Saying thanks to their customers meant the team at Subway St Johns in Whanganui barely had time to catch their breath on Saturday.

To celebrate their first year as owners of the franchise, Bryan and Nina Foothead decided to give each customer a free 6-inch Sub. The food promotion exceeded the Footheads' expectations as they and their staff gave away exactly 1209 Subs between 11am and 8pm.

"It wasn't until about 7 o'clock that the queues stopped extending into the carpark," Mr Foothead said. "We put up marquees to shelter those standing outside. That's the least we could do to those who've been loyal to us for this past year."

He said it was still to be confirmed but they believed the number of Subs they gave away was a national record for the brand.

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As well as thanking the customers, Mr Foothead said his staff deserved special mention. "They were awesome throughout what was a really hectic day."