Subway is the largest restaurant franchise in the United States. The Subway chain has been established for about 38 years and it has reached number one in increased percent sales and consumer awareness over time. Subway's accomplishments are mainly due to its brand awareness, product image and diversity in the fast food industry. However, in the presence of strong competitive pressure from its rivals, Subway has to make some strategic changes in order to prosper in the market place. This paper is aimed to give a thorough situational and SWOT analysis based on the facts presented in the case as well as internet updates. Additionally, some recommendations on Subway's marketing strategies that are specifically on product, price, promotion and competition will also be discussed.
In 1965 Fred DeLuca and his partner Dr. Peter Buck, founded Pete's Super Submarines restaurant in Bridgeport Connecticut, mainly with the intent of making enough money to fund Fred's college education (History, 2003 para. 8). With the success of the first operation, came visions of expansion and growth. With that vision, Fred DeLuca and his partner Peter Buck began what would be later known as one of the top franchises in North America. The duo changed the name to Subway and started to franchise in 1974. Since then Subway has experienced steady growth over the years. It has topped Entrepreneur Magazines Franchise 500 list for top franchises for 11 years now. Subway strives to offer a healthy alternative to fast food restaurants, boasting a count of 20023 restaurants in 73 countries (FAQS, 2003 para.1), making it the undisputed market leader for sub shops. Review of Organization and Product
Subway is a franchise specializing in the submarine sandwich market segment with emphasis on providing its customers healthy choices, fresh ingredients, and value. Subway provides consistent national advertising and shares the cost of advertising with its franchisees through Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust, SFAFT, (McDonald, 1998 para. 30). As part of the franchisee training, operators are trained in proper food handling techniques. Food is to be prepared fresh daily and temperatures monitored regularly (FAQS, 2003 para. 19). Subway offers seven menu categories each with five to seven different choices of subs. The categories include: subway classics, subway 7 under 6 (7 choices of subs that are under 6 grams of fat), subway selects, salads, kids pak, fresh value meals 1 and fresh value meals 2. All subway sandwiches are individually made to customer specification of toppings, cheese, and condiments. In international locations, special attention is given to dietary restrictions for example in Muslim countries, pork would be substituted with chicken, lamb or turkey (FAQS, 2003 para. 32). Relevant Facts
In 1990 at least 5000 Subways were opened, by 1993 when it reached 8400 stores, Subway became the No. 2 franchiser with McDonald's being No. 1(McDonald, 1998 para. 1). However in sales Subway is ranked 12th among nationwide chains (McDonald, 1998 para.1). As of 2002,worldwide sales totalled $5.7 billion (FAQS, 2003 para.11). Subway has expanded internationally to 73 countries including Australia, Japan, Israel, Ireland, Mexico, and Portugal just to name a few. With growth and profits comes competition. With low set up costs and small capital investment it is easy to enter the submarine sandwich industry. To gain their share of the profits from subs, traditional hamburger establishments such as Burger King have started to offer subs as part of their menu further increasing competition. Current Situation
Currently Subway is going through growing pains. On one side we have dissatisfied franchisees, who claim they were sold unrealistic financial projections for sales and profit. Adding to their poor return on investment is the fact that new store openings are cannibalizing sales...