US-based fast food restaurant company Subway has signed a new master franchise agreement with Shanghai Fu-Rui-Shi Corporate Development (FRS) to strengthen its reach in Mainland China.

This is claimed to be the largest master franchise agreement for Subway and one of the largest in the global quick service restaurant (QSR) business.

A consortium of private investors, including Asia Investment Capital (AIC), has financed it.

As part of the new collaboration, FRS will open 4,000 restaurants in Mainland China over the next 20 years.

The company said that this will result in a more than seven-fold increase in the brand’s existing Chinese footprint.

Additionally, FRS will assume exclusive rights to managing and developing all Subway outlets in the country.

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The group also plans to appoint a CEO with extensive QSR experience in the Chinese industry.

Subway global CEO John Chidsey said: “This agreement is a significant milestone in Subway’s international growth strategy as we continue to focus on strategically expanding our footprint and maintaining our position as one of the world’s largest restaurant brands.

“China is a key market with significant long-term growth opportunity and we look forward to bringing the Subway experience to even more guests in the region.”

With the new franchise agreement, Subway has committed to opening more than 9,000 additional restaurants worldwide.

The latest agreement is the 13th master franchise and development agreement signed by the company in the last two years.

Subway seeks to expand in the Asia Pacific, growing its restaurant count in the market to more than 6,000 from 3,500 in the coming five years.

The brand reported positive sales in Mainland China since coming out of the pandemic, benefitting from the launch of new menu items and its digital strategy.