Sandwich shops are popular eateries in neighborhoods and city centers. Often they specialize in long and thick sandwiches, called hoagies, bulkies, heroes and grinders, depending on what part of the country you are in. To run a successful sandwich shop business you must be in control of all aspects of the business.
Laws and Codes
When serving food products you must become aware and well versed in the laws, health codes and standards set by local governing bodies. Research the laws and meet with the local health department to make sure all aspects of the business are in accordance to code. Being shut down by the health department for code violations, regardless for how long or why, can severely damage an eatery's reputation with the community. Due diligence will help prevent this from occurring and will also consistently keep clientele in a healthy and clean environment.
Develop a signature sandwich or sandwich line, only available at your shop, to help draw in customers. Put new spins on old favorites, such as a hot and spicy grilled cheese sandwich, to help inspire new ideas. Develop several ideas and have taste tests with customers to help determine what will sell and what will not. A gimmick, such as a 12-foot sandwich contest, where diners are challenged to finish the entire sandwich in an hour for a prize, will help create buzz for your sandwich shop.
Customer service is an essential component for any business, but for a place that serves food, it can help preserve your customer base. There will always be variables when preparing food and mistakes will happen. Having a positive and effective customer service routine that will rectify errors as well as go above and beyond to keep customers happy will keep customers returning, even if their order was wrong.
Publicity and marketing are crucial to preserving the success for a sandwich shop. Depending on the budget, television and radio commercials will help establish branding for your business. A website for potential customers to view your menu online will also be an asset. A coupon printed in a local newspaper or flier will help drive business for those who wouldn't otherwise give the shop a try. For free press and media attention, hold a charitable function, such as catering a homeless shelter with sandwiches for a week. Write about the event in a press release, which will run for free if picked up by a newspaper.
Michelle Barry graduated from Salve Regina University with a Bachelor of Arts in English. Since then, she has worked as a reporter for the Wilbraham-Hampden Times, an editor for Month9Books and Evolved Publishing, editor and has spent the past seven years in marketing and graphic design. She also has an extensive background in dance.