Subway has introduced a new program for military veterans designed to reduce their costs associated with the purchase of a new franchise.

Under the new program, the $15,000 franchise fee is waived for anyone who has been honorably discharged from the United States military who wishes to open a Subway restaurant on a government or military installation.

Also, the franchise fee will be reduced by 50 percent for any veteran opening a Subway unit at any non-military or non-government location.

"This is our way to honor the brave men and women who have served our country over the years by providing a viable option for their post-military careers," said Don Fertman, chief development officer for the Subway restaurant chain. "This small gesture will make it easier for veterans to adjust to civilian life or help them follow their dream of owning and operating their own business."

Subway has more than 250 military locations around the world.

End-of-year growth report

Subway reported its franchise unit growth today for the period of Oct. 1 through Dec. 21. During that time, the chain opened more than 500 new restaurants around the world. This has lifted the number of Subway locations to more than 33,700. Of those, 9,900 exist in international markets.

During the last part of 2010, Subway marked milestones with the opening of its 50th restaurant in Brazil and in Malaysia, and location number 2,400 in California.

Subway’s non-traditional component now totals more than 7,700 locations in airports, department stores, hospitals and parks, and recreational facilities. The most recent non-traditional units include airports in Alberta, Malaysia and Singapore; the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad; hospitals and medical centers in the United States; a hotel in Mexico; and a zoo in Taiwan.

Also closing out the year, Fertman made an appearance on CBS’s “Undercover Boss” television show. The episode aired on Nov. 21 and featured Fertman working the front lines of stores incognito.

"We are the number one chain in the world, and we always look for ways to deliver an exceptional experience to our customers each and every day," Fertman said. "We are all proud of our Sandwich Artists, store managers and franchisees, who consistently demonstrate the entrepreneurial spirit that is the foundation of the Subway system."