Published: 10:01, 02 May 2014
Fast food giant Subway plans to open 30 stores in Kent over the next five years as it continues its rapid expansion plans.
Documents shown exclusively to Kent Business show the franchise has targeted 48 sites across the county.
The plans revealed by Subway, which already has 42 stores in Kent, are expected to create 300 jobs.
Overall, Subway hopes to open one branch for every 10,000 people across the UK.
With Kent's population standing at about two million, it means the sandwich maker hopes to set up 200 stores across the county within the next 15 years.
Subway development agent Hemina Haque has overseen the launch of 62 stores in Kent and Surrey since 2004 and is leading the planned expansion, which also includes opening another 15 stores in Surrey.
She said: "These expansion plans are a response to consumer demand for healthy eating, more affordable food and extended opening hours.
"It will create 300 jobs in Kent but this does not take into account the added jobs created indirectly through suppliers, distribution and printers."
As well as opening traditional outlets in the high street and shopping centres, the restaurant franchise is targeting key footfall areas like train stations, university campuses, petrol stations, business parks and even hospitals.
Non-traditional sites made up 45% of their openings across the UK last year and the group also has plans to set up sites in convenience stores like Spar, Budgens and McColl's and supermarkets Tesco and Asda.
Subway development manager Steve Robinson said: "The non-traditional sites are set to take off in the next five years.
"We have seen that grow across the country and we people in Kent are going to benefit from that in the coming years."
The company is now looking for potential franchisees to take control of the new stores.
Taking part does not come cheap – the average set up cost of a new Subway franchise is £150,000, with franchisees expected to stump up a minimum of about £50,000 upfront.
Ms Haque added: "We want to attract local entrepreneurs to open these stores over the next few years.
"We are very competitively priced for new franchisees when you look at the size of the chain."
Subway was founded in Connecticut, USA, in 1965, and operates in 106 countries.
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