Subway plans to open 500 more outlets in the UK and Ireland over the next three years, creating about 5,000 jobs. Julia Sun reports.
U.S. biggest chain of sandwich shops - Subway - plans to open 500 more locations in the UK and Ireland over the next three years. The move will create about 5,000 jobs. Subway already has 2,500 stores in the region. The company said it's expanding in response to consumer demand. Britain's food-to-go market is growing quickly. It is forecast to be worth nearly $29 billion by 2021, according to industry research group IGD. Technomic's David Henkes: (SOUNDBITE) DAVID HENKES, SENIOR PRINCIPAL, ADVISORY GROUP (ENGLISH) SAYING: "It's pretty clear from Subway's results here in the United States, that they're looking for growth externally. The U.S. is a very saturated market, and Subway is by far the largest restaurant chain in the United States, so growth here has been challenging, so, whether it's Europe, Asia, or other parts of the globe, Subway is clearly looking at international opportunities as a way to continue the growth trajectory, and it certainly makes sense from that perspective." Subway's expansion in the UK comes after the company closed 359 restaurants in the United States last year. Subway is owned by a U.S.-based firm Doctor's Associates. It operates as a franchise. Globally it has more than 44,000 outlets in 112 countries.