The Subway brand has reached the milestone of 4,000 stores operating in Europe with the opening of the latest outlet in the Gara de Nord railway station in Bucharest, Romania.

The first European Subway store opened in the UK, in Brighton, in 1996. Since then the brand has expanded its operations and increased its presence in Europe with stores now open in 31 countries from Iceland to Russia. In total the brand’s franchisees employ about 40,000 people in Europe, and there are currently more than 1,600 stores in the UK and Ireland, employing almost 17,000 people.

Globally, there are more than 39,700 Subway stores in 101 countries.

”The level of growth we’ve experienced in Europe is a fantastic achievement and reflects the strong entrepreneurial spirit of the Subway franchisees, who work hard every day to provide a great product and create an exceptional customer experience for every customer that walks into a Subway store,” said Marc Kreder, the Subway brand’s regional director for Europe. “We are also particularly proud of the support system the brand has to support its franchisees.”