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Breakfast, Snack Dayparts Booming at Subway Cafés

SAN DIEGO -- Subway has long been known as a lunch venue, but the breakfast and snack dayparts are booming at the chain's recently opened Subway Cafés, according to a Nation's Restaurant News report.

"Sales are much higher than regular Subways and have far exceeded our expectations," said Rohit Marwaha, who with his brother Raghu opened one Subway Café in downtown San Diego in September and another in the Mission Hills area of the city last month.

His family has operated Subway restaurants in southern California since 1994, he said. Marwaha declined to reveal anticipated sales or by how much the unit was exceeding them.

Traditional Subway units earned an estimated $453,600 in sales annually as of the fiscal year ended December 2010, according to Nation's Restaurant News' Top 200 census.

The Subway Café concept, which some franchisees have been experimenting with since 2008, features an expanded breakfast menu with muffins, cinnamon rolls and croissant sandwiches in addition to the breakfast sandwiches Subway introduced last year.

These locations also sells premium coffee, including espresso drinks -- a single shot is $1.67 with tax; a small cappuccino is $2.91 at the San Diego units -- and frozen blended coffee beverages in a setting that features free Wi-Fi, satellite television and better seating than that of traditional Subway units.

Nationwide, 20 Subway Café locations have opened so far and dozens more are in the planning stages, according to a spokeswoman for the Milford, Conn.-based sandwich shop chain.

The first Subway Café opened in an office building in Alexandria, Va., in 2008.

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