So You Want to Start a Sandwich Shop?

woman in a sandwich shop

Sub or sandwich shops can be very profitable ventures. However, whether you’re going the sub-franchise route or going at it on your own, you need to take specific measures to ensure your sandwich shop survives and thrives.

Location Matters

You’ll need a small space with moderate to high foot traffic. Take note of the surrounding shops; you’ll want to see non-competitive and reputable establishments. People might not want to go near your delicatessen if it’s beside a pawnshop or an adult toy store. Make sure the place and its surroundings are clean with little to no vagrants. Delis/sandwich shops require very little space, so don’t waste your rent money on someplace big.

Know Your Customer

Get to know your future customers. Will they be students? Office workers? Construction crews? Tailor your menu to the people in the vicinity; they’ll be your primary market throughout your run. Once you’re up and running, get in touch with nearby offices and tell them about your shop and what it offers. If you can get an office or two to place regular orders, then you’re shop is well on its way to being successful. An average sub/sandwich shop in a moderately populated area can earn an average of $7,000-$8,000 per week or around $30,000 a month.  However, you can raise your earnings by targeting the people around you closely and making sure your sandwiches are their first choice during lunch or breaks.

Find a Niche

Identify different niches and cater to them. You can issue membership cards that give discounts or earn a price after certain transactions. A discount of a few cents is insignificant if you can get a loyal and regular customer base. If there’s a large gym or sports center near the area, offer high-protein meals and drinks. If individual office workers have requests or proposals, do your best to entertain them. Regular customers are the heart-blood of your business. Do your best to cultivate a lasting relationship with them.

Shake Things Up

filled sandwhich

Consistency should be one of your priorities, especially regarding your sandwiches. However, introducing something new for a limited period can shake things up for the better and garner a bit of interest. A good example is Popeyes chicken sandwiches; they rarely last a season, but they drive interest and sales through the roof. Seasonal offerings that coincide with certain holidays can bolster your sales, and you can always add items to your regular menu if demands are unusually high.

Mind Your Workers

Theft is a significant problem in most restaurants, and delis are no exception. While you can easily install surveillance equipment to keep tabs on your workers, a better way to stop theft is to screen your employees and provide decent wages. Offer bonuses after a set number of sales — say 200. Your employees will strive to hit that number each day, to get a little extra.

With proper planning and management, sandwich shops can be very profitable. A well-performing shop or franchise can earn you six figures a year in profit — not bad for a simple sandwich shop.

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