Sub Franchise for Sale: Three Alternative Brands to Subway

Sub Franchise for Sale: Three Alternative Brands to Subway

The sandwich franchise industry in the U.S. is no small sub. IBISWorld reports the sub sandwich franchise industry had a $23.6 billion market size in 2022 and saw a 4.5% market size growth the same year. Consumers may view sandwiches as healthier options versus other fast-food or fast-casual options, and the ingredients appeal to wide audiences. A sandwich franchise can be a potential lucrative business investment for the savvy franchisee, and there are various additional sub franchises for sale other than Subway. Let’s compare some alternatives.

We’ve compiled some preliminary information about three other sub sandwich franchises as provided in each brand’s Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). See below for a quick overview of each franchise.
Alternative sub sandwich franchise chart

What Customers Want from A Sub Franchise

Today’s consumer isn’t all about convenience. While ease and speed are a top priority, purchasing from a brand they admire, that serves different flavor profiles, and offers healthier options are priorities as well. A sandwich franchise often provides the attributes that both consumers and prospective franchisees seek. However not all sub shops are created equally. When looking at purchasing a sub franchise, determine if the company offers consumers these four basic options.

  • Online and delivery: Consumers live in the same fast-paced world we do. Having access to healthy and tasty food at their fingertips is essential in the fast-casual market today.
  • Different approaches: There is an actual definition of sandwiches. defines them as “two or more slices of bread with a layer of meat, fish, cheese, etc., between them,” but we know sandwiches are so much more than that. Consumers can make a cold cut at home. They’re looking for high-quality ingredients with new flavors.
  • Lunch and dinner options: Included with different approaches are dining options for dinner. Shift workers, busy families, and the average American don’t have a strict lunch or dinner schedule. Having the option for tasty subs after 1 p.m. is a big bonus and having a menu that is viewed by consumers as a hearty and tasty dinner option is extremely important.
  • Fast-casual: A recent market outlook report estimates the fast-casual market size will see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 12.5% between 2022 and 2026. Fast-casual is the king of the U.S. restaurant industry.


Alternative Sub Sandwich Franchises

Subway’s market penetration is high with thousands of locations across the globe. This may make it more challenging for investors looking to open new stores in certain markets they may be most interested in developing. There may be more growth potential with other franchise options that have development territories available to expand their footprint on a much greater scale. This creates opportunities for the savvy investor looking to grow and develop multiple units.

Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop Franchise

The first Capriotti’s opened in Delaware in 1976. The franchise focuses on hearty subs and sides. They began franchising in 1991 and as of 2022, Capriotti’s has less than 200 locations across the U.S. Ranked at No. 5 in the Submarine Sandwiches category on the Top Food Franchises list in 2022, the franchise is seeking to grow across the country and in Central America, Canada, and Mexico.

According to their 2022 Franchise Disclosure Document, a Capriotti’s franchise costs between $417,100 and $748,500, including their franchise fee of $40,000. Potential franchisees should have a net worth between $500,000 and $1 million and between $150,000 and $300,000 in liquid assets. For the length of their franchise agreement, Capriotti’s franchisees are required to pay a royalty fee ranging between 6%-7% and an ad royalty fee of 4%.

Jersey Mike’s Subs Franchise

Jersey Mike’s started serving sandwiches in 1956 in New Jersey. The franchise focuses on a small twist of traditional subs with chips and sodas on the side. Their signature “juice” is a mixture of red wine vinegar and olive oil. Franchising since 1987, there are now more than 2,300 Jersey Mike’s franchises across the country with the brand looking to expand further within the U.S. and internationally.

Based on their 2022 FDD, a Jersey Mike’s franchise costs between $194,035 and $954,611. Franchise candidates should have a net worth of $300,000 and at least $100,000 in liquid cash. Jersey Mike’s does charge their franchise investors a 6.5% royalty fee and a 5% ad royalty fee for the whole term of their franchise agreement.

Penn Station East Coast Subs Franchise

Penn Station East Coast Subs started in 1985 by Jeff Osterfeld. Opening his first sub sandwich franchise in Dayton, Ohio right after college, he sold his first Penn Station franchise three years later. Penn Station’s subs are hearty, off the grill, and baked to perfection with a side of fresh cut fries and fresh-squeezed lemonade. Despite being the youngest franchise of these alternative sub franchises for sale, Penn Station has grown quickly. There are more than 300  franchise locations across the U.S.

In 2021, our locations saw an impressive average net sales of $825,522. Penn Station franchises can cost anywhere between $365,361 to $696,030 per restaurant. This includes the initial franchise fee of $25,000, development fee of $3,500, and other costs associated with each restaurant. Franchise candidates should have a net worth of $500,000 and $300,000 in liquid assets. Franchisees can expect to pay a royalty fee ranging between 2%-8% and an ad royalty fee ranging between 2%-3% for the life of their agreement. They also offer incentives for growth in new markets as well for franchise candidates.

Penn Station Subs is a Cut Above the Rest

Quality products that span the craveable dining menu for both lunch and dinner capture a wider net of consumers who keep coming back for more. Viewed as more than simply another sub shop, our unique menu is far from the only ingredient that makes Penn Station a repeat Franchise Times Top 500 franchise. Penn Station East Coast Subs has been strategically growing for nearly 40 years. We have territories available throughout the Midwest, from Nebraska to North Carolina and from Michigan to Mississippi, allowing for ample growth opportunities.

This year our brand was ranked No. 326 on Entrepreneur magazine’s prestigious Franchise 500 list and came in at No. 2 in the Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich category of the Top Food Franchises list. When you join a franchise like Penn Station, you’re joining an award-winning brand committed to excellence.

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