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.  

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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. 

Fred-&-Dr-Buck

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, flavorful 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 customizable 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. 

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Fred Deluca

Our Tribute to Fred DeLuca

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

Dr Buck Tribute

Our Tribute to Dr. Peter Buck

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

Our Future

At Subway®, good just isn’t good enough. We are constantly innovating, focused on better food and a better guest experience — from menu refreshes to an even better in-restaurant and online experience.

A glass sphere held over the Subway logo

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.

Pete’s Super Submarines

The 17-Year-Old Entrepreneur

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.

Subway

The Dream Team

Partners DeLuca and Buck formalize their partnership with Doctor’s Associates Inc. The name is derived from Dr. Buck, who holds a Ph.D., and the fact that DeLuca had initially hoped to earn enough money in the sandwich business to pay his college tuition and eventually become a doctor.

Pete’s Subway

Welcome to Subway®

The Subway® name is used for the first time.

Map of CT

Fast Forward to Franchising

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

Old BMT sign

Biggest, Meatiest, Tastiest

The brand introduces its flagship sandwich, the classic BMT. Originally named for the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit system, the build is later referred to as “Biggest, Meatiest, Tastiest,” filled with Genoa salami, spicy pepperoni, and Black Forest Ham. The first Subway® restaurant located outside of Connecticut also opens in the state of Massachusetts.

Old BMT sign

It’s Snak Time

The “Snak” sub sandwich is introduced. The name is later changed to the “6-inch.”

Subway

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.

Sandwich Artist taking bread out of oven

Fresh Out of the Oven

Subway® restaurants introduce freshly baked bread at U.S. locations.

Early Middle East store

Expanding Overseas

The brand opens its first international location in the Middle Eastern nation of Bahrain. Party Platters and the Subway Club® sandwich are also introduced.

Subway

Bienvenido a Puerto Rico

Subway® restaurants celebrate the opening of its 500th restaurant and the opening of its first restaurant in Puerto Rico. The Steak and Cheese sub and wheat bread are added to the menu.

Subway

Oh, Canada!

Subway® opens its first Canada location in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

 Outside Location, with “1,000” call-out

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.

Subway

2,000th Subway® Restaurant

The Cold Cut Combo® is introduced and the brand’s 2,000th location opens.

Subway

5,000th Subway® Restaurant!

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

C-store

Fuel Up

Subway® ventures into “non-traditional” locations, such as gas stations, convenience stores, truck stops, and rest areas, making the brand more ubiquitous.

Subway

Start Your Engines

Subway® begins its first motorsports sponsorship with Indy racing. Subway® continues to expand internationally with restaurants now open in China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Honduras, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, and Taiwan.

Screenshot of old subway.com

Subway on the Web

Subway® shines on screen in Adam Sandler’s movie, “Happy Gilmore.” Subway.com officially launches and restaurants open in Colombia, Denmark, Guatemala, Kuwait, Martinique, Nicaragua, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Would You Like That Toasted?

Would You Like That Toasted?

Toasted subs are introduced for guests looking for a warm, craveable sub.

Subway

You Know the Jingle!

Subway® introduces its long-running $5 Footlong promotion and the catchy jingle that made it famous. The brand reaches 30,000 restaurants.

Subway

Rise and Shine

Guests can now rise and shine with Subway® restaurants now offering new national breakfast offerings.

Subway

Hello, Avocado

Subway adds avocado to the menu. The 35,000th Subway® restaurant opens.

Subs Across America with Jimmy Fallon

Subs Across America with Jimmy Fallon

Late-night talk show host Jimmy Fallon pays tribute to our nation’s beloved sandwiches in “Subs Across America,” where Jimmy asked viewers to film themselves catching and throwing Subway® sandwiches. The videos were strung together to show a sandwich passed in a cross-country montage.

Fred DeLuca

Fred DeLuca Dies

Subway® co-founder Fred DeLuca dies on September 14 at age 67. Subway® also celebrates its 50th anniversary by breaking the Guinness World Records® title for most people making sandwiches simultaneously, with 1,481 people making a sandwich.

Subway® launches its Fresh Forward design

Fresh Forward

Subway® launches its Fresh Forward design, featuring a new, modernized look and feel, and improved guest experience.

New CEO

Subway® Welcomes New CEO

Subway® names John Chidsey as CEO, kickstarting the brand’s transformation journey.

2020 Curbside Pickup

A Quick Pick-Me-Up

Subway® launches curbside pickup.

Dr. Buck

Dr. Peter Buck Dies

Subway mourns the passing of Dr. Peter Buck, the co-founder and initial investor in Subway, who died on November 18 at the age of 90.

Eat Fresh Refresh

Eat Fresh® Refresh

Subway® kicks off its brand transformation journey with the Eat Fresh® Refresh, the biggest change in Subway® history, improving almost every core menu item, digital and guest experience. By August, the historic refresh results in the strongest restaurant sales since 2013.

Super Bowl

Subway®, Delivered

Subway® Delivery launches where guests can order directly from the Subway® website or app, and have their favorite sandwiches, wraps and salads conveniently delivered.

Subway Cares

Giving Back Through a Dedicated Foundation

Subway® launches the Subway Cares Foundation, an independent, global non-profit dedicated to supporting organizations fueling the potential of today’s youth through hunger relief, tuition assistance or mentoring and leadership programs.