Food trends come and go, but good fast food is a staple in the American diet. Although it’s well-known as the less-healthy option, people still enjoy their burgers, fries, and shakes. However, one fast-food chain isn’t having much success lately: Subway.
The chain sandwich shop closed more than 900 stores in 2017 and some 500 in 2018. Plus, more closures are possible in 2019. One report found that the chain currently has as many as 1,100 fewer locations than it had one year ago. The last time Subway had so few restaurants was back in 2011, and this is the first time they have had fewer than 25,000 restaurants since.
Subway spokespeople said the company is focusing on restaurant optimization and having locations in the most profitable areas. That’s why the company also expects to add more than 1,000 new locations worldwide, including in Mexico, the United Kingdom, China, and India, while closing down others. “As part of the optimization plan we shared last year, to achieve this goal some owners will close, relocate, or remodel their locations and that will result in slightly fewer, but more profitable restaurants,” the spokesman said.
Subway isn’t the only fast-food restaurant closing down locations. Applebee’s, Outback, Noodles & Company, and Joe’s Crab shack are closing restaurants, too. Despite all these closures, Subway is still the largest fast-food chain in America. It even beat out runner-up McDonald’s, which accounts for 11.3 percent of fast-food chains in comparison to Subway’s 18.5 percent. One way McDonald’s does have Subway beat, though, is in its age.