Subway Tops McDonald's In World's Largest Fast Food Chain

By Mary Collins

March 8, 2011 Updated Mar 8, 2011 at 2:10 PM EDT

UNDATED (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Fast food battles don’t get much bigger than this with sandwich maker Subway zooming past McDonald's to have the most fast food outlets in the world.

The win came to light when McDonald’s disclosed its year-end store count in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing late last month. At the end of last year, Subway had 33,749 restaurants worldwide, compared to McDonald's 32,737, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The subway website now claims 34218 restaurants in 95 countries.

Subway spokesman, Les Winograd, believes some of its success is due to its private ownership and said, “"That is our choice, and the reason for that is that it enables us to focus on the product, the quality, the restaurants and not on the other things associated with a public company, like financial statements," reports The Age newspaper.

McDonald’s is still the leader when it comes to sales with $24 billion in revenue last year, reports The Wall Street Journal. McDonald’s spokeswoman, Heidi Barker has fobbed off the news and is quoted in media reports as saying, “We remain focused on listening to and serving our customers, and are committed to being better, not just bigger."

Subway is rapidly expanding its international operations and The Wall Street Journal reports that it expects its number of international restaurants to exceed its domestic ones by 2020. Subway expects one of its biggest new markets to be China where it is planning to increase from 199 restaurants to more than 500 by 2015.
In Australia there are 1232 Subway stores already well outnumbering the 830 McDonald's restaurants reports The Age.

Subway is also known for opening outlets in non-traditional locations such as a riverboat in Germany, a Goodwill store in South Carolina, and a church in Buffalo, New York. Don Fertman, Subway's Chief Development Officer is quoted in The Wall Street Journal as saying:
"We're continually looking at just about any opportunity for someone to buy a sandwich, wherever that might be. The closer we can get to the customer, the better," Mr. Fertman says, explaining that it now has almost 8,000 Subways in unusual locations. "The non-traditional is becoming traditional."

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