The sandwich chain surpassed the world's largest hamburger chain in terms of number of stores in the U.S. in 2002 and now it has taken the global lead.
Subway had 33,749 restaurants worldwide at the end of last year, according to the company. McDonald's Corp. had 32,737, according a regulatory filing.
McDonald's, however, remains the revenue champion. The company reported $24 billion in revenue for its last fiscal year. Subway generated roughly $15.2 billion, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.
Subway is a privately held company that does not publicly disclose its financial performance.