Subway is selling the Sandwich Company

On Tuesday, Subway announced that it was looking into selling the sandwich business.

Since its inception in 1965, the Subway restaurant chain in Milford, Connecticut, has been privately held. With 37,000 locations spread across more than 100 countries, it is currently one of the biggest restaurant chains in the world.

There is no timeline for a sale and there is no guarantee that one will ever take place, according to a statement on Subway’s website. The company is receiving advice from J.P. Morgan, who will also handle the sale exploration process.

Current years have seen Subway losing market share to quickly expanding competitors like Panera and Firehouse Subs, which offer more variety menus and more recent locations.


After taking note, Subway launched a modernization initiative for its stores in 2017. It updated its menu and ingredient quality in 2021, and it debuted a line of sandwiches created by chefs the previous year.

READ MORE: The Restaurant Industry in Canada: Struggling to Stay Afloat

How many Subway stores are there in Canada?

According ScreapHero data, as of February 13, 2023, there are 2,920 Subway locations across Canada. With 1,090 sites, or nearly 37% of all Subway stores in Canada, Ontario is the province with the most Subway restaurants.

Why is Subway considering to sell?

It reached a degree of success enjoyed by few other chains thanks to its phenomenal expansion throughout the 1990s and into the Great Recession. It was on par with ideas like McDonald’s in 2013 when it held 41% of the market for limited-service sandwich chains in the Technomic Top 500.

Given that limited-service sandwich chains have ideas like Panera Bread and Arby’s that are distinct, even that understates its dominance. In other words, when it came to other sub chains, Subway outperformed most other ideas.

That’s not the situation anymore. Over the previous eight years, Subway’s market share in limited-service sandwiches has decreased. Its market share among the Top 500 sandwich chains has decreased to 28% due to sales issues and location closures.

It’s important to remember that 2020 was a unique year and perhaps underestimated Subway’s entire market position. As consumers have grown more at ease eating in restaurants, it may recover this year. Though many other chains experienced comparable outcomes, other operators report that their sales have increased over the last six months compared to the same period in 2019.

Market supremacy is still held by Subway. System sales were $3 billion more than Panera’s and $4 billion higher than Arby’s. Despite all of its issues, it is still a giant.

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