This Fast-Food Chain Is Closing More Locations Than Any Other Restaurant

Updated: Nov. 04, 2022

Hint: They don't sell French fries.

Food trends come and go, but good fast food is a staple in the American diet. Although it’s well-known as the less-healthy option, people still enjoy their burgers, fries, and shakes. However, one fast-food chain isn’t having much success lately: Subway.

The chain sandwich shop closed more stores than it opened in 2016, closed another 900 plus stores in 2017, and over 1,000 in 2018 and 2019. In 2020, they had already closed a few locations early in the year, and with the pandemic raging, were forced to make some changes to their business as they saw a drop-off in customers. The last time Subway had so few restaurants was back in 2011, and this is the first time they have had fewer than 25,000 restaurants since. Here are 12 more fast-food scandals that rocked the industry.

Subway spokespeople said the company is focusing on restaurant optimization and having locations in the most profitable areas. That’s why the company also expects to add more than 1,000 new locations worldwide, including in Mexico, the United Kingdom, China, and India, while closing down others. “As part of the optimization plan we shared last year, to achieve this goal some owners will close, relocate, or remodel their locations and that will result in slightly fewer, but more profitable restaurants,” the spokesman said. Subway said they will update more than 10,500 stores by the end of 2020 and they are optimistic about a post-pandemic recovery. This is what the first locations of 8 famous fast-food restaurants looked like.

Subway isn’t the only fast-food restaurant closing down locations. Applebee’s, TGI Fridays, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut are closing restaurants, too. Despite all these closures, Subway is still the largest fast-food chain in America. It even beat out runner-ups Starbucks and McDonald’s which both still have fewer locations than Subway. One way McDonald’s does have Subway beat, though, is in its age.


  • CNBC: Subway to Close 500 Restaurants Across the U.S.
  • Subway: 10,500 Subway Restaurants to Expand its New Look to Nearly Half of U.S. Restaurants by End of 2020
  • These Chains Are Closing the Most Restaurants in 2019
  • BusinessInsider: 10 fast-food restaurants with the most locations in America
  • Subway restaurant in Harrisburg closes, along with a handful of others
  • BusinessInsider: Subway is closing another 500 Stores—here’s why
  • CNN: Subway Closed More Than 1,000 Stores in the United States Last Year
  • BusinessInsider: The rise and fall of Subway, the world’s largest fast-food chain
  • Subway’s CEO Is Optimistic About the Chain’s Post-Pandemic Recovery—Here’s Why