Some of the most popular restaurant chains in the world are Pizza Hut, McDonalds, Burger King etc. We all know them, and have tried the food of those restaurants that are available in our countries. But this is a naming blog so I am going to talk about brand naming. For this article I chose to focus on the name origin of the Subway restaurant franchise – after all there must be a story about why a restaurant chain is called after a mean of transportation.

fast-food chain name origin

The story goes that in 1965 this guy called Fred DeLuca borrowed some money from his friend Pete Bucks to start a business in Connecticut. The place was initially called “Pete’s Super Submarines”, named after the popular submarine sandwiches at the time. The business expanded and the name was later shortened to “Pete’s Submarines”. However, it is said that during radio ad broadcasting the name sounded like pizza marines, so they had to change the name again – and they further shortened it to “Pete’s Subs”. In 1968 another name change of the company occurred – this time they actually made a change by calling the sandwich shops “Subway”. This last name change was probably due to the expansion of the food chain across the country. The rest is part of Subway’s history – they started opening shops outside Connecticut in 1975 – first Massachusetts, then Florida, California, etc. The connection with actual subway stuff came in 1980 when the founders decided to adopt a common system by decorating the shops with maps of the New York City subway system.

If you’re interested to see how a food chain can expand so fast, by having sandwich shops, restaurants, and vegetarian places all over the world, including a fast food place in the Pentagon, you can find their timeline here.

tasty sub Subway name origin

…Hungry now? I know I am.