Subway, the sandwich restaurant, has entered into a master franchise agreement with Shanghai Fu-Rui-Shi Corporate Development Co., Ltd. to expand its presence in mainland China, calling for nearly 4,000 restaurants over the next 20 years.
The agreement, funded by a consortium of private investors that include Asia Investment Capital, is the largest master franchise agreement in Subway history, the company said from its Miami offices this week.
Under the partnership, Fui-Rui-Shi will grow Subway’s current footprint in the market by more than seven times, the company said. The group will also acquire the exclusive rights to manage and develop all Subway locations in mainland China.
The group plans to appoint a CEO with significant quick-service restaurant experience in the Chinese market, Subway said.
“This agreement is a significant milestone in Subway’s international growth strategy as we continue to focus on strategically expanding our footprint and maintaining our position as one of the world’s largest restaurant brands,” said John Chidsey, Subway global CEO, in a statement. “China is a key market with significant long-term growth opportunity, and we look forward to bringing the Subway experience to even more guests in the region.”
Subway said its restaurant in mainland China, since coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, had experienced positive sales momentum, driven by a strong digital strategy – including third-party delivery and key partnerships with digital platforms – as well as the introduction of new menu items.
The agreement marked Subway’s 13th master franchise and development agreement in the past two years, resulting in more than 9,000 future restaurant commitments around the world, the company said.
In Asia Pacific, Subway seeks to double its current network of restaurants in the region from about 3,500 restaurants to more than 6,000 restaurants over the next five years.
Subway has nearly 37,000 restaurants worldwide.
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