Subway announces master franchise agreement with Brazil-based multi-brand restaurant operator SouthRock to expand Subway's footprint in Brazil; the quick service chain currently has more than 1,600 locations in the country

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SAO PAULO , May 10, 2022 (press release) –

- New partnership is the first of its kind for Subway in Latin America, furthering the company’s global expansion plans

Subway®, one of the world's largest restaurant brands, and SouthRock, a leading Brazil-based multi-brand restaurant operator, have signed a master franchise agreement to expand Subway’s footprint in Brazil, one of the company’s largest markets. The agreement is the first of its kind for Subway in Latin America and aims to further the company’s broader international growth strategy.

Under the agreement, SouthRock, a licensed operator of Starbucks and TGI Fridays in Brazil, will acquire the exclusive rights to manage and develop all Subway locations in the market, including providing operations, development and marketing support to franchisees. The partnership will accelerate Subway’s growth, with SouthRock expanding Subway’s current footprint of more than 1,600 locations in Brazil over the multi-decade term of the agreement.

“As Subway’s first master franchise agreement in Latin America, and the company’s largest agreement in an established Subway market, today's announcement with SouthRock marks an exciting moment in our global and regional expansion plan,” said John Chidsey, Chief Executive Officer, Subway. “We are looking forward to leveraging SouthRock’s extensive knowledge of the Brazilian market and guest preferences as we begin this new chapter for Subway in Brazil.”

SouthRock plans to update existing and open new restaurants in Brazil with Subway’s modernized "Fresh Forward" design, meeting the needs of today’s guests with comfortable, inviting indoor dining spaces. In addition, they will expand delivery and online ordering options, with a strong digital first strategy.

“At SouthRock, we pride ourselves on our hands-on approach to food and beverage management in Brazil with a focus on building trust with our partners (how we call our employees) and empowering them to deliver experiences that exceed our customers’ expectations,” said Ken Pope, Founder and CEO, SouthRock. “Our management team’s track record is one built on growth through operational excellence, and our values are based on our respect for our employees and the communities we serve. SouthRock is committed to caring for and growing the Subway brand, now and into the future.”

“Today’s agreement signifies the first step in our ambitious growth plans for Latin America, setting the tone for similar agreements in other countries throughout the region as we work to partner with sophisticated operators to support the brand on our growth journey,” said Jorge Rodriguez, President of Subway’s Latin America & Caribbean region. “SouthRock’s extensive experience growing brands in Brazil and focus on operational excellence will elevate Subway’s presence in the market even further.”

SouthRock’s executive management team holds extensive experience owning and operating major national and international food and beverage brands in Brazil. Prior to founding SouthRock in 2015, Pope previously built a multi-brand portfolio of leading Brazilian food and beverage brands. With more than 25 years in the retail and food & beverage industries in Brazil, SouthRock partner and COO Antonio Neves was the Managing Director for Brazil at International Meal Company (IMC) prior to working alongside Pope in his previous multi-brand portfolio. Fabio Rohr, SouthRock partner and CFO, brings more than 20 years of experience in the local and international financial market.

The agreement with SouthRock is part of Subway's multi-year transformation journey to improve across all aspects of the brand as the business expands its presence around the world. In Latin America and the Caribbean, Subway plans to significantly increase its restaurants count in the coming years.

About Subway® Restaurants

As one of the world's largest quick service restaurant brands, Subway serves freshly made-to-order sandwiches, salads and bowls to millions of guests, across more than 100 countries in more than 37,000 restaurants every day. Subway restaurants are owned and operated by Subway franchisees – a network that includes more than 20,000 dedicated entrepreneurs and small business owners – who are committed to delivering the best guest experience possible in their local communities. Subway® is a Registered Trademark of Subway IP LLC. © 2022 Subway IP LLC

About SouthRock

SouthRock, a licensed operator of Starbucks and TGI Fridays in Brazil, was founded in 2015 with the objective of building an owner/operator approach to its international and domestic multi-brand portfolio for Food and Beverage brands in the Brazilian market. SouthRock is committed to developing a strong corporate culture of inclusive entrepreneurship with their partners (how they call their employees) while scaling both global and local brands that align with our mission and values for all consumers.

SouthRock started store operations in 2017 at Guarulhos International Airport, through B.A.R. (Brazil Airport Restaurants) which operates exclusively in the most relevant airports in Brazil, bringing diverse brands to consumers, travelers and tourists. In 2018, the company signed an exclusive licensing agreement with the Starbucks and TGI Fridays brands, which granted them exclusive rights to operate these brands throughout the national territory (‘Master Licensee’ model used by these brands globally). The expansion process of Starbucks stores in Brazil began in 2019, and today the brand is present in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Santa Catarina, Distrito Federal, Paraná, Rio Grande do Sul and Minas Gerais. The TGI Fridays brand, meanwhile, is operating and expanding in the Rio de Janeiro / Sao Paulo area. The company founded SouthRock Lab, their digital arm, with the objective of developing technologies to enhance, improve and integrate physical with digital experiences and interactions between customers and brands. Wahalla, a SouthRock Lab company, provides digital platform and technology services for leading global retailers including Subway.

SouthRock is committed to strategically expand its portfolio of businesses, through a customer and employee first approach, to positively impact more people and more communities with its brands, by offering great services, shared values and beliefs.

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