The popular sandwich franchise sets up shop in some unlikely spots.
“Non-traditional Subway restaurants come in all shapes and sizes and can be found just about anywhere,” said Don Fertman, chief development officer for the SUBWAY restaurant chain. “Because of the Subway concept’s flexible floor plans, minimal space and equipment requirements and popular menu offerings, Subway restaurants are uniquely suited for these special sites, which are an integral part of our overall growth and on-going development strategy, and have been a large contributor to our record breaking 137 months of consecutive positive growth.”
Notable non-traditional SUBWAY locations include the True Bethel Baptist Church in Buffalo, N.Y., where the pastor is the franchisee and uses the store to teach job skills to area residents who are in need of a helping hand; a new car showroom in California; and a high school in Detroit, in which students run the restaurant as part of a business class curriculum and can qualify for college credits by talking online University of SUBWAY training and job development courses.
“There was certainly a need for a retail food business to be located in the Toledo North Assembly Plant, a two million square foot facility that produces Jeep and Chrysler vehicles. They closed the cafeteria because of downsizing, but still needed a way to provide food options. So, we got together and started talking and developed a pre-ordering system that could feed up to two thousand people in 10 minutes,” said Marc Hall, a former supermarket chain executive, and franchisee since 1989 who owns and operates 10 SUBWAY restaurants.
Hall’s original idea for the plant called for one main restaurant and two satellite locations where factory workers could pick up their orders. Now there are plans for a third satellite and he’s in talks with plant management to possibly open in another facility.
“It is great that Subway is able to fit into these locations much easier than any other brand. The plant employees appreciate having the Subway menu available to them and I enjoy being able to offer them a healthier alternative to traditionally fatty fast food,” Hall said.
In addition, travelers in Germany can enjoy the spectacular scenery as well as a SUBWAY submarine sandwich or salad while traveling down the Rhine aboard the MS Stolzenfels, which is part of the KD Deutsch riverboat fleet. There is also a SUBWAY restaurant at Goodwill Industries in Greenville, S.C., which is part of a program dedicated to helping people with barriers to employment learn the skills needed to better provide for themselves and their families. And one of the more unique locations is the SUBWAY restaurant at the construction site of 1 World Trade Center, formerly known as the Freedom Tower, in New York City, where the restaurant is hoisted up to the next level as each floor of the 105 –story building is completed.
“These non-traditional restaurants enable the Subway chain to provide an increasing number of business opportunities to new and existing franchises and offer healthier meal options in venues where other brands cannot or will not go,” said Fertman, who was featured earlier this year in the hit CBS program Undercover Boss. “They not only provide a much needed convenience to consumers looking for a meal in places where they are often difficult to find, but also help business owners and facility managers attract and retain customers and employees.”
In all, SUBWAY franchisees worldwide provide about 350,000 jobs in their local communities and fill about 42 million square feet of prime real estate space. The non-traditional category encompasses a large and diverse group of sites, including: airports, bus and railroad terminals; athletic facilities; office buildings; factories; casinos; theaters; colleges and universities; convention centers; convenience, grocery or department stores; hospitals; hotels; military bases; parks and recreational facilities; schools; and stadiums.