McDonald's is no longer the world's largest restaurant chain. That honor now goes to Subway. The sandwich giant just passed the golden arches in terms of number of locations, according to the Wall Street Journal. Subway had 33,749 restaurants open worldwide at the end of 2010. McDonald's had just 32,737 locations open by the same point, the corporation disclosed in SEC filings. According to the WSJ, the chain just opened its 1000th location in Asia, and sees international growth as the future.
Subway, which opened its first international restaurant in 1984, in Bahrain, expects its number of international restaurants to exceed its domestic ones by 2020, says Don Fertman, Subway's Chief Development Officer. The chain currently has just over 24,000 restaurants in the U.S., where it generated $10.5 billion of its $15.2 billion in revenue last year.
The $5 dollar footlong did a lot to fuel Subway's recent growth, according to Bloomberg, and spending a large amount on advertising while rapidly opening shops using a franchise model similar to McDonald's has allowed them to grow quickly. But don't be surprised if McDonald's comes battling back. The fast-food giant also has a keen eye for international growth, and expansion in Asia, including India.