No matter where you go, it always seems like a Subway isn’t far away, beckoning you with its unique and semi-bizarre smell, its seasonal offerings, and its guarantee that whatever you order will taste exactly the same as it did the last time you ordered it, whether it was in Mexico City; Braga, Portugal; or Peoria, Ill. And while we might think that we’ve learned all there is to know about the world’s most ubiquitous fast-food chain, there are many things you’d be surprised to learn about the company.
While today it’s the world’s largest restaurant operator, Subway began as a single, humble sandwich shop, opened in 1965 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Called Pete’s Super Submarines, it was renamed Subway in 1968, and as the founders built out their franchise plan they created a parent company, called Doctor’s Associates, Inc. (this odd moniker apparently came about because one founder had a doctorate in physics and the other was hoping to go to medical school). Doctor's Associates is still the name of Subway's parent company.
The chain expanded rapidly, and continues to expand. Its recently-returned $5 Footlongs, willingness to ride the zeitgeist with (somewhat) trendy items like wraps, consistency, and ubiquity help keep it top-of-mind, and the fact that it sells legitimately healthy sandwiches makes it, in many people’s minds, a healthier alternative to burger-based chains. Still, sales are down and the chain's reputation took a major hit when it was discovered that its Footlongs weren't actually a foot long (and when pitchman Jared Fogle was busted for being a sex offender), and the chain has introduced new offerings like antibiotic-free chicken and real carved turkey to combat the decline.
But for all we think we might know about Subway, there are a lot of interesting bits of info out there that you might not have realized. Read on for 14 fascinating facts about Subway.