Subway has announced "ambitious plans" to open 3,000 stores in the UK and Ireland by 2020.
Creating around 13,000 new jobs, the business said the expansion was in response to growing consumer demand for “affordable, healthier choices”.
There are currently 1,734 Subway stores in the UK and Ireland. The company opened 150 stores in both locations last year, including new partnerships with Welcome Break and Applegreen.
In a statement, the company said that, taking into account supply chain and employment, the brand’s estimated total annual output contribution to the UK economy was over £875m, while the total annual gross value added contribution (GVA) was £464m.
Mike Charest, assistant regional director for Europe, said: “The UK and Irish markets have been fantastic success stories for the Subway brand and we see opportunities for further growth as more and more consumers demand great-tasting food at a value price point. The introduction of a varied breakfast menu and longer opening hours have been instrumental in increasing store footfall.”
Charest added that the company sees potential for openings at universities, stations, convenience stores, hospitals, airports and petrol stations.
Subway cited the introduction of its £2 value breakfast, including a six-inch Breakfast Sub and a Tropicana juice or hot drink as boosting its success.
Rachana Pancholi, Subway development agent and franchisee in Derbyshire and South Yorkshire, said: “Our success is being built on the growing demand for healthier choices that are convenient. The introduction of a varied breakfast menu and longer opening hours have been instrumental in increasing store footfall.”