Fred De Luca borrowed $1,000 from family friend Peter Buck to start his first sandwich shop in 1965, when he was only 17 years old. He was trying to raise money to pay for college. He chose a mediocre location for his shop, the corner of East Main Street and Boston Avenue in Bridgeport, Connecticut, but by noon on opening day, customers were pouring in. On the radio advertisement they had promoted the name as Pete's Submarines, which sounded like "Pizza Marines", so they changed the name to "Pete's Subs"; eventually it adopted the "Subway" name and decorating the store with maps of the New York City subway system; a theme that continues to this day. As of December 30, 2008, the company has 32,401 franchised locations in 91 countries and produced US$9.05 billion in sales every year. In 2007, Forbes magazine named De Luca number 242 of the 400 richest Americans with a net worth of $1.5 billion.
In addition to traditional restaurants, Subway operates in many non-traditional locations. For instance, there are over 900 Subway locations inside of Wal-Mart stores and 200 on military bases, including several in Iraq and Afghanistan, in addition to three located inside The Pentagon, as well as an increasing number on college and university campuses. In UK and Ireland some Subways are located inside Londis stores.
Subway restaurants have been consistently ranked in Entrepreneur Magazine's Top 500 Franchises, and was selected as the #2 overall franchise in 2008. Additionally, it was ranked as the #3 "Fastest Growing Franchise", and the #1 "Global Franchise" as well.