Is Subway a Fast Food Restaurant?

Last Updated on October 5, 2022 by Lauren Beck

Subway is a restaurant chain that primarily sells submarine sandwiches (subs) and salads. It is one of the fastest growing franchises in the world with 44,000+ locations in 112 countries as of 2019. In many ways, it is similar to other fast food restaurants. However, there are some key differences that set Subway apart.

For one, Subway is typically less expensive than other fast food chains. Their sandwiches generally range from $3-5, which is significantly cheaper than most fast food burgers that start at around $5 and can go up to $10 or more. In addition, Subway offers a variety of healthy options that other fast food restaurants do not. For example, they have a range of sandwiches with six grams of fat or less and salads with even less. They also offer a variety of vegetarian and vegan options. Finally, Subway is one of the only fast food chains that allows customers to customize their sandwich exactly to their liking. Customers can choose from a variety of breads, meats, cheeses, veggies, and sauces to create a sandwich that is perfect for them.

So, is Subway a fast food restaurant? In many ways, yes. It is quick, convenient, and relatively inexpensive. However, the healthy options and customization make it unique among fast food chains. What do you think? Is Subway a fast food restaurant or something else?

Subway History

The first Subway opened in 1965 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. It was founded by Fred DeLuca and Dr. Peter Buck. The pair wanted to open a restaurant that would serve healthy food at a reasonable price. They borrowed $1000 from Dr. Buck’s mother and opened their first sandwich shop.

Subway quickly became popular and began to franchise in 1974. The first franchise outside of the United States opened in Bahrain in 1985. As of 2019, Subway has 44,000+ locations in 112 countries.

Top 10 Most Popular Subway Fast Food Items:

Here are the 10 most popular items ordered at Subway, according to a 2018 Harris Poll:

  1. Turkey Breast
  2. Roast Beef
  3. Chicken Teriyaki
  4. Buffalo Chicken
  5. Black Forest Ham
  6. Italian B.M.T.
  7. Tuna
  8. Veggie Delite
  9. Steak & Cheese
  10. Rotisserie-Style Chicken

Subway has something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a quick and easy meal or something a little more substantial. And with so many locations around the world, it’s easy to find a Subway near you. So next time you’re looking for a fast food fix, remember that Subway is an option.

Can Subway Be Considered Fast-Food?

While Subway is a chain restaurant and many of its defining qualities fit the fast-food mold, it also has characteristics that make it unique. For these reasons, whether or not to consider it fast food is up for debate.On one hand, Subway sandwiches are made fresh to order, so they can take a few minutes longer than your typical fast-food sandwich. On the other hand, most of its locations are still counter service with quick turnover times.

Is Subway Fast-Food Or Fast-Casual?

A customer ordering at Subway

The lines between fast-food and fast-casual [1] are blurred, but in general, fast-casual restaurants offer made-to-order food with fresh ingredients, while fast-food places focus on quick service and have a more limited menu. While you could argue that Subway is both—it has a wide variety of menu items and you can customize your sandwich—it’s typically classified as fast-casual.

Is Subway The Biggest Fast-Food Chain?

No. McDonald’s is the largest fast-food chain in the world, with 37,855 locations as of 2018. Subway is the second largest, with 32,737 locations.

Is Subway Better Fast-Food?

That’s subjective, but some people say yes. subway has been lauded for its healthier options, including sandwiches with six grams of fat or less and salads. It also offers a variety of vegetarian and vegan options. And because you can customize your sandwich, you have more control over what you’re eating than you do at most fast-food places.

Is Subway Healthy?

Again, that depends on your definition of healthy. The sandwiches and salads mentioned above are relatively healthy options. And because you can customize your sandwich, you can make it as healthy or unhealthy as you want. However, some of the other menu items, like cookies and chips, are not as healthful.

How Much Does A Subway Meal Cost?

Subway meals are relatively inexpensive. A 6-inch sandwich starts at $3, and a footlong sandwich starts at $5. You can also get a combo meal, which includes a drink and a side, starting at $6.


Whether or not you consider Subway a fast-food restaurant is up to you. It has characteristics of both fast food and fast casual, and it’s up to you to decide which category it falls into. However, one thing is for sure: Subway is a convenient, affordable option for a quick meal.


Lauren Beck
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