The first Subway franchise was born in 1974 even though founder Fred DeLuca opened his first store 9 years earlier. Today there are currently over 29,000 Subway franchises spanning the globe in over 85 countries. Entrepreneur magazine has ranked Subway the number one franchise 13 out of the last 17 years, so its a rock-solid franchise.
Even with its amazing popularity and tremendous track record, the real question is deciding whether or not owning a Subway franchise is the right choice for you and your family. There’s a ton of things you should consider when making this big of a choice, so let’s identify what the positives and negatives are.
First of all, the total cost of entry and the total investment to get started ranges anywhere from $101,000 to $285,000. The reason for the big discrepancy depends on whether you’re buying an existing franchise or you’re having to build one or start one from the ground up. Other costs may include remodeling, leasing equipment, inventory, etc. Typically, the down payment that’s required must come from your personal liquid assets and can NOT be borrowed or come from a loan. That fact right there might eliminate some potential franchise owners.
Every Subway franchise pays a royalty fee to the company, specifically 8% of their overall gross sales. This is very important to understand because losing 8% right off the top before you pay for any rent, equipment, inventory, marketing, employees, etc can make a difference in whether or not you’re profitable. On the other hand, in exchange for the royalties the franchisee’s are rewarded with a strong brand recognition and national advertising campaigns.
As far as sales are concerned, 2800 sandwiches and salads are sold every 60 seconds. This provides a pretty constant flow of customers and expected sales. Potential franchise owners feel comfortable with this knowing that their stores most likely will not be empty. Besides, people have to eat somewhere, right?
On the flip side, you are at the mercy of your store location when owning a Subway franchise. No matter if you are open 24 hours, a location can only serve so many customers and can only make so much money. Obviously the product can not be sold online or in other areas, so actually getting traffic to the store is the only way to make sales. In this regard, the Subway franchise is NOT scalable. An entrepreneur would probably have to own multiple locations to really generate the kind of income they would be looking for in owning a franchise.
Furthermore, to buy a franchise, you must have good credit, have considerable net worth and you have to be approved by the company. Once again, this could potentially eliminate more prospective franchise buyers. In the end, owning a Subway franchise is a solid way to have a great chance of success but keep in mind that to really make it big, you’ll probably have to own about 10 or more.