Subway Restaurants is the leading submarine sandwich franchise in the United States and the world with 20,532 restaurants worldwide located in 72 countries. Restaurant locations continue to increase year over year from an annual rate of 4 percent in 1999 to 14 percent in 2003. Brand recognition grows as market geographically expands. The new Tuscany Décor reinforces the idea of a fresh, healthy and great tasting menu items. Recent additions such as the Atkins friendly sandwich wraps should establish a stronger association between just good tasting fast food to now healthy tasting fast food as concerns continue to grow about the increasing obesity problems.
A diverse menu continues to provide a healthy alternative to burger chains which continues to support overall growth. Target markets continue to include individuals with incomes over $55,000, students, and young professionals in high population centers, and individuals concerned with their health including the overweight.
With over control of over 59 percent of the market, Subway 's closest competitor continues to remain Quizno 's. Concern over their ability to erode Subway 's customer base from older franchise "no frills" restaurants is a concern. A newer addition to the submarine sandwich market is Burger King with their various grilled chicken submarine sandwiches on baguettes. With over 11,000 restaurants, this could develop into a major threat.
Recommendations include focusing marketing survey studies on the ability of Quizno 's and Burger King to erode customer base. Further evaluation is needed concerning the results of trial direct marketing of coupons through text messaging. The response rate for the 800 text messages sent out for free Subway sandwiches was 8 percent. This is greater than the average response to paper coupons and could be a great avenue to target the technology dependant target market.
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