Subway puts regional expansion on menu
SANDWICH chain Subway has revealed ambitious plans to take an even bigger bite out of the North East’s fast-food market.
Thirty new outlets are proposed for the region this year, adding to the 60 that are already here. By 2010, the chain intends to open a total of 125 franchises in the region, employing an estimated 1,500 people.
Subway’s North East development agent, Canadian-born Josh Thompson, own six stores himself and is responsible for growing the business in the region.
He said: “We are confident that there is room for 125 stores based on customer demand. They employ an average of 10 to 15 people in a mixture of full and part-time jobs.”
Although the Subway concept was started in the US in 1965, it did not reach the UK until the late 1990s. Mr Thompson, who previously worked for one of the chain’s suppliers in Canada, moved to the North East in 2000 to develop the brand.
“I liked the North East so much I married a girl from Morpeth,” he said.
He now owns sandwich shops at the MetroCentre, in Gateshead itself, Whitley Bay, Consett, Guisborough and at the Silverlink business park in North Tyneside.
The region’s most northerly Subway is in Alnwick but Mr Thompson is looking for premises in Berwick.
He says Subway’s success is due to its trading times – some outlets are open around the clock – and the fact its sandwiches are freshly made to meet customers’ requirements.