Subway has opened its 1,000th outlet in the UK and Ireland, and its rapid expansion here includes 30 franchises on forecourts and three in convenience stores. It currently has a further 60 outlets in the forecourt and c-store sectors in development.

Three stores opened on the same day to take Subway to its 1,000th store mark, including one on a BP forecourt in Stalybridge, Greater Manchester.

The sandwich chain, which claims to have more stores than KFC, Pizza Hut and Burger King, is currently opening an average of six a week. This growth rate is expected to continue and will mean that Subway will have more outlets than McDonalds in the UK and Ireland by the middle of next year.

It is also on target to reach 2,010 stores by 2010, according to Kevin Graham, regional director for Europe, Israel and South Africa: "The level of growth we’ve experienced in the UK and Ireland is a fantastic achievement. It reflects the entrepreneurial spirit of the development agents and franchisees, together with the power of the Subway brand and the strength of its systems, policies and procedures."

He said the flexibility of Subway’s franchise system and its adaptable approach to the physical layout of its outlets had been a major part of its success. Developers and business consultants assist and mentor franchisees every step of the way, according to Graham, helping with site selection, leasing, design, training, and local store marketing. This support has apparently seen many franchisees investing in more than one Subway.