Subway to open 30 branches by end of this year 

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KUALA LUMPUR, June 9 : Fast food chain Subway is targeting to open 30 branches in several locations in Peninsular Malaysia this year after signing an agreement with Pegacorn Sdn Bhd last May.

According to Subway country director, Southeast Asia, Samad Shariff, the decision to open these new branches was based on data from numerous platforms that allowed it to examine some of the locations accessible across the peninsula.

“With the cooperation of Pegacorn, we believe we can achieve this target.

“Right now, many of our stores are located in a few main cities in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Penang and Johor,” he said in an interview with Bernama.

On May 10, Subway Malaysia unveiled its Malaysian Master Franchise Agreement, showing its significant growth plans for Malaysia.

Under this agreement, Subway, with Pegacorn, will open about 500 new Subway outlets across Peninsular Malaysia over the next 10 years.

Samad also revealed another uniqueness making Subway the choice of consumers is the freshness of the materials used by its restaurants.

“The advantage that Subway has is, of course, the freshness of the materials sourced from the local market and, so far, we have no issues of shortage of supply because our planning is made over a period of six months,” he added, commenting on the supply shortage issues in Malaysia recently.

In addition, he believed that many young people today want to practise healthy eating, and that this is something that is offered in Subway restaurants that strengthens the opening of new branches.

“This is evidenced as throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, purchases in Subway are not so affected and many workers who work at home buy food at Subway which provides a variety of healthy menus,” he said.

Globally, Subway beat 2021 sales projections by nearly US$1.4 billion and reached its highest annual average unit volume (AUV) since 2014. Three-fourths of the chain stores, or more than 16,000 locations, experienced a 7.5 per cent rise in same-store sales compared to 2019.

In 2021, Asia Pacific (APAC) sales increased by 8 per cent compared to pre-COVID-19. More than half of the markets in APAC recorded their highest annual AUV since 2018 – namely Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan.

“For comparison, in 2021, 50 per cent of restaurants in Asia Pacific trended positively against pre-COVID-19, which number has since increased in 2022, proving that we are on an upward trajectory in terms of weekly sales.

“Although we trended slightly lower for restaurant count when compared to 2019 and 2020 because of temporary closures due to COVID-19 restrictions and challenges, AUV in 2021 was up 11 per cent compared to 2019 and up 12 per cent compared to 2020,” he said.

Samad said new restaurants will also feature in Subway’s modern ‘Fresh Forward’ design and enhanced convenience for consumers with new drive-throughs and ‘Grab & Go’ options.

“For the opening of Subway drive-throughs, we are also looking at wide locations that are near major vehicle routes, such as gas stations and highways.

“Subway restaurants, unlike other fast food, do not require a large kitchen, and the existing partnership with gas stations will make the process of opening a drive-throughs easier,” he added. -TVS

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