costs based on your location, get in touch.

The total estimated cost of a Subway franchise location is estimated to be between $102,000 and $263,000 for each establishment. This cost can be determined by a number of factors, including location (and building size vs. kiosk, etc.), remodeling fees, location improvements, equipment, hiring costs, and more.

Royalties and advertising fees are also in play at 12.5% of profits – this is split up with 8% as Subway franchise royalty fees and 4.5% in marketing costs. These are most often paid or charged at a monthly rate and are based off of location revenue.

What Do you Get with the Cost of a Subway Franchise?

Investing in a Subway franchise comes with many perks … and many moving parts. When you buy your own Subway franchise location, you gain access to a growing number of business resources and perks.

This includes a business roadmap, an intensive two-week training program at their world headquarters (located in the Northeastern portion of the United States), ongoing support from the franchising brand themselves, and more. In addition, support is available in many formats. Including: local development offices, online assets, and so on.

The corporate branch of Subway will help you choose a site for your restaurant, they’ll help choose and order equipment, design your store, advertise, and grow sales in your market space. These sections come from the Site Selection team, which includes local business development workers, a field representative, and a leasing team. That way your decisions are pointed toward your particular market, not Subway customers as a whole.

Meanwhile, the corporate branch will also offer support through supplies and materials, and training employees.

In short, everything that’s needed in order to create a successful franchise location will be included when purchasing your Subway restaurant. Because it’s in the company’s best interest for you to be profitable, they will do everything within their power to help create that success from day one. (And going forward.)

From start to finish, you will have tools at your disposal to learn the necessary skills to run your business, and pointed help in setting your physical location up for business. Meanwhile, you’ll help train workers and get ready for opening day. Everything you need when opening your Subway franchise location will be made available to new franchisees.

Tips to Purchase an Existing Subway Franchise

Another method to running a Subway franchise location is to purchase an existing restaurant. AKA Subway franchise for sale. This means that the franchise has already been opened and is up and running, you would simply take over as owner and run daily operations. In order to do this successfully, take a look at these important tips:

  1. Do your due diligence – research the offer, interview owners, read disclosure documents, and have all of the above looked over by professionals (like consultants, lawyers, and accountants). Do the legwork now to ensure you aren’t hit with any unwelcome surprises later.
  2. Plan to pay yourself if this will be your full-time career. Work your salary into the budget sooner rather than later. This will show more accurate numbers and assure you get paid, even on a month where profits (and therefore your bonus) is down.
  3. When you need help, ask for help. Don’t get stuck or feel like you’re in this alone. Your franchising brand is there to help … and they want to offer it. But they are also unlikely to offer if you don’t first ask.
  4. Follow and learn the systems put in place to take full advantage of choosing a franchise. The system is there for a reason: it works. So avoid any loopholes or shortcuts. They might make sense to you at the time, but overall, you need to learn as much as you can about the business, so don’t overlook and instead, put in the time to learn what’s involved.
  5. Plan for lifestyle changes, especially as you get the business off the ground. Your franchise company will likely need more time and money in early stages. This means sacrificing free time or extra spending cash while you are working toward success. Remember that this won’t always be the case, but it’s a necessary step in moving forward with your new business.

Subway is one of the largest fast casual eating franchising brands to-date. Consider placing your Subway franchise application. To learn more about their business model or how you could benefit from joining their growing team of franchise owners, contact today.



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