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.Contact Us
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
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.Contact Us
Our Tribute to Fred DeLuca
From his humble beginnings to the creation of a sandwich empire.
Our Tribute to Dr. Peter Buck
His legacy will continue to live on through the brand he worked so hard to build.
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.
Take a peek at our company history and see how we've grown to become one of the world's largest restaurant brands.
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.
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.
Welcome to Subway®
The Subway® name is used for the first time.
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.
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.
It’s Snak Time
The “Snak” sub sandwich is introduced. The name is later changed to the “6-inch.”
Picking Up Speed
The development of Subway® restaurants picks up, with the 200th restaurant opening in Renton, Washington.
Full Speed Ahead
In just one year, Subway® opens an astounding 100 restaurants, with the opening of the 300th location.
Fresh Out of the Oven
Subway® restaurants introduce freshly baked bread at U.S. locations.
The brand opens its first international location in the Middle Eastern nation of Bahrain. Party Platters and the Subway Club® sandwich are also introduced.
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® opens its first Canada location in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
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.
2,000th Subway® Restaurant
The Cold Cut Combo® is introduced and the brand’s 2,000th location opens.
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.
Subway® ventures into “non-traditional” locations, such as gas stations, convenience stores, truck stops, and rest areas, making the brand more ubiquitous.
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.
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?
Toasted subs are introduced for guests looking for a warm, craveable sub.
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.
Rise and Shine
Guests can now rise and shine with Subway® restaurants now offering new national breakfast offerings.
Subway adds avocado to the menu. The 35,000th Subway® restaurant opens.
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 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, featuring a new, modernized look and feel, and improved guest experience.
Sub Delivery Partnerships
Subway® launches its third-party delivery program with its partners — DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates, and Uber Eats — and 9,000 restaurants enroll at launch.
Subway® Welcomes New CEO
Subway® names John Chidsey as CEO, kickstarting the brand’s transformation journey.
A Quick Pick-Me-Up
Subway® launches curbside pickup, available at over 12,000 locations.
Subway® Delivery launches where guests can order directly from the Subway® website or app, and have their favorite sandwiches, wraps and salads conveniently delivered.
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.
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.
Opening The Vault at Super Bowl LVI
Subway® launches The Vault, its exclusive menu featuring sandwiches created by notable sports stars. At Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles, thousands of football fans had the chance to enter the Subway® Vault and receive an autographed signature sandwich from Marshawn Lynch, Russell Wilson, and Trevor Lawrence.
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.