Difference Between McDonald’s and Subway

McDonald’s and Subway are two of the largest fast-food chains like KFC and Pizza Hut. Their main aim is to provide the fastest meals to their customers at a lower price and with a good never to forget the taste.

They both differ in the methods their recipes and their mottos.

It is always easier to grab a hamburger or a sandwich from one of these fast-food chains when someone is running late for work.

McDonald’s vs Subway

The main difference between McDonald’s and Subway is that while McDonald’s are famous for their various hamburgers that come in all sizes and with recipes that could be tweaked according to the palettes of the customer, Subway rose to fame for their submarine sandwiches which is much healthier than the regular sandwiches found in usual fast-food chains.

McDonalds vs Subway

McDonald’s has been one of the first fast-food chains to be introduced to this world. They began all the trends that are now famous and are followed by other fast-food chains.

They are known to customize their food and also make sure to stay with the current trends followed by the youth as well as the older population.

Subway came along into the fast-food chains category along with the emergence of most other famous fast-food chains. Their introduction has been part of many motivation stories that float around.

The recipes followed by subway are always on the healthier side with vegetables and leafy goodness used in all their sandwiches. It isn’t the most famous sandwich outlet in the world, but they still hold their place.

Comparison Table Between McDonald’s and Subway

Parameters of ComparisonMcDonald’sSubway
Famous ForBurgerSubmarine sandwiches
Year of Introduction19401965
Larger Chain of RestaurantYesNo
Offers Healthy MenuNoYes
Favorite Soft Drink OptionPepsi, CokeCoca cola

What is McDonald’s?

McDonald’s began their sales and marketing in the year 1940 and has since then been called the pioneer or the starter for all fast-food chains.

The Speedee service system that is followed by most food chains around the world has been started by McDonald’s.

They ensure fast delivery as well as clean and hygienic services to their customers and this is one of the main reasons people flock to McDonald’s.

The mascot for McDonald’s has been changed once from the original to the present one.

At the time of the McDonald’s introduction, their mascot had been a man with a hamburger for the head with a chef’s hat on top.

This didn’t have the expected popularity among the people and then the owners decided to change it to something that most of their customers who are kids would love.

That is how the present mascot, which is a clown was born in the traditional McDonald’s colors of red and yellow.

As of now, McDonald’s has spread all over the world with many outlets spanning over more than 119 countries and serves about 60 million people daily.

Their restaurants are built in such a manner that most have both countertop delivery as well as a drive-thru.

But McDonald’s restaurants with drive-thru are usually common only on the highways and in populated areas.

Their outlets are always children-friendly as they might have a park attached to the restaurant or a play area solely targeting kids.

These play areas could either be inside or outside the restaurant as the seating area in most McDonald’s is both inside and outside.

It is common for the interior of the outlets to be painted and decorated in the colors of McDonald’s, yellow and red.

It is common to find the McDonald’s mascot statue in most outlets.

Their menu consists of almost all kinds of food from hamburgers to sandwiches along with desserts, drinks, and ice creams.

They do provide vegetarian meals for vegetarian guests. But this facility isn’t available in all the outlets.

McDonald’s has gained fame for tweaking their menus to match the cultural and traditional differences of the region where they have their outlets.

One such example is the McRice available in India, Srilanka, and also in Indonesia.

What is Subway?

Subway began as a small fast food restaurant started by a young boy not older than 18.

It began in the year 1965 when young Fred De Luca couldn’t afford to pay his college tuition with the bare minimum money that he had.

This leads him to go around town ask his family members and friends to lend him some money to start a small restaurant that sells sandwiches alone.

It eventually became a hit with all the healthy recipes that were used by Luca to provide his customers with a nice and indulging meal.

In the beginning, Luca named his restaurant Pete’s submarine. This name was changed over time to suit the slang of different people and to have a name that matches the main food in the restaurant.

It has seen massive growth and has over 33,000 outlets that are spread over 100 countries serving a large number of people daily.

Even though their main spotlight on the menu is the submarine sandwiches, they also provide many other dishes such as cookies, muffins, and almost all the food included in an English breakfast.

Their highlight is that they include a massive amount of vegetables in all their meals. This includes lettuce, napa cabbages, broccoli, and many more.

This health factor is what attracts people to the subway and it is suitable for almost all the people who are on a diet.

Main Differences Between McDonald’s and Subway

  1. While McDonald’s is famous for its hamburgers with its special recipe, Subway is known mainly for its submarine sandwiches.
  2. McDonald’s hasn’t had a change in name since the beginning of the restaurant whereas Subway has had a name change from Pete’s Submarine to Subway.
  3. The main idea behind subway is to provide the most healthy meals that could be provided but on the other hand, McDonald’s offers all the fat-filled food.
  4. McDonald’s has been one of the first fast-food chains that the world saw but on the other hand, Subway came about much later.
  5. The mascot for the subway is their submarine sandwiches whereas the mascot for McDonald’s is clown-themed in red and yellow.
Difference Between McDonalds and Subway


Both subway and McDonald’s are fast-growing fast-food chains that have established their main hold in the world.

While the basic concepts of both the chains are different, they both do provide their customers with fast services and meals as advertised.

The main focus of the subway sandwiches is to fill up the sandwich with as many vegetables as possible and include salads in the different meal packages.

McDonald’s on the other hand mainly provides all fat-filled food with a good amount of cheese and fatty patties are used for the preparation of the burgers.

Such small differences differentiate the kind of people who approach both the food chains.

While subway might see a greater inflow of people on diet or people with health issues, McDonald’s sees more of the younger population or school-going students.


  1. https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/00070700510589503/full/html
  2. https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/10610421011033476/full/html
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