7-Eleven Takes Top Franchise
Fast-growing chain trumps Subway
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 18, 2008 7:20 PM CST
Richard Stumreiter from Glendale, Calif., shops for Simpson's products at the 7-Eleven "Kwik-E-Mart" in Burbank, Calif., Monday, July 2, 2007.   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – After 16 years of flirting with the top seat, 7-Eleven has finally wrested the title of No. 1 franchise away from sandwich heavyweight Subway, reports Entrepreneur. With 5,580 US stores, 25,062 worldwide, and a new one opening up somewhere every four and a half hours, the convenience giant has charted its own unique path to Big Gulp glory.

"Our big reason for that is our franchisees have a vested interest in being successful," said CEO Joseph DePinto. "They know their customers." He says the company, which is pushing to have more stores owned by franchisees rather than the corporation, prides itself on catering to local tastes.