This must have slipped under the radar for a lot of people, but back in March, Subway officially surpassed McDonald’s as the world’s largest restaurant chain in terms of units.

That @$#% cray, as Kanye West would put it (“that is crazy” for those who don’t understand Yeezy slang). We were absolutely, 110 per cent sure that McDonald’s would reign supreme for some time to come.

According to numbers disclosed to the Securities and Exchange Commission by both restaurants, at the end of last year, Subway had 33,749 restaurants worldwide, compared to McDonald’s 32,737. Looks like the SEC is good for something after all (just kidding, guys!).

Does the US really need another Subway or McD’s? Probably not. But both chains have set their sights overseas for growth, particularly in Asia.

Subway expects that the number of international restaurants will exceed its domestic ones by 2020. It currently has just over 24,000 locations in the US, so by using a complex mathematical formula, we feel comfortable estimating that Subway has just under 10,000 international locations. Sounds like they’re gearing up for some serious international sandwich saturation.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Subway has been growing rapidly partly by opening outlets in non-traditional locations like an automobile showroom in California and an appliance store in Brazil. We’re thinking that this is tied to the fact that Subway probably has a less demanding list of requirements when setting up shop. Subway can open a shop more easily than McDonald’s because its menu isn’t as diverse (relatively speaking) and aside from bread and cookies, they don’t really need much kitchen space for cooking.

We’ve got a bunch of other theories too! McDonald’s, while trying their best in recent years to push healthier food on their customers, will always be known as a super greasy, guilty pleasure to most health conscious individuals and a place that calorie counters won’t touch with a ten foot pole. Meanwhile, Subway has been kicking butt in the healthy option department (again, relatively speaking) and its most popular ad campaign involved dedicated customer Jared (remember Jared?!?) losing a ton of weight on a steady diet of subs and walking.

We’ve also heard that Subway has lower franchise fees and a lower cost to install the branding. Another reason to say no to Ronald.

All this is great for Subway, but when it comes down to it, McDonald’s still makes more money on an annual basis. Maybe that classic McD’s branding goes a long way. So does Subway need a Ronald McDonald-esque, sandwich mascot to really make money ham-over-fist?

Colby the Cold Cut Combo perhaps? Robbie Roast Beef? Susan the Sweet Onion Chi… alright we’ll stop.

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