Fred DeLuca

Last updated

Fred DeLuca
Fred De Luca 2011-03-09 001.jpg
DeLuca in 2011
Frederick James Matthew DeLuca

(1947-10-03)October 3, 1947
DiedSeptember 14, 2015(2015-09-14) (aged 67)
NationalityAmerican (United States)
Alma mater University of Bridgeport
Years active1965–2015
Title Founder/President of Subway (1965–2015)
Spouse(s)Elisabeth (1966–2015; his death)
Children2 (Jonathan Deluca, Luca Mattson)
Relatives Suzanne Greco (sister)

Frederick Adrian DeLuca (October 3, 1947 – September 14, 2015) was an Italian-American businessman and co-founder of the Subway franchise of sandwich shops. Under his tenure, Subway grew into the largest franchise in the world.


Early life and education

Fred DeLuca was born in Brooklyn, New York, on October 3, 1947 [1] to Italian American parents Carmela and Salvatore DeLuca. [2] At the age of 10, DeLuca moved to Amsterdam, New York, where he and his family became friends with Peter Buck. [3] Once in his teens, he moved with his family to Bridgeport, Connecticut. [4] After succeeding in his business, DeLuca realized his dream to go to college and graduated from the University of Bridgeport. [5]

DeLuca was a 1965 graduate of Central High School in Bridgeport, Connecticut. [6]


In 1965, 17-year-old DeLuca borrowed $1,000 from family friend Dr. Peter Buck. [6] This was after Buck suggested the idea to help DeLuca make money for college [4] [7] to study medicine. [5] DeLuca's plan was to begin a "fast-food venture that provided a healthful, less fattening bill of fare". [4] 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 simply "Subway" as it is known today. [8]

Early Years of Subway

With the help of his mother Carmela and Dr. Buck, the first shop opened on August 28, 1965, in Bridgeport, Connecticut. [9] [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 [5] and that location is still there today. [11]

Fred DeLuca ran Subway as a family business, with his mother running the first shop, his sister working as a "sandwich artist" and even his wife Elisabeth worked in the corporate office. [12] Every Monday, Dr. Buck would visit the DeLuca household and visit Carmela and Fred to discuss the Subway business. [12] As time went on, they eventually turned to a franchising model which is when they saw their growth explode.

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. [4] [13] [14]

Jared Fogle

After reading an article about an Indiana man who lost 245 pounds eating Subway Sandwiches, Fred DeLuca [13] [14] met Jared Fogle, bought him a new Mitsubishi Galant, and made him Subway's featured spokesman by 2000. [13] After Fogle became Subway's spokesman, sales and store openings started to skyrocket. [12] [13] [15] [16] [14]

A Subway Franchisee whistleblower named Cindy Mills came forward and alerted several high ranking Subway executives about Fogle's pedophilia and illicit sexual activity. [17] [13] In a statement, Subway denied any knowledge of Fogle's pedophilia and that executives including DeLuca and others were previously unaware of Fogle engaging in underage prostitution both in the United States and in Thailand. [18]

Other Ventures

DeLuca and Peter Buck also partnered to create Franchise Brands [19] in an effort to assist other entrepreneurs in replicating their success in the franchise industry.


During DeLuca's tenure, Subway grew to be the largest franchise in the world. [12] DeLuca aggressively pursued store growth, requiring franchisees open stores nearby their existing ones, in some cases across the street from their existing locations, or else Subway would recruit a competitor that would put them out of business. [20] These practices led to market over-saturation, and from 2015 to 2020, Subway had a net loss of thousands US stores. [12] [21] [22]

Personal life

DeLuca had homes in Milford, Connecticut, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, [16] and lived with his wife Elisabeth. His son, Jonathan, lives in Boca Raton, Florida. [5] DeLuca adopted a child of Cindy Mattson, named Luca. [12]

On July 15, 2013, DeLuca announced that he was being treated for leukemia. [23] [24] DeLuca died on September 14, 2015, at Lauderdale Lakes, Florida. [25] [1]


At the graduation commencement in 2002, DeLuca received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.) from his alma mater, the University of Bridgeport. [1] He also was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Connecticut Restaurant Association [26]

Related Research Articles

Subway is an American multi-national fast food restaurant franchise that primarily sells submarine sandwiches (subs), wraps, salads and beverages.

Fast food restaurant Type of restaurant

A fast food restaurant, also known as a quick service restaurant (QSR) within the industry, is a specific type of restaurant that serves fast food cuisine and has minimal table service. The food served in fast food restaurants is typically part of a "meat-sweet diet", offered from a limited menu, cooked in bulk in advance and kept hot, finished and packaged to order, and usually available for take away, though seating may be provided. Fast food restaurants are typically part of a restaurant chain or franchise operation that provides standardized ingredients and/or partially prepared foods and supplies to each restaurant through controlled supply channels. The term "fast food" was recognized in a dictionary by Merriam–Webster in 1951.

Burger King Global chain of hamburger fast food restaurants headquartered in Florida

Burger King (BK) is an American multinational chain of hamburger fast food restaurants. Headquartered in Miami-Dade County, Florida, the company was founded in 1953 as Insta-Burger King, a Jacksonville, Florida–based restaurant chain. After Insta-Burger King ran into financial difficulties in 1954, its two Miami-based franchisees David Edgerton and James McLamore purchased the company and renamed it "Burger King". Over the next half-century, the company changed hands four times, with its third set of owners, a partnership of TPG Capital, Bain Capital, and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, taking it public in 2002. In late 2010, 3G Capital of Brazil acquired a majority stake in the company, in a deal valued at US$3.26 billion. The new owners promptly initiated a restructuring of the company to reverse its fortunes. 3G, along with partner Berkshire Hathaway, eventually merged the company with the Canadian-based doughnut chain Tim Hortons, under the auspices of a new Canadian-based parent company named Restaurant Brands International.

Quiznos American fast food chain

QIP Holder, LLC, doing business as Quiznos, is an American franchised fast-food restaurant based in Denver, Colorado, that specializes in offering toasted submarine sandwiches. It was founded in 1981 by Jimmy Lambatos and sold to Rick and Richard Schaden ten years later, before growing to nearly 5,000 restaurants afterwards. As of 2013, Quiznos was the second-largest submarine sandwich shop chain in North America, behind Subway. A 2016 survey indicated that Quiznos was the ninth-largest submarine sandwich shop chain based on sales. The publications Restaurant Business and reported in mid-2018 that Quiznos had only 400 locations remaining by 2017 after a high of 4,700 locations in 2007 just a decade earlier, while Money reported in May 2018 that Quiznos had 1,500 locations across the U.S.

Jared Fogle American convicted sex offender and former corporate mascot

Jared Scott Fogle is an American convicted sex offender and a former spokesman for Subway restaurants. After attributing significant weight loss to eating Subway sandwiches, Fogle appeared in the company's advertising campaigns from 2000 to 2015. His tenure came to an abrupt end following an FBI investigation that saw him convicted of traveling to pay for sex with minors and possessing child pornography.

Roy Rogers Restaurants

Roy Rogers Franchise Company, LLC is a chain of fast food restaurants primarily located in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States. The chain originated as the rebranding of the RoBee's House of Beef chain of Fort Wayne, Indiana acquired by the Marriott Corporation in February 1968. However, Marriott first used the Roy Rogers Roast Beef name on conversions of the company's Junior Hot Shoppes in the Washington D.C. area in April 1968, then the existing RoBee's stores. An aggressive nationwide franchising campaign was launched. At its peak, the chain included over 600 locations. As of November 2021, the chain has 44 locations.

Arbys U.S. sandwich chain

Arby's is an American fast food sandwich restaurant chain with more than 3,300 restaurants system wide and third in terms of revenue. In October 2017, Food & Wine called Arby's "America's second largest sandwich chain ".

Culvers Restaurant chain in the United States

Culver Franchising System, LLC, doing business as Culver's, is a privately owned and operated American casual fast food restaurant chain that operates primarily in the Midwestern United States. The chain is mostly known for its "butter burgers" and frozen custard, but also offers cheese curds, chicken, fish, and salads. Culver's opened its first restaurant in 1984 in Sauk City, Wisconsin. It is currently headquartered in nearby Prairie du Sac. As of August 9, 2021, the chain had 808 restaurants in 25 states, mostly in the Midwest, with an additional 35 under construction.

Jimmy Johns American sandwich restaurant chain

Jimmy John's Franchise, LLC is an American franchised sandwich fast food restaurant chain owned by Inspire Brands. It was founded by Jimmy John Liautaud in 1983 and is headquartered in Champaign, Illinois. In 35 years, the company has grown to more than 2,700 locations in all states except Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. As of 2020, 98% of the locations are franchise-owned. Jimmy John's founder has expressed interest in expanding into Toronto, Canada in the future as well.

"Jared Has Aides" is the sixth season first episode of the adult American animated television series South Park, and the 80th episode of the series overall. It first aired on Comedy Central in the United States on March 6, 2002. In the episode, weight loss advocate Jared Fogle incurs the wrath of South Park after he announces that he lost weight because he has aides. This leads Cartman, Kyle and Stan to try to use Butters as their own advocate for City Wok. The episode also parodies the film Philadelphia.

Rax Roast Beef Regional fast food chain in Ohio

Rax Roast Beef is a regional U.S. fast food restaurant chain specializing in roast beef sandwiches. The company is based in Ironton, Ohio. Once a major player in the fast food industry, Rax has extensively scaled down its operations since its peak in the 1980s.

McAlisters Deli American chain of fast casual restaurants

McAlister's Deli is an American chain of fast casual restaurants founded in 1989 in Oxford, Mississippi, by retired dentist Dr. Don Newcomb. There are currently over 350 locations in 29 states. The menu includes deli sandwiches, "giant spuds", soups, salads, and desserts, as well as catering items such as sandwich trays and boxed lunches. The chain is also known for its McAlister's Famous Sweet Tea, which is available by the glass or by the gallon.

This article is intended to give an overview of the history of McDonald's.


Capriotti's Sandwich Shop, Inc. is a Nevada-based fast casual restaurant chain located in the United States. The restaurant chain was founded in Wilmington, Delaware in 1976. Capriotti's has 112 company-owned and franchise locations in 16 states, including the District of Columbia.

Taco del Mar

Taco Del Mar is a Denver, Colorado-based Mexican fast casual restaurant chain that specializes in coastal Mexican cuisine. Since opening in Seattle on June 8, 1992 by brothers James and John Schmidt, it has expanded into over 260 locations in the U.S. and Canada. It is known for its relaxed, seaside-themed decor inspired by the beaches of Baja California.

Peter Buck was an American physicist, restaurateur, and philanthropist. He co-founded the Subway fast-food restaurant chain.

Burger Fuel

BurgerFuel is a New Zealand burger restaurant and franchise with 88 locations in six countries, including 54 locations in New Zealand.

Wendys American international fast food chain

Wendy's is an American international fast food restaurant chain founded by Dave Thomas on November 15, 1969, in Columbus, Ohio. The company moved its headquarters to Dublin, Ohio, on January 29, 2006. As of December 31, 2018, Wendy's was the world's third-largest hamburger fast-food chain with 6,711 locations, following Burger King and McDonald's. On April 24, 2008, the company announced a merger with Triarc Companies Inc., a publicly-traded company and the parent company of Arby's. Wendy's headquarters remained in Dublin. Following the merger, Triarc became known as Wendy's/Arby's Group, and later as The Wendy's Company.

Subway Israel was a fast food sandwich chain, an international franchise of Subway. Opening in 1992, they expanded to 23 branches around Israel before they closed in 2004.

Suzanne Greco is an American businesswoman, who was the president and CEO of the Subway fast food chain, from January 2015 to June 2018. She is the sister of Fred DeLuca, the co-founder of the company.


  1. 1 2 3 "Fred DeLuca, Co-Founder of Subway Sandwich Chain, Dies at 67". The New York Times. September 15, 2015.
  2. "20th Century Great American Business Leaders database". Archived from the original on April 16, 2008. Retrieved November 10, 2011.
  3. "Fred DeLuca". H. Wayne Huizenga School. Archived from the original on September 30, 2011.
  4. 1 2 3 4 "DeLuca, Fred". Retrieved October 3, 2021.
  5. 1 2 3 4 "Billionaire Profile: Fred DeLuca". March 25, 2011. Archived from the original on November 12, 2011. Retrieved November 10, 2011.
  6. 1 2 "Subway Passes McDonald's For Most Fast-Food Restaurants". Hartford Courant . Retrieved July 7, 2015.
  7. "Entrepreneur's Hall of Fame: Fred DeLuca". LTBN. 2007. Retrieved September 14, 2015.
  8. "Early Fast Fooderies-Where They all Started". April 30, 2012. Retrieved September 13, 2012.
  9. McFadden, Robert D. (September 15, 2015). "Fred DeLuca, Hands-on Co-Founder of Subway Sandwich Chain, Dies at 67". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  10. 1 2 "Five Tips from Subway". Inc. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  11. "Subway, Eat Fresh". Archived from the original on October 13, 2009. Retrieved November 10, 2011.
  12. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Subway cofounder Fred DeLuca ruled the company like a demigod and pursued wives of franchisees. How one man sent the world's biggest fast-food chain into a tailspin". Business Insider. Retrieved June 17, 2021.
  13. 1 2 3 4 5 "Fred DeLuca Dead: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". September 15, 2015. Retrieved January 28, 2021.
  14. 1 2 3 Tim Evans; Mark Alesia (August 19, 2015). "Court documents reveal Jared Fogle's sordid secret life". IndyStar.
  15. "Subway Plans to Close 500 U.S. Stores, Build Global Reach". Bloomberg. April 25, 2018. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  16. 1 2 "Forbes Richest Americans". September 19, 2006. Retrieved November 10, 2011.
  17. Kaja Whitehouse (August 28, 2015). "Franchisee: Subway execs knew about Jared Fogle's interest in children". USAToday.
  18. Maria Mercedes Lara (August 30, 2015). "Subway Claims Their Management Team Was Not Alerted About Former Franchisee's Claims That Jared Fogle Admitted to Having Sex with Minors". People Magazine.
  19. "Franchise Brands". February 19, 2009. Archived from the original on October 3, 2011. Retrieved November 10, 2011.
  20. "Subway Got Too Big. Franchisees Paid a Price". The New York Times. June 28, 2019.
  21. "Ranking the Top 50 Fast-Food Chains in America". QSR. May 2020.
  22. "Subway continued closing locations last year". Restaurant Business.
  23. "Subway sandwich co-founder has leukemia". NBC News . Retrieved July 19, 2013.
  24. "Subway co-founder attends meeting mid leukemia battle". New York Post . Retrieved July 7, 2015.
  25. "Subway Co-Founder, CEO Fred DeLuca Dies at 67". Bloomberg News. September 15, 2015. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  26. Juliano, Frank (December 3, 2015). "Subway founder is honored for lifetime achievements". Connecticut Post.