Thursday 19 October 2017

Coming soon to a hospital near you: the Subway fast food chain

Subway has outlets on military bases in the UK
Subway has outlets on military bases in the UK
Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

Sandwich chain Subway is in talks with several Irish hospitals about setting up outlets, the company said.

The company is branching out into hospitals following great success targeting "non-traditional" store locations like universities, garage forecourts and hotels, UK and Ireland area development manager Greg Madigan said.

"We have stores in UK hospitals with but no hospitals at the moment in Ireland, but we are working on it. We have been approached by a number of hospitals" said Mr Madigan.

It also has outlets on military bases in the UK, he said.

"The strategy allows us to get into areas where a traditional full-blow store would not survive."

Asked about the health implications of setting up a fast food unit in a hospital, Mr Madigan said Subway had nine low-fat sandwiches on its menu. Subway publishes the calorie content of its food, he added.

The selling of fast food in hospitals is a contentious issue. A study conducted at the Midwest Regional Hospital in Limerick found that almost two thirds of children at a least one fast food meal during a hospital stay, bought by parents.

Subway is operated entirely on a franchise model in the UK and Ireland, meaning stores are run by local businesspeople rather than a central unit.

Those local franchisees also determine workers pay, which can vary from store to store.

The brand has several corporate operators include Aramark and Applegreen, the petrol station chain which has 22 Subway outlets in its garages with another 18 planned.

It is also opening stands in several Spars as part of a deal with Spar owner BWG, which has just bid for the Londis chain of conventience stores.

Subway has 145 stores in the Republic of Ireland - 19 of them opened in the last year - and a total of 2,000 across the Republic, Northern Ireland and the UK.

The Connecticut-headquartered company is the world's largest fast food chain, ahead of McDonalds. It has over 43,000 locations in 105 countries.

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