More than a third of Quiznos’ sandwich shops in the UK have closed in the past year, due to the current financial crisis, leaving the company a long way short of its ambitious plan to open 200 franchise stores.

According to British Baker’s Top 50 Bakery Retailers poll, the US franchise chain, which sells made-to-order ’sub’ sandwiches, had 29 outlets in the UK in January, but only 17 are currently listed on the Quiznos website. A spokeswoman for the company confirmed that there had been store closures. "A lot of it is due to the financial crisis," she said. "There is an internal strategy that we are putting in place to address the current situation."

In 2007, Quiznos had outlined plans to open around 200 franchised stores across the UK by 2012. The company said that it was looking to open stores in prime locations on the high street.

Set up in 1981 in Denver, Quiznos has over 5,000 franchised stores in the US, as well as operations in 20 other countries. The UK business was started in 2001 by father-and-son team Kazem and Michael Najafi.

Rival sub sandwich chain Subway plans to reach 2,010 outlets by the year 2010. It currently has over 1,200 stores in the UK.