Take that, Quiznos: Subway, which is opening another store as I write this, has officially overtaken McDonald's as the world's largest restaurant chain, in terms of number of stores, with 33,749 stores, compared to McDonald's' 32,737. Mickey D's still drinks Subway's financial milkshake though, reporting $24 billion in revenue last year, as opposed to Subway's measly $15.2 billion. And it makes sense when you consider that the Blimpie-killer requires significantly less real estate, not having Subway playgrounds and the like. (That would be an ironic place to get mugged.)
Subway opened its first international store in Bahrain, in 1984, and has enjoyed rapid growth with its popular assembly-line model, though skimpy on the meat, ever since. They actually passed McDonald's in number of U.S. stores about nine years ago, before the five-dollar foot-long craze, on the strength of their diet-friendly menu, promoted by their anti-charismatic spokestout, Jared Fogle. Subway now has just over 24,000 restaurants in the U.S., and has their eye on China, where they currently have 199 stores but expect to exceed 500 by 2015. Great job, Subway!