MILFORD, CONN. — Doctor’s Associates, Inc., the owner of the Subway fast-food chain may be exploring a sale of the business, according to The Wall Street Journal. The process is in the early stages and the business may be valued at more than $10 billion.
In a statement to the newspaper, Subway said it did not comment on ownership structure and business plans. With 37,000 stores in 100 countries, the company is one of the largest fast-food chains in the world by store count.
The news comes nearly eight months after Subway announced an updated business strategy focused on transitioning from a development-focused organization to an experienced-focused organization, with priorities centered on optimizing the brand’s footprint to prepare it for future growth, investing in modernizing restaurants and broadening Subway’s franchisee profile.
One of the first steps the fast-food chain took is ensuring its restaurants were in the right format and locations, including drive-thrus and non-traditional locations, to deliver on convenience, accessibility and value.
Second was an investment in remodels. Subway said in May 2022 nearly 9,000 of its US locations had committed to remodels with the brand’s contemporary “Fresh Forward” design. More improvements were to be made to the format and layout of locations as the restaurant chain moved forward in the transformation.
The final step of the strategy involved broadening franchisee profile. Subway said it was “actively inviting” well-resourced, multi-unit franchisees to join the company while at the same time discussing the potential acquisition of existing operators who wish to retire or sell.
The company also has sought new opportunities in non-traditional outlets like convenience stores, casinos, hospitals and airports, through its Grab & Go platform that launched in 2020.“As more of our guests search for dining experiences to meet their ‘in-the-moment’ needs, the brand’s non-traditional locations and platforms can serve them wherever and whenever they are craving Subway,” said Taylor Bennett, vice president of non-traditional development at Subway in November. “As Subway focuses on strategic and profitable growth, there is a significant opportunity to expand our footprint in non-traditional locations and for franchisees to generate incremental revenue for their business.”