The storefront of the original Pete’s Subway

The Subway® Story

Where it All Began

The Subway® story began in 1965 when 17-year-old Fred DeLuca asked his family friend, Dr. Peter Buck, a nuclear physicist, for advice on how to pay his college tuition. With an idea to open a submarine sandwich shop and an initial $1,000 investment from Dr. Buck, the two formed a business partnership that would ultimately change the landscape of the quick service restaurant industry.

The partners opened their first restaurant in Bridgeport, Connecticut, in August of 1965, where they served freshly-made, customizable and affordable sandwiches to local guests.

Creating a Strong System

By 1974, Fred and Dr. Buck owned and operated 16 submarine sandwich shops throughout Connecticut. But, to take the brand even further and reach their 32-restaurant goal in time, the pair decided to begin franchising — a business model that launched the Subway® brand into a period of incredible growth and popularity.

Guiding Principles

As the Subway® brand grew over the decades, Fred and Dr. Buck remained true to three core values and principles, which still guide the brand to this day:
  • Always provide exceptional service to valued guests
  • Offer high-quality, flavourful menu options at a great value
  • Never stop evolving to improve the Subway® brand

Subway® Today

Today, Subway® has grown to become one of the world’s largest restaurant brands, serving customisable and signature sandwiches, wraps and salads to millions of guests, across more than 100 countries in more than 37,000 restaurants every day. Subway® restaurants are owned and operated by a franchisee network that includes more than 20,000 dedicated entrepreneurs and small business owners – who are all committed to delivering the best guest experience possible in their local communities.

RELATED CONTENT

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Our Tribute to Fred DeLuca

From his humble beginnings to the creation of a sandwich empire.

WATCH HIS STORY

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Our Tribute to Dr. Peter Buck

His legacy will continue to live on through the brand he worked so hard to build.

WATCH HIS STORY

Subway® Timeline

Take a peek at our company history and see how we've grown to become one of the world's largest restaurant brands.

Fred DeLuca and Dr. Peter Buck

The 17 Year Old Entrepreneur

A recent high school graduate, 17 year old Fred DeLuca, and family friend Dr. Peter Buck team up to open their first submarine sandwich shop in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Originally called “Pete’s Super Submarines,” they sell 312 sandwiches the first day. The average cost of a sub was between 49 cents and 69 cents.

Welcome to Subway®

Welcome to Subway®

The Subway® name is used for the first time.

The first franchised restaurant opens.

Fast Forward to Franchising

DeLuca and Buck decide that franchising is the best way to kick-start the chain’s growth. The first franchised Subway® restaurant opens in Wallingford, Connecticut.

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Picking Up Speed

The development of Subway® restaurants picks up, with the 200th restaurant opening in Renton, Washington.

Map with 300th store

Full Speed Ahead

In just one year, Subway® opens an astounding 100 restaurants, with the opening of the 300th location.

Freshly baked bread is introduced.

Fresh Out Of The Oven

Subway® introduces freshly baked bread at U.S. restaurants.

Restaurants open in Hawaii and The Bahamas.

Growing, Growing, Growing

Continuing its rapid growth, Subway® reaches a milestone of 1,000 restaurants now open, and the brand opens its first locations in Hawaii and The Bahamas.

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5,000th Subway® Restaurant!

The Subway® restaurant chain reaches its goal of 5,000 restaurants with an opening in Texas. The first Subway® restaurant opens in Mexico.

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Ireland Expansion

Subway® crosses the Atlantic Ocean to open its first restaurant in Ireland.

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UK Expansion

Subway® goes further just one year later, opening its first restaurant in the UK.

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100 UK Restaurants

Just 8 years after the first opened in the UK, Subway® passed the 100-restaurant milestone. By 2005, there was 500 restaurants across the country.

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Subway® Celebrates 2,000th Restaurant Opening

Subway® brand celebrated the opening of its 2,000th restaurant in the UK and Ireland, with a new restaurant in the Jarman Leisure Park in Hemel Hempstead. There are now more than 2,300 restaurants across the UK and Ireland.

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Subway® Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Subway® celebrates its 25th anniversary of operating in the UK and Ireland.

 Signature Series

Subway® Series Launches in the UK and Ireland

On May 31st, Subway® brought the new Subway® Series menu, offering two ways to Subway®, to all restaurants in the UK and Ireland. Guests now can choose from a choice of specially crafted and mouth-watering ready to order recipes or create their own.