March 8, 2011

Subway Beating MacDonald's A Big Deal?

Another quick hit:  Apparently there are now more Subway restaurants worldwide than MacDonald's. Wow. That is a big deal that proves there are business models out there that speed the business growth cycle to a 21st century pace.  That said, it's a bit like comparing apples and oranges. MacDonald's is a big expensive enterprise to start up, requiring significantly higher start-up cost and effort. Subways are smaller, less expensive stores, and the payback period is likely much shorter.  So is smaller better?  Maybe.  It depends on the circumstances.  The most intriguing take away for me is that it looks like fast food might be one area where U.S. exports has a huge growth potential.

Given the inexpensive nature of the business, and given that in so many economies food is such a significant portion of the household budget, I'd expect Subway (and others) to outperform the likes of GM or Apple in many countries.

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