Subway has been named as the number one franchise opportunity for the fourth year in a row in an annual list of Top 100 Global Franchises by Franchise Direct, the leading online resource for global franchise opportunities.

The sandwich and wrap chain came out on ahead of a top four comprising McDonald’s, KFC and Burger King. Pizza Hut was named sixth, while Dunkin Donuts was ninth.

The list ranks the best franchises from around the globe through looking at system size, revenue, stability, growth, years in operation and market expansion. The criterion also includes best practices in the area of franchisee support and training; environmental policies; and social responsibility.

Don Fertman, the chief development officer at Subway, said: “The Subway brand works hard to make it easy for entrepreneurs worldwide to open and operate their own business through our franchise model. We provide initial and ongoing training for our franchisees, regional, and country offices to provide support. We are equally proud that we provide choice on our menus, including a number of healthier options, and have taken steps to be more environmentally responsible with our stores.”

In 2013, the company opened 2,700 new locations worldwide, providing about 27,000 new jobs through the brand’s franchisees. Of those new locations opened, 1,806 were in International markets. Fertman said that the brand expects to open at least another 3,000 new locations this year as well, with most located outside the US.

The brand reached a number of milestones in 2013, including: opening the 40,000 location worldwide; reached the 4,000 store milestone in Europe; the 500th location in the Middle East; 3,000 locations in both Canada and Latin America; and the 9,000th store in a non-traditional location.

In the UK and Ireland, the brand surpassed 1,700 stores in 2013 and has recently announced plans to increase this to 3,000 over the next six years, creating around 13,000 new jobs.

Its London development office has announced plans to open 30 new stores across London and Greater London this year.