He maintained a tight grip on the company operations and surrounded himself with employees who loved and feared him.
Subway's current problems are inextricable from the strategies co-founder Fred DeLuca used to build the chain.
The widow of Subway co-founder Fred DeLuca is in the spotlight as Subway sales rumors swirl and franchisees call for assistance.
The denial came after more than 100 Subway franchisees released an open letter to owner Elisabeth DeLuca, demanding she fix the business.
"We had to take away from our families so that we can pay royalties to you, a multi-billionaire," franchisees wrote in a letter.
From the success of the $5 footlong to store closures, declining sales and franchisee revolts in recent years, we unpack what's happening with Subway.