Sandwich chain Subway opened its 1,000 UK and Ireland store last week and said it would be the largest fast-food outlet by number of stores in the region by 2008.
The US franchise says is currently opening six stores a week in the UK and Ireland.
With a store count at 1,000 Subway has already overtaken rival fast-food chain KFC, which has 722 stores, and has market leader McDonald's 1,200 outlets firmly in its sights.
Alan Whitehead, territory development manager at Subway, said: "We are on target to pass McDonald's in the middle of 2009. Even though we passed the 1,000 store mark last week we still have 300 franchises either sold or in development.
"We have done our homework: it took us five years to learn the market and we have been developing our awareness by focusing on the high street. Now we can move into other sectors.
"In the USA there is one store per 15,000 people. Here we are looking at one store per 30,000 people and we should reach that goal by 2010."
Subway opened its first store in Brighton in 1996 and only breached the 100 store ceiling in 2002, since then it finished 2005 with just shy of 600 stores and 2006 with over 850. The US franchise now employs 15,000 people in the UK.
By Christopher Walton
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