Subway says it shut hundreds of U.S. restaurants last year


Reuters

April 20 (Reuters) - U.S. sandwich chain Subway Restaurants
said on Thursday it shut 359 restaurants in the United States
last year, amid stiff competition in a highly fragmented
fast-food industry.
    Subway, owned by Doctor's Associates Inc, is the world's
largest fast-food chain by number of restaurants. It had 26,744
locations operating in the United States at the end of 2016.
    "We will continue to relocate some shops to better locations
and look for new sites — both traditional and non-traditional,"
the company said in an e-mailed statement.
    Subway said its U.S. sales fell 1.7 percent to $11.3 billion
last year, while international sales climbed 3.7 percent to $5.8
billion, reflecting a focus on overseas growth.
    Subway rival McDonald's has also reduced the number of its
U.S. locations in recent years, as it seeks to cut costs by
franchising out more restaurants.
    Milford, Connecticut-based Subway is 100 percent franchised.
    Subway on Wednesday named former McDonald's Corp <MCD.N>
executive Karlin Linhardt senior vice president of marketing in
the U.S. and Canada. [nPny9G10a]
    U.S. restaurants have faced lackluster demand in recent
months as more people choose to cook at home amid lower grocery
prices.
    Minimum wage increases have also hit restaurant chains,
forcing them to hike menu prices in response.

 (Reporting by Karina Dsouza in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin
Ravikumar)
 ((Karina.Dsouza@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223
8780, outside U.S. +91 80 6749 6373; Reuters Messaging: Reuters
Messaging: karina.dsouza@thomsonreuters.com))

Keywords: SUBWAY RESTAURANTS/



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