Last month marks an important milestone in the development of Subway Restaurants. On April 24th, the world's largest submarine sandwich chain celebrated the opening of its 15,000th restaurant.

Located in small shopping center in suburban Scottsdale, Arizona, this landmark Subway restaurant is owned by the husband and wife team of Robert and Carolyn Burns, operators of two additional Subway restaurants in the area.

"I am truly thrilled to be the franchisee of the 15,000th Subway restaurant. I love this business, and it's the best decision I ever made.  We researched every franchise possible and settled on Subway because of the brand's reputation and high level of support from the corporate office," says Robert Burns, formerly of the law enforcement and transportation industries.

"Having succeeded once with Subway, our franchisees want to succeed over and over again. Even to this day, about 65% of our franchises are sold to existing owners who are reinvesting in the business," says Subway President and Co-Founder Fred DeLuca.

"Much of our success is due to franchisees like Bob and Carolyn Burns, who have embraced the entrepreneurial spirit and have helped spread the Subway concept across the nation and around the world," says Don Fertman, director of franchise sales for Subway restaurants.

The Subway partnership that was created in 1965 between Fred DeLuca and Dr. Peter Buck marked the beginning of a remarkable journey-professionally and personally-one that made it possible for thousands of individuals to build and succeed in their own business.  Thirty-six years have passed since Dr. Buck loaned 17-year-old DeLuca $1,000 to open a sandwich shop, with the intent that the restaurant would help pay for DeLuca's college tuition.  In a relatively short period of time, the Subway concept developed into the largest submarine sandwich franchise in the world, with 15,000 locations in 74 countries (as of April 24, 2001).

Recently Subway received the distinction of being named the number one franchise opportunity in all categories by Entrepreneur magazine; the winner of the gold award for the sandwich category in the Restaurants and Institutions "Choice in Chains" Award; and has received the MenuMasters Award for best menu/line extension as presented by the editorial board of Nation's Restaurant News.

All Subway restaurants are individually owned and operated by local businessmen and women.