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"We overcame them at some point in 2010. One year ago, we were slightly behind," said spokesperson Les Winograd. As of January 1, Subway had 33,749 stores versus McDonald's 32,737.
Subway, which was founded in 1965, attributed some of its success to its private ownership. "That is our choice, and the reason for that is that it enables us to focus on the product, the quality, the restaurants and not on the other things associated with a public company, like financial statements," said Winograd. McDonald's was founded in 1955 and is a publicly traded company with a value of around $80 billion.
McDonald's spokeswoman Heidi Barker commented on other values of the company beyond size. "We remain focused on listening to and serving our customers, and are committed to being better, not just bigger," said Barker.