Subway Tops McDonald's To Become Largest Fast-Food Chain

Subway’s Jared may boast about how fit he is, but in the battle of the corporate mascots, he’s now much bigger than arch-rival Ronald McDonald. Subway is now the world’s largest fast-food chain, with 33,749 restaurants. McDonald’s trails by over a thousand, with 32,737 restaurants worldwide.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Subway’s growth comes from a strategy that includes aggressive expansion into overseas markets, along with non-traditional locations, such as auto showrooms and churches.

Subway, which surpassed the number of McDonald’s in the U.S. about nine years ago, expects China to eventually become one of its largest markets. The sandwich shop only has 199 restaurants in China now, but expects to have more than 500 by 2015.

Subway has achieved its rapid growth, in part, by opening outlets in non-traditional locations such as an automobile showroom in California, an appliance store in Brazil, a ferry terminal in Seattle, a riverboat in Germany, a zoo in Taiwan, a Goodwill store in South Carolina, a high school in Detroit and a church in Buffalo, New York.

Despite Subway’s growth, McDonald’s still takes in more cash: $24 billion flowed through the golden arches last year, while Subway made just $15.2 billion.

Subway Runs Past McDonald’s Chain [WSJ.com]