Gary Schiff director of business development for Guam Saipan and military installations in Japan for Subway Investments Corp. said the Subway brand is popular with military personnel in Japan. Subway Investments Corp. is the development office for military installations in Japan. Subway Investments Corp. was established in 1992 and also does business in Guam and Saipan. Subway Investments Corp. has a total of 16 locations in both Guam and Saipan. Schiff traveled to Japan in May to visit Subway stores on U.S. military bases.

Schiff said 10 stores have opened on military bases in Japan and three more are scheduled to open this year. "People on Guam see the stores here but don’t realize the kind of business we are doing with the bases not only on Guam but also in Japan. We make sure they are functioning properly. Every month we do evaluations and assist with operational issues and guidance. We’re a kind of a multi-national company "" we’re not just here on Guam " he said.

Marcos W. Fong managing director for Subway Investments Corp. said "There are plans for further growth in Japan." He said "On Guam we are fine tuning our existing locations."

According to Schiff business is brisk "There are the usual fast food restaurants in the food courts on base and Subway has the longest lines."

He attributes the success to health conscious patrons and the familiarity of the brand for military personnel abroad. Schiff said "It’s a healthy alternative to burgers and fries and I think the servicemen and women are on top of the health issues." He said the dining experience on the base is no different then the dining experience in a town in the U.S. "On the base everything is from the U.S. where you have exactly the same experience. No variance whatsoever. One hundred percent of the product comes from the U.S."

He said "We have such a strong brand in the U.S. We are the largest franchise in North America. They are very familiar with Subway. They like to eat things they are familiar with "" a little taste of home."

The decision to move thousands of Marines and their dependants to Guam from Okinawa has not affected the military as the franchisee. Schiff said the military continues to open more Subway outlets. Schiff told the Journal "They like Subway enough that they want to open them. They see the potential. Sales are good. Even if they were to lose the 8 000 Marines they still believe there is still enough business to support Subway." MBJ