For the second year in a row, the Subway restaurant chain has been awarded the top ranking in the Franchise Direct Top 100 Global Franchises Rankings, which recognized the brand for possessing "a clear business plan, a commitment to training and support, an ability to innovate and sensitivity to environmental issues."
The criteria to rank franchises includes: system size based on numbers of units; sales revenue; stability and growth; and market expansion.
"(The franchisees) are the heart and soul of the Subway family. We know that our success depends upon their excellence in operating their restaurants. We take great pride in the hard work and effort made by the thousands of franchisees throughout the world and in the millions of customers that they serve," said Don Fertman, chief development officer.
During the first quarter of 2012, the Subway chain hit two milestones: 25,000 restaurants across the U.S., and operating in 100 countries, while opening 779 new locations around the globe.
The current restaurant count is more than 36,700 locations worldwide, and the chain is on pace toward its goal of ending the year with 2,500 additional units.
One strategy behind Subway's continued growth is to open locations in non-traditional spaces such as airports, convenience stores, hospitals, factories, department stores, train stations, museums, hotels and movie theaters. Subway recently reached a milestone of having 8,000 such non-traditional locations.
India goal: 1,000 stores by 2015
Earlier this week, Subway announced it plans to operate 1,000 stores in India by 2015 through franchising. This is expected to be a $58 million investment, according to the Times of India.
The brand currently exists in 50 cities throughout India with 263 restaurants. It is focusing on tier II and tier III cities.
Read more about franchising and growth.