No prank this time — Subway has officially confirmed its imminent Indonesia return, though we certainly can’t fault those who still have trust issues with the world’s most popular sandwich chain.
In a press release that was published on the chain’s official website, Subway said it has signed an agreement with PT Sari Sandwich Indonesia — a subsidiary of lifestyle retailer Mitra Adiperkasa’s F&B wing PT Map Boga Adiperkasa — to expand to Indonesia. The American sandwich chain is slated for a launch by the end of this year, with locations in the Greater Jakarta area.
Indonesia will be the first market to implement the chain’s exclusive country franchise model, which means that MAP will totally be in control with Subway’s development domestically. With previous success in countries such as Singapore, Thailand, and South Korea, Subway’s expansion into the Indonesian market is seen as part of its plan to grow its presence in Asia.
The news has been met with excitement from Indonesians online, though many are still reluctant to put complete faith in the news, considering how we were collectively pranked by a fake (but super convincing) Instagram page last year.
To convince doubters that this is real, what appears to be the official Instagram page of Subway Indonesia (we’ll wait until the page gets Instagram’s verified badge before we can say this without hesitation) has been launched with the awful pun #whatSUBIndonesia for a hashtag. The page also made a point of establishing itself as the real deal by calling out its impostor.
Earlier this month, rumors of Subway’s return to our shores picked up steam after a vacancy for “Crew Sandwich – Subway” was posted on the employment website Jobstreet, which quickly went viral after screenshots of it were posted on Twitter.
Subway is actually no stranger to Indonesia, having served the country their world-famous subs from the ‘90s to the mid-2000s. Since they left the country, the closest locations Indonesians can reach to fill the Subway-shaped hole in their tummies are Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand (though we doubt Subway is the primary reason for anyone to visit these countries).
Founded in 1965, Subway primarily sells submarine sandwiches or subs, salads, beverages, and cookies. Subway is one of the fastest growing franchises in the world, as well as being the largest fast food chain, with nearly 40,000 locations in over 100 countries but with more than half of the outlets located in the US.
The second-largest sandwich chain in the US, Quiznos, has established quite a presence in the Greater Jakarta Area since 2016, with locations in East Jakarta’s Rawamangun, Central Jakarta’s Menteng, BSD, and Citra Garden 2 in West Jakarta.