Subway Confirms That It’s Exploring a Sale

Reporting in January said that the QSR was on the market and could be valued at more than $10 billion.

February 16, 2023

MILFORD, Conn.—Subway confirmed that it is pursuing a possible sale of the company. In January, The Wall Street Journal reported that the privately held company was exploring a sale and could be valued at more than $10 billion.

According to a statement from the QSR, J.P. Morgan is advising the company and will conduct the sale exploration process. “There is no indication of timing or assurance that a sale will occur,” the statement said.

“The management team remains committed to the future and will continue to execute against its multi-year transformation journey, which includes a focus on menu innovation, modernization of restaurants and improvements to its overall guest experience,” the statement said. “The company recently announced another record-setting year, ending 2022 exceeding global sales projections and achieving eight consecutive quarters of positive same-store sales growth.”

In the face of increased competition and changing consumer habits, Subway’s U.S. footprint has grown smaller in recent years. It lost a total of 999 locations in 2019, 1,609 in 2020 and 1,043 in 2021, although there are still about 20,000 U.S. locations, with average annual sales of $478,400 in 2022.

In 2022, Subway revamped its menu to focus on its “Subway Series” of sandwiches, which represent a movement towards faster-to-make, more standardized sandwiches.

Earlier this month, John Chidsey, Subway’s CEO, told The Wall Street Journal that the QSR wants to increase its number of international locations to about 25,000, up from its current 16,000. Chidsey cited less competition internationally and said that Subway sandwiches can fit multiple dietary preferences.

Subway, founded in 1965, is still controlled by the founding Buck and DeLuca families.

With c-stores increasingly competing directly with QSRs, recruiting foodservice pros is more important than ever. NACS Magazine gave tips for keeping c-store kitchens fully staffed in its October issue.