Subway, one of the world’s largest restaurant brands, has entered into a new master franchise agreement with Shanghai Fu-Rui-Shi Corporate Development Co., Ltd. (FRS) to significantly expand its presence in China. Funded by a consortium of private investors, including Asia Investment Capital (AIC), the deal represents the largest master franchise agreement in Subway history and one of the largest across the entire quick service restaurant industry.
Under the new partnership, FRS will open approximately 4,000 restaurants in the PRC over the next 20 years, growing Subway’s current footprint in the market by more than seven fold. The group will also acquire the exclusive rights to manage and develop all Subway locations in mainland China.
The consortium of investors brings decades of experience managing large global quick service restaurant chains across Asia. In addition, the group will appoint a chief executive officer with experience in the Chinese market.
“This agreement is a significant milestone in Subway’s international growth strategy as we continue to focus on strategically expanding our footprint and maintaining our position as one of the world’s largest restaurant brands,” said John Chidsey, Subway’s global chief executive officer. “China is a key market with significant long-term growth opportunity, and we look forward to bringing the Subway experience to even more guests in the region.”
There are currently approximately 490 Subway restaurants operating in the PRC. Across the natiion, since coming out of the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic, Subway outlets have experienced positive sales momentum. This has been driven by a strong digital strategy – including third-party delivery and key partnerships with digital platforms, as well as the introduction of new menu items.
The agreement marks the Subway’s 13th master franchise and development agreement in the past two years, resulting in more than 9,000 future restaurant commitments around the world.
In the Asia-Pacific region, the chain continues to seek partners with expertise in local markets as it aggressively doubles its current network of restaurants in that part of the world from approximately 3,500 restaurants to more than 6,000 over the next five years.
Globally, the made-to-order sandwich, wraps and bowls specialist operates nearly 37,000 outlets in more than 100 countries and territories. Subway restaurants are owned and operated by franchisees.