Our Haute 100 list details the accomplishments of the most influential people in each of our markets—Miami, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. These people continue to make moves, so rather than waiting for the next Haute 100 issue to come out, we thought we’d provide you with regular updates on those Haute 100 members who are making headlines. On our Haute 100 Miami list is Fred Deluca, the billionaire owner of Subway and one of the richest people in America.
Company: Subway Sandwiches and Salads
What Made Him Haute: As one of the wealthiest Americans and founder of Subway, this Ft. Lauderdale resident led the nation on a craze for $5 footlongs. He opened his first sandwich shop at age 17 with $1,000 that he had to borrow. That initial gamble paid off. In 2009, Subway revenues were close to $14 billion and an international expansion is underway. Subway plans to open 500 stores in China over the next few years, capitalizing on the booming market.
What Makes Him Haute Now: Forbes magazine recently released its list of the 400 richest Americans, and Deluca made the cut at No. 221 with a net worth of $1.8 billion. The owner of the second largest fast-food chain, Subway, started his career at 17 and is now one of the Miami elite along with other haute listers such as Micky Arison, H. Wayne Huizenga and Dr. Phillip Frost, who all made the list.
Subway also took part in the recent fashion frenzy during New York Fashion Week and hosted the “Project Subway” fashion show. The show was part of an event produced by special events company In the Loop-Chicago during the chain restaurant’s world franchisee convention in Chicago. Elsa Hiltner, a Chicago-based designer, designed her creations using Subway’s recycled packaging. Onlookers were dazzled by the bodice with floral detail all made from the company’s lunch box package and cookie bag. The fashion show helped raise awareness about Subway’s ongoing efforts to promote environmental friendliness.