Fred Deluca

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“How you handle the obstacles has a big impact on how you do. If you give up, then you obviously don’t get there, but if you’re persistent, and you keep thinking of new ways to approach the business, you’re more likely to reach your goal.”

Subway

Frederick Adrian “Fred” DeLuca (October 3, 1947 – September 14, 2015) was an American businessman, best known as the co-founder of the Subway franchise of sandwich shops.

Early life and education

Fred DeLuca was born in Brooklyn, New York, on October 3, 1947[2] to Italian American parents Carmela and Salvatore DeLuca.[3] At the age of 10, DeLuca moved to Amsterdam, New York, where he and his family became friends with Peter Buck.[4] Once in his teens, he moved with his family to Bridgeport, Connecticut.[5] After succeeding in his business, DeLuca realized his dream to go to college and graduated from the University of Bridgeport.[6]

DeLuca was a 1965 graduate of Central High School in Bridgeport, Connecticut.[7]

Career

In 1965, 17-year-old DeLuca borrowed $1,000 from family friend Dr. Peter Buck.[7] This was after Buck suggested the idea to help DeLuca make money for college[5][8] to study medicine.[6] DeLuca’s plan was to begin a “fast-food venture that provided a healthful, less fattening bill of fare”.[5] 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 Subway.” Eventually in 1968, it was shortened to “Subway” as it is known today.[9]

The first shop opened on August 28, 1965 at a mediocre location in the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut.[10] The first year of business was a learning experience and a challenge. A year later they opened their second location, having realized that visibility and marketing were key factors to success. DeLuca believed that the biggest mistake he made was where he set up his very first shop as it was a “crummy location.”[10] The third outlet was in a highly visible location [6] and that location is still there today.[11]

In 1978, Subway’s 100th store opened, and reached the 1,000 store mark in 1987. Explosive growth continued with Subway opening 1,100 units in 1993 alone. By comparison, McDonald’s opened 800 that same year.[5]

As of June 2013, the company counts 39,500 franchised locations worldwide [12] and produces US $9.05 billion sales every year. In 2007, Forbes magazine named DeLuca number 242 of the 400 richest Americans with a net worth of $1.5 billion. Today, Subway is one of the most popular chain food vendors.[5] [13]

DeLuca and Peter Buck also partnered to create Franchise Brands [14] in an effort to assist other entrepreneurs in replicating their success in the franchise industry.



 

This profile is partly adapted from a Wikipedia entry on Fred DeLuca, available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.

 

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