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Subway to open 4,000 locations in China with new master franchise agreement

Sandwich restaurant Subway said it plans to open thousands of new locations in Mainland China in the next 20 years, as part of its new master franchise agreement with Shanghai Fu-Rui-Shi Corporate Development Co., Ltd. (FRS).

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Under the new partnership, FRS will open nearly 4,000 restaurants in Mainland China by 2043, growing Subway’s current footprint in the market by more than seven times. The group will also acquire the exclusive rights to manage and develop all Subway locations in Mainland China.

The agreement — funded by a consortium of private investors, including Asia Investment Capital (AIC) — is the largest master franchise agreement in Subway history and one of the largest across the entire QSR industry, according to the U.S. restaurant chain.

In addition, the group will appoint a chief executive officer with significant QSR experience in the Chinese market.

“This agreement is a significant milestone in Subway’s international growth strategy as we continue to focus on strategically expanding our footprint and maintaining our position as one of the world’s largest restaurant brands,” said John Chidsey, Subway global chief executive officer. “China is a key market with significant long-term growth opportunity, and we look forward to bringing the Subway experience to even more guests in the region.”

The agreement marks Subway’s 13th master franchise and development agreement in the past two years, resulting in more than 9,000 future restaurant commitments around the world.

Looking ahead, Subway said it hopes to double its current network of restaurants in the Asia-Pacific region from approximately 3,500 restaurants to more than 6,000 restaurants over the next five years.