The sandwich firm Subway has once again been chosen as the number one franchise opportunity in North America in Entrepreneur magazine’s 27th annual Franchise 500 rankings.

The sandwich firm Subway has once again been chosen as the number one franchise opportunity in North America in Entrepreneur magazine’s 27th annual Franchise 500 rankings. This marks an excellent achievement for the food franchiser, as it has been in first place for the 14th time in 18 times. It has also held the number one designation since 2001.

Among the factors examined in the Franchise 500, considered the most detailed and valued franchise ranking system in the world, are financial strength, growth rate, company stability, start-up costs, percentage of terminations and the size of training and marketing systems.

Subway has received a number of other awards since the turn of the century, which include all parts of the business. One such example is being ranked first for customer service among US fast food restaurants in Corporate Research International’s Real People Ratings: Best of 2005 report, where mystery shoppers carried out tests on a number of outlets.

All this is a far cry from when the business, originally called Pete’s Super Submarines, was established in 1965 by Fred DeLuca and family friend Peter Buck, with Mr DeLuca hoping it would make him enough money to finance his university education.

After struggling through the first few years, the appeal of the shop, where people can eat a range of sandwiches with fresh ingredients, meant that there was great potential to expand the business and so in 1974 the firm, now called Subway, began franchising.

Offering a healthier alternative to many fast-food restaurants, the franchiser has taken advantage of a worldwide consumer trend over the last decade to eat more food with many nutritional benefits.

There are Subway franchises in several countries, including the UK, and recently the number surpassed 25,000. The franchiser also runs a number of initiatives and programs to promote its healthy food ethos. Its latest project is introducing California Fit Fresh Value Meals in 1,700 stores across the state, which comprise of “fit” items for adults and children.

California Fit adult meals contain sandwiches that have six grams of fat or less, a choice of apples, raisins and low-fat potato chips, with Diet Coke and water the drink options. Kids’ Pak meals have a light deli round, with only one per cent fat milk or apple juice available to drink. Both these meals are low in total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol, with the children’s option in particular containing a good source of essential nutrients such as vitamin C, calcium and iron.

This scheme is part of Subway’s pledge to support the Governor of California’s Get Healthy California program. Last year, Arnold Schwarzenegger praised the company for its long-standing commitment to providing consumers with fresh and nutritious quick service dining.

To find out more about becoming a franchisee with Subway click here.

Alternatively to view a selection of UK catering franchises please click here.

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