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This Is the World’s Biggest Restaurant Chain (Psst: It’s not McDonald’s!)

Logos from McDonalds, Burger King and Subway side-by-side

In 1965, 17-year-old Fred DeLuca borrowed $1,000 from Peter Buck to form Pete’s Super Submarines. Never heard of it?

The restaurant in Bridgeport, Connecticut, now goes by the more succinct “Subway,” along with the 40,000-plus other locations worldwide.Thank goodness for that!

Imagine the sandwich techs today: “Welcome to Pete’s Super Submarines. Some sauce on your super-succulent sub sandwich?” as they gather orders for the 7.6 million sandwiches made daily around the globe.(Hungry for Subway now? Make yourself this copycat.)

How’d Subway get so popular?

It may be because Subway is one of the least expensive restaurants to franchise, according to Business Insider. Or maybe it’s just that crazy-delicious aroma of baking bread. Or the 38 million possible ingredient combinations from which to choose. (By the way, this doesn’t even include secret menu items, such as the Chicken Cordon Bleu Sandwich and Eggs Florentine Flatbread.)

Whatever the reason, DeLuca turned his sandwich artistry into franchise magic, surpassing McDonald’s in restaurant locations by the end of 2010, says CNN Money.

Where isn’t there a Subway?

They’re on every continent except Antarctica (for now).

In Costa Rica, there are currently 71 Subway locations across the country, though the largest number are in the Greater Metropolitan Area of San Jose (GAM). They are everywhere, from the local mall, main streets, small towns and tourist areas. You can buy online and have your Subway delivered.

The first Subway in Costa Rica opened its doors in 1995, in Los Yoses.

Subway’s menu varies between countries. In Costa Rica, there is the Sub Tico: shredded beef, ground beans, custard and lizano sauce (carne mechada, frijoles molidos, natilla and salsa lizano). And choice of toppings.