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Subway founder says regulations would prevent sandwich chain from being started today

It’s hard to imagine a world without the $5 Footlong. But Subway founder Fred Deluca says the sandwich chain would not exist if it started today.

“I’ll tell ya, if I had started Subway today, Subway would not exist,” ” Deluca said on Wednesday. “Because I had an easy time of it in the ’60s when I started, and I just see a continuing increase of regulations.”

Deluca spoke on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” about the current state of the economy. He said the economic environment is unfriendly toward businesses and has undergone drastic changes since he founded Subway in 1965.

Deluca talked about some specific factors influencing the economy, including Obama’s proposed minimum wage increase to $9. The Subway founder said he favors a gradual increase, but not an abrupt jump.

“[The proposed increase] would cause franchises to increase prices,” he explained. “There’s no question about it. Wages directly translate to prices.”

Deluca also addressed the great sense of uncertainty businesses face when confronted with Obamacare.

“[Obamacare] is the biggest concern of our franchises,” he stated. “They don’t have enough information. They don’t know what they’re looking forward to. It’s causing a lot of concern. But that too will also pass through to the consumer.”

So once Obamacare kicks in, and if the President’s minimum wage proposal goes into effect, $5 Footlongs could be a thing of the past. And $7 Footlongs just doesn’t have the same ring to it.