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Bagging The Sack Lunch

Franchising reinvents the school lunch.

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This story appears in the March 1999 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The days of sack lunches are quickly becoming a thing of the past as franchises like Subway, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and Domino's make their way into school cafeterias. According to a 1996 report from the U.S. General Accounting Office, the percentage of public schools offering brand-name fast foods increased from 2 to 13 percent between 1990 and 1996. Fifty-five percent of the cafeteria managers surveyed in the report said the students asked for brand-name fast foods, and another 46 percent said their food authority or district made the decision to provide brand-name foods.

"I've seen a definite trend, and it's growing," says Corinne Yocher of Subway. "Every year we add more schools." In 1997, Subway had 687 delivery programs, nine on-site satellite locations and 20 school franchises.

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