The Truth Behind Rumors of Subway Closing

People from across the world know the slogan, Subway, Eat Fresh! The catchy saying, started by the fast-food restaurant Subway, has humble beginnings as a startup by a teenager back in the 1960s. 

Exterior view of Subway Restaurant

In 1965 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, a 17-year-old kid named Fred DeLuca founded the company. Originally financed by Peter Buck, Subway used to be called Pete’s Super Submarines. 

Several years later, DeLuca renamed the sub shop Subway. Now, the company is a multinational fast-food sandwich franchise that specializes in wraps, salads, and of course, submarine sandwiches. 

In 2015, Subway was the fastest-growing franchise on the planet. As of 2021, the company had almost 40 thousand locations in over 100 countries. Subway is the largest single-brand restaurant chain and largest restaurant operator in the world. 

All of these facts sound positive. Why are there rumors of the franchise closing? Within the last few years, Subway has undergone several scandals and financial issues. Read on to learn more! 

So, is Subway Actually Closing? 

Since Subway is such a successful restaurant and franchise, it is unlikely that Subway will completely close down any time soon.

However, the rumors are not unfounded since many Subway franchisees have been closing across the globe. Additionally, the company has faced publicity and financial crises within the last several years. 

In 2016, Subway closed hundreds of restaurants in the United States. Why? One of the reasons has to do with the company’s spokesperson, Jared Fogle. In 2015, Fogle faced accusations of having sexual relations with minors, and eventually got convicted.

In 2017, Subway launched a “fresh forward” campaign that quickly failed due to questions of the company’s food quality.

Multiple accusations claim that Subway foods feature carbs, sugars, salts, and other unhealthy ingredients. Subway only receives food shipments once a week, implying that the food is not fresh, and the company has endured quality complaints from customers. 

The combination of scandals led to financial hardship for Subway. In 2017, Subway closed over 800 locations, and in 2018, the company closed another 500 locations. 

Where Did These Rumors Come From?

The rumors came from the fact that the company closed hundreds of stores worldwide, faced publicity issues, and an increase in competitiveness within the fast-food sandwich arena.

In just two years, over 1300 Subway shops closed across the globe. 

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Around the same time, the public became much more interested in locally-sourced food products rather than corporate products. Subway took a hit from this trend. 

Additionally, fast-casual restaurants took over the market like Firehouse Subs and Panera Bread.

Food trucks took off around this time as well, and supermarkets began making sandwiches from their fresh deli meat

Will It Close in the Future?

It is unlikely that Subway will close anytime soon. Subway’s previous success will keep the company in business for a long time.

However, Subway has launched several failed marketing campaigns to reset Subway to its former glory. 

In 2018, Subway spent over 25 million dollars on a rebranding campaign to address the company’s public image and appeal to younger generations. The company launched the Subway MyWay Rewards program in 2018 gave customers 4 tokens for each dollar spent. After 200 tokens, the customer earned 2 dollars. 

The company received tremendous backlash from the project. The rewards program only gave 2 dollars per 50 dollars spent. Additionally, the app’s data and software had many shortcomings, leading to customers complaining heavily about the technology. 

In 2020, Subway began offering an online catering platform. It is unclear if the rebranding and marketing efforts effectively increased sales.

Still, in 2021, Subway has almost as many locations as Starbucks and Mcdonald’s combined worldwide. In 2022, Subway reopened locations in Indonesia and Morocco. 

Subway’s former success and reopenings in locations around the world indicate that Subway will be around for a while longer. 

Other Restaurant Closings

Quiznos is another sandwich-based fast food joint that is in the process of closing shop.

In 2014, Quiznos filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court. Quiznos somewhat successfully reduced its debt later that year by about 400 million dollars. 

Post bankruptcy, Quiznos launched a series of marketing campaigns that largely failed. Quiznos continues to quickly close down locations across the country.

Another restaurant called Blimpie, a New Jersey-based fast food sub shop, rapidly declined throughout the 1990s because of Subway. As Blimpies revenue decreased quickly, investors became less interested in the company. 

By the early 2000s, a bigger company bought out Blimpie. However, the company continues to decline. In 2011, Blimpie only had 739 open stores and revenue went down to 110 million dollars. 

If you are a fan of Subway, do not worry! Subway is not going around anywhere. Subway franchises are still reopening and opening today. 

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The fast-food joint is here to stay for a while longer since the company has had so much previous success and still has an enormous amount of locations worldwide. Enjoy making subs your way! 

Check out the most popular Subway sandwiches for your next visit!


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  1. Very little meat and vegetables on sub, For a couple of dollars I can buy a real and plentiful sub any were else and the quality is twice as good

  2. When they started using that Pink hair soccer player I stopped going and will never go again. I use to eat there several times a week and more when I worked. They are a woke company and they have lost all of my family and friends. How did that advertising campaign work.

  3. We have tried going through a Subway drive-thru several times. The OPEN sign is flashing brightly but there was no one who apparently worked the drive-thru. After waiting at the speaker, we just left to go somewhere else. Today there were orange cones blocking the drive-thru. I wish they would advertise if they’re open for business or not.

  4. Just paid $6.61 for a 6 inch meatball sub! Their “12 new menu items” are horrible — gone is the choice of bread, cheese and topping… They’ve essentially just given the old sandwiches new useless names eg “The Monster” which come with predefined bread, cheese and toppings. There were 3 tiny meatballs on my 6 inch sub…about half the meat of a $2 double cheeseburger at a well known burger place with golden arches 😉 I read elsewhere this week that Subway corporate could very well be headed to filing for bankruptcy protection… I didn’t believe it then but I do now. Massive price increases are often a final desperate act.

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

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