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  • With more than 42,000 restaurants

  • in over 100 countries, Subway has the most locations

  • of any fast-food chain on the planet.

  • And at first, that sounds like a sign

  • of a thriving sub giant.

  • However, Subway is anything but.

  • Subway's closed thousands of stores

  • in the last three years

  • and saw a 25

  • So what happened?

  • The chain began as Pete's Super Submarines

  • in Bridgeport, Connecticut, in 1965.

  • Three years later, cofounders Fred DeLuca

  • and Peter Buck rebranded it to simply Subway.

  • Announcer: Subway's famous giant foot-long sandwiches

  • are made right before your eyes, the way you want 'em.

  • Len Van Popering: What was so compelling then

  • and still is today about Subway

  • is really an open-kitchen format.

  • In many ways, they really pioneered that

  • and the ability to customize your sandwich.

  • Narrator: The brand redefined fast food

  • with fresh ingredients that customers could see.

  • Compared to other fast-food chains at the time,

  • it felt healthy.

  • And it worked.

  • By 1981, there were 200 locations across the US,

  • and soon after, Subway went international.

  • Joel Libava: In the late '70s,

  • and in the '80s, and in the '90s,

  • everyone knew about Subway.

  • I mean, they were everywhere.

  • They're still everywhere.

  • Narrator: That's Joel Libava, an expert in franchising.

  • While each store looks and smells the same,

  • they're all independently owned franchises.

  • Libava: The format is pretty simple.

  • You buy a franchise, you get trained,

  • they help you secure a location.

  • They help with a grand opening,

  • and you're open.

  • You're open for business.

  • Follow the several-hundred-page operating manual,

  • do the advertising,

  • and customers will come in.

  • Narrator: Not only were Subway franchises successful,

  • they were, and still are,

  • one of the cheapest chains to franchise.

  • It costs between $116,000 and $263,000

  • to open a Subway franchise.

  • Compare that to opening a McDonald's,

  • which costs up to $2.2 million.

  • Because Subways were easy to open,

  • the number of stores skyrocketed.

  • Between 1990 and 1998,

  • store locations rose from 5,000 to 13,200.

  • And in that same period of time,

  • gross sales rose by about $2.1 billion.

  • Subway's success continued into the early 2000s.

  • At a time when obesity was rising rapidly in America,

  • Subway continued to market itself

  • as a healthy alternative to fast food.

  • Kate Taylor: One of their biggest successes

  • for sure was the Jared Fogle story.

  • Everyone remembers those ads,

  • where it's him in those huge pants

  • where he's showing how he lost all of this weight.

  • And that just made them so much money,

  • and it really made people think

  • about Subway as a really great health brand.

  • It was one of the biggest advertising wins

  • that any chain's had in recent decades.

  • So that was a huge, huge part of their brand.

  • Narrator: Subway carried Fogle's success story

  • for nearly a decade.

  • But by 2008, the world was suffering

  • from the effects of the Great Recession.

  • And for many Americans,

  • hunting for deals replaced the obsession with weight loss.

  • So Subway changed up its message.

  • In March 2008, it introduced a new promotion

  • that would come to define the chain.

  • Five

  • Five dollar

  • Five dollar footlongs

  • Narrator: By August 2009,

  • as other restaurant chains were struggling

  • through the Recession, the $5 footlong had pulled in

  • $3.8 billion in sales for Subway,

  • a 17% jump in US sales from the year before.

  • But even the best deals run their course.

  • Five dollar

  • Five dollar footlong

  • Narrator: Starting in 2014,

  • Subway's sales began steadily dropping.

  • Behind the scenes, many of the reasons

  • for Subway's success had turned on them.

  • Quiznos was once Subway's main competition,

  • but tons of sub chains, like Jimmy John's,

  • Firehouse, Potbelly, and Jersey Mike's,

  • and fast-casual chains like Panera,

  • were offering seemingly fresher and healthier options.

  • And they started stealing market share.

  • Taylor: They were competing against people who bring in

  • fresh produce every day.

  • A lot of Subway locations

  • only bring in fresh produce once or twice a week.

  • Narrator: On top of that, fast-food chains

  • that had been around as long as Subway

  • were coming up with healthy alternatives of their own

  • and getting creative with new menus.

  • Taylor: More and more fast-food chains really want

  • to have that innovation pipeline

  • where they're bringing something out new almost every month.

  • Fast-food places are looking for ways

  • to bring in new customers, drive traffic,

  • and Subway has not tried to do that

  • in the same way other places have.

  • Narrator: But other fast-food chains

  • weren't the only competition for Subway franchises.

  • With Subway's franchising model making it so easy

  • to open locations, stores inevitably started opening up

  • around the corner from each other in lucrative markets.

  • Take downtown Manhattan, for example.

  • Within a 15-minute walk in less than half a square mile,

  • there are 10 Subway locations.

  • And these locations in close proximity

  • began cannibalizing each others' sales.

  • Libava: The Subway franchise agreement, the contract,

  • it says they can open anywhere.

  • There is no protected territory.

  • So franchisees really have no say-so

  • in where the other franchisees are going to open.

  • It's a problem.

  • Narrator: And Subway corporate wasn't stopping it,

  • because the company benefited

  • from a high number of locations.

  • More locations meant more franchising fees

  • and high royalties to Subway corporate,

  • which diminished the effect

  • of falling sales from a single location.

  • Taylor: When franchisees' sales are kind of slipping,

  • as long as they're staying open,

  • it doesn't necessarily hurt Subway

  • as much as it would some other chains.

  • If everyone's kind of, like, chugging along, like,

  • opening new locations, then they can kind of

  • keep on keeping on, and it's not gonna be

  • the end of the world for the corporate office.

  • Narrator: Franchise owners, on the other hand,

  • took the hit.

  • In 2012, each Subway franchise generated

  • an average of $482,000 a year.

  • Four years later, that number had slipped

  • to $422,000 a year.

  • For comparison, the average annual revenue

  • of a McDonald's franchise in 2016

  • was $2.6 million.

  • And to make matters worse,

  • Subway would lose the face of its company.

  • In 2015, the man

  • who had embodied Subway's "eat fresh" mission was charged

  • with possession of child pornography

  • and having sex with minors.

  • Subway cut ties with Fogle,

  • and he was sentenced to 15 1/2 years in federal prison.

  • Taylor: And the Jared Fogle thing kind of basically went

  • from a huge positive to huge liability.

  • Like, the worst things possible

  • that your brand could be associated with.

  • Narrator: All of these things

  • created the perfect storm for Subway.

  • And soon, locations started to close.

  • In 2016, Subway closed 359 stores in the US.

  • It was the first year the chain closed more locations

  • than it opened.

  • In 2017, that number was over 800,

  • and by the end of 2018, over 1,000 locations had closed.

  • With all these sour ingredients,

  • it's hard to imagine Subway could bounce back.

  • But the chain is certainly trying.

  • In 2017, Subway launched its Fresh Forward program,

  • starting with remodeled stores.

  • The revamped locations featured new menu boards,

  • WiFi, USB ports, updated furniture, and music.

  • Libava: I will give Subway credit.

  • They're doing something interesting.

  • They are offering grants where,

  • if a franchisee applies and everything's in line,

  • they can get up to $10,000 towards remodeling.

  • Narrator: By the end of 2020,

  • over 10,000 locations will have this new restaurant design.

  • But Subway says food is its next priority,

  • and it's backing it up with an $80 million investment

  • in updated menu items.

  • Subway's partnered with the media company Tastemade

  • to develop hundreds of new menu ideas,

  • like the Green Goddess Tuna Melt

  • and the Southern Style French Dip.

  • In 2018, the chain introduced its cheesy garlic bread,

  • its most successful promotion in the last five years.

  • And in 2019, a line of ciabatta sandwiches

  • and Halo Top milkshakes hit stores.

  • Van Popering: Historically, Subway would evaluate

  • about six or seven new menu items per month,

  • but we've set up a process and invested in capabilities

  • where we're literally testing

  • at least 100 new menu items every month.

  • Narrator: As for whether or not all these menu items

  • and revamped designs will stop shuttering stores

  • and dropping business, only time will tell.

  • Taylor: They need to figure out

  • who they want their customer to be.

  • I think it's really an uphill battle for them.

  • But if they kind of go back to the basics,

  • think about what people want,

  • ask people what they want

  • and think about it a little bit more innovation,

  • that's kind of going to be a good start for them.

With more than 42,000 restaurants

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地下鉄の興亡 (The Rise And Fall Of Subway)

  • 35 1
    ayane に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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