17 Year Old Fred Deluca's Vision 53 Years Ago

Karunyaa Dhanavathini R
May 25, 2019   •  25 views

Food industry has ventured into fast-food category with the overall rapid advancements. Busy lifestyle with minimal peer connections has led to this change. Traditional home cooking has decreased extremely over the past 5 decades. Escalating independent living has paved way for on-the-go food restaurants.

Numerous fast-food restaurants have emerged widely to address this situation in their favor. Over the years rivalry has intensified in this industry with enormous expansion in lot of countries. A major restaurant chain which has the most number of stores in almost 100 countries is Subway. It has close to 43,000 stores (as of 2018) which is the highest among its fast-food restaurant competitors.

Subway Founders

Subway was founded by Fred DeLuca in 1965 by the $1000 dollars he borrowed from his family friend Peter Buck. Subway became their brainchild when Peter wanted to help Fred earn his college tuition fees.

His self-oriented launch of Subway itself had a long-term vision. He wanted to create a fast-food venture that provided a healthful, less fattening bill of fare. DeLuca's medical dream led him to introduce a new restaurant chain. But he graduated from college only after experiencing success in his business.

It was introduced as Pete's Super Submarine in 1965. They changed their name to Pete's Subway which was again revised to be Subway in 1968.

Fred DeLuca was just 17 years old when he started his career as businessman. At that point there were few major rivalries and customers were just being exposed to fast-food genre. Fred wanted to induce difference in menu and ingredients for making his place solid in the market.

Fred and Peter opened Doctor's Associates Inc. in 1966 for managing the operations of Subway stores. It remains as the parent organization for Subway till date.

DeLuca considered McDonald's as his prime competitor from the initial days. They began franchising in 1974. He made expansion plans for Subway with McD as benchmark. Within 12 years of launching, Subway had 100 stores in 1978. It was then multiplied to 1000 stores by the end of 1987. By 2018, Subway had 43,700 stores to top the list of largest food chain restaurant among its competitors.

Fred DeLuca started all this with completely zero experience or knowledge about the business. Even franchising was initiated by them with almost no technical team to back-up the expansion. Still with just confidence to be in par with other top-notch fast-food restaurants at that time, made Fred surpass their rivals.

Along their way, Subway has experienced a lot of franchising failures, controversies on their food which led to shut down massive number of stores in various locations. From 2012 Subway faced decrease in profit eventually. It was on and off business path for Subway from there on.

Fred DeLuca was the CEO of Subway till his death in 2015 due to leukemia for which he was getting treated from 2013. From 2015-2018, Fred DeLuca's sister Suzanne Greco took over as CEO of Subway. At present Trevor Haynes is the CEO of Subway.