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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Subway spreads on veggies to woo India

Rachit Vats, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, May 15, 2013
First Published: 21:11 IST(15/5/2013) | Last Updated: 01:42 IST(16/5/2013)

Subway, the US-based restaurant chain that sells sandwiches and salads riding on a wave of calorie-conscious consumers, is now looking at increasing its vegetarian options to suit the Indian palate in a plan to grow the number of outlets to 4,000 over a decade from the current 350. The global eatery chain also plans to open ‘pure vegetarian’ outlets outside religious places.

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“There is a huge demand from Indian consumers for vegetarian options and we are looking at scaling up vegetarian offering in many ways. We have identified a number of religious spots to open ‘pure vegetarian’ Subway stores. In September, we’ll introduce a larger vegetarian menu,” Chetan Arora, development agent (master francisee), Subway India.

Subway will open its first ‘pure vegetarian’ store outside the Golden Temple, Amritsar, later this week. The chain already has a about four vegetarian stores in the country, but not around religious spots.

Connecticut-headquartered Subway is looking at leveraging its first-mover advantage massively in India to counter the fierce competition coming its way in the form of US rival Quiznos, a Colorado-based brand specialising in toasted subs and salads.

“We are looking to aggressively build the Subway brand further and focusing on locations outside of malls and high streets. There will be an enhanced focus to open more of our stores in hospitals, universities, corporate institutions, outside gas stations and religious spots,” said Arora, development agent for the chain who runs stores in five states.

While Subway entered India in 2001 with its first restaurant in Delhi, Quiznos is a relatively newer player known to have ambitious plans for India.

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