With more than 44,000 locations across 110 countries, Subway is the world’s largest fast-food franchise. Since its birth in 1965 as a small sub shop, the sandwich king has grown into a corporate giant, one with an interesting history, to say the least.Here are 20 surprising facts that you probably didn’t know about Subway.
20 Subway Facts That May Surprise You
Subway serves about 5,300 sandwiches every 60 seconds, which is roughly 320,000 sandwiches every hour.
Or think of it like this: 7.6 million subs every day, Business Insider reported in 2014. That’s enough to feed every person in Los Angeles, Dallas and Chicago combined.
Subway made its debut in the fashion industry in 2013, when it launched “Project Subway,” a New York City fashion show and competition challenging up-and-coming designers to create Subway-inspired designs.
In 2014, designers were instructed to create garments “inspired by vegetables found at Subway restaurants.” In the year prior, the task was to create pieces out of sandwich wrappers, napkins and gift cards.
The first Subway shop opened by the teenage entrepreneur was called “Pete’s Super Submarines” in Bridgeport, Conn.
On average, a sub would cost $0.49 to $0.69. The shop sold 312 subs on opening day.
What makes all subways smell the same?
Although it remains a mystery, it’s hinted that the smell comes from the bread: each store bakes its own bread by thawing it before baking it behind the counter. Supposedly, the “caramelization smell of the sugar has something to do with it,” but it’s unknown what truly makes Subway's smell so unique.
Jared Fogle, Subway's now infamous former spokesperson, lost 245 pounds eating Subway sandwiches every day.
Fogle ate a six-inch turkey sandwich for lunch and a foot-long veggie sub for dinner. His secret? He never added cheese or mayo to his sandwiches.
In 2013, Australian teen Matt Corbey took to Facebook to publish his disappointment with his 11-inch “footlong” sub after he measured a sandwich.Corbey’s post sparked controversy. A class action suit was filed shortly after by people complaining about 11-inch sandwiches. Just this year, the case was settled: Subway agreed to institute practices to ensure its footlongs are actually 12 inches and paid $520,000 in legal fees and $500 to each of the 10 individuals who filed suit.
The company may have been fooling us all with its “Eat Fresh” slogan.
Although it is FDA-approved, the ingredient azodicarbonamide, a chemical commonly used in yoga mats, shoe rubber and synthetic leather, was found in the sandwich chain's bread products. Subway phased out the ingredient by mid-2014 after a backlash.
A 2012 study conducted by UCLA and other research centers found that kids and young adults (ages 12 to 21) consumed roughly the same amount of calories eating a meal at Subway or McDonald's. They ultimately overate at both. Calorie counts were based off of the nutritional information provided on each company’s website.
The study also revealed that on average, McDonald’s sandwiches tend to be less caloric than Subway’s (572 vs. 784 calories).
In Buffalo, N.Y., you can head over to Sunday morning service and pick up a footlong sub while you’re there.
The Rev. Darius Pridgen of True Bethel Baptist Church opened up the franchise in 2003 to provide job opportunities and feed the hungry.
Subway broke a Guinness World Record.
In 2015, Subway broke the Guinness World Record for “Most people making sandwiches simultaneously.”At its annual convention in Las Vegas, 1,481 people -- including employees, vendors and suppliers -- made sandwiches at the same time.