Sandwich Shops – State of the Market in 2019

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Sandwhich shops for sale uk

Fast food has always been franchising’s forte. However, few types of food have proven as popular as the humble sandwich. Here, we examine the state of the sandwich industry in 2019 and take a look at exciting franchising opportunities.

Sandwich Industry 2019

As consumers, we love the accessibility and versatility of a sandwich. It’s a firm favourite for an on-the-go snack and whether you’re a cheese ploughman, BLT or egg and cress kind of person, sandwiches make it possible for us to enjoy our favourite combination of ingredients.

As human beings, we tend to stick to what we know, and this is supported by our consumer behaviour. For instance, prawn mayonnaise was Marks & Spencer’s most popular sandwich back in 1981 and it still is today. Whilst we’re on the topic, M&S actually invented the pre-packed sandwich in 1980 and, since then, we have eaten a staggering three billion of them - and that’s just from M&S.

Research by the Kantar Worldpanel found that enjoyment and taste are the main drivers in our product choice when we buy sandwiches. Also, our love of buying something that is quick and convenient is consumer trend that is growing rapidly. With much of the UK population living busy, often hectic lives, being able to access food that we can consume easily, on the move, at an affordable price is important. The average sandwich costs just over £2 - making it a very cost-effective meal option.

Interestingly, according to research, sandwiches are starting to be consumed more and more at breakfast and teatime, which is great news for sandwich shops across the UK. Now, let’s consider some of the best sandwich shop franchise opportunities in the UK.

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Sandwich Shops for Sale Near Me


Subway is the most widespread restaurant franchise in operation and one of the most recognisable brands in the world. With more than 44,500 restaurants spread across 112 different countries, it’s achieved global success despite its humble beginnings. Founded in 1965 with a start-up fund of just $1,000, Subway has been through half a century of radical change and enormous growth, emerging as one of the biggest chains in the quick service restaurant (QSR) industry.

If you’re considering becoming a Subway franchisee, you’ll need to make a total investment of £200,000. Though this is considerably more than many other franchises, it’s important to remember that you’re paying for access to one of the most successful franchise models in the history of the system.

Eligible franchisees should also be able to borrow between 50 and 70 percent of the amount required from one of the many major lenders who are willing to support Subway franchisees.

In return for this investment, franchisees will be provided with everything they need to make the Subway franchise an unqualified success. Two weeks of high-quality, in-depth training are followed by ongoing support and numerous educational opportunities. Subway will also assist franchisees in finding a location, fitting out the premises and launching their restaurant.

Baguette Express

If you're looking for a more affordable sandwich franchise that still aims to compete with the big names, Baguette Express may be the perfect choice. Established in 1999, the franchise focuses on bringing healthy fast food to customers across the country. Baguette Express allows customers to create their own sandwiches and mix and match fillings to their heart's content. This sets it apart from other sandwich companies, which typically offer a limited range of sandwiches.

Franchisees will need to make an initial cash investment of somewhere between £20,000 and £35,000 to be granted their own unit. A Baguette Express franchise will, on average, set you back around £60,000. However, costs could reach £100,000, depending on the location and size of the restaurant, as well as the type of franchise package purchased.

All franchisees are enrolled in a two-week training programme, which covers everything needed to run a Baguette Express, including information about the franchise's unique business model and its award-winning menu. Assistance with setting up and launching the store is also available.

Bagel Corner

Next, we come to something completely different - the bagel. Founded in France in 2010, Bagel Corner has attempted to fill a gap in the QSR market by serving up tasty bagels - along with salads and soups - to customers across the continent. The franchise utilises an innovative system that enables customers to order online and collect in-store, an approach that makes it one of the most forward-thinking businesses in the industry.

As well as regular franchisees, Bagel Corner is looking for a master franchisee for the UK market. This requires an investment of somewhere between £400,000 and £500,000. The master franchisee will ultimately be able to license sub-franchises and direct the growth of the franchise in the UK, after a ten-day training programme and with ongoing support.

The Bagel Corner model supports three types of outlet: restaurants, shop-in-shop locations and takeaway kiosks – which gives investors a great deal of flexibility when it comes to expanding the franchise network.

Wrap It Up!

While wraps may not technically be sandwiches, they're competing for the same market share. Wrap It Up! offers franchisees a unique opportunity to try something a little different and bring a healthy, fashionable street food to customers across the UK. The franchise emphasises the fact that it offers a unique product that is distinguishable from the vast majority of sandwich businesses already in existence.

If you want to challenge the dominance of traditional sandwiches by becoming a Wrap It Up! franchisee, you'll need to raise a total investment of approximately £120,000. As there are only 17 existing Wrap It Up! restaurants, you'll be amongst the first wave of franchisees working to expand the chain beyond London.

For a relatively new franchise, Wrap It Up! has developed a comparatively strong franchise support system that helps to prepare franchisees for the role. A two-day training scheme is supplemented by ongoing training opportunities and continuous support and guidance from the franchise headquarters. Franchisees will also benefit from an excellent marketing strategy and high brand visibility.

However, Wrap It UP! is currently looking for franchisees with us. Keep checking back though in case the brand decides to expand its franchise network again in the future.


Finally, something a little different. Launched in 2003, Jasper’s Catering Services provides food for corporate meetings, training sessions, lunches and events, offering buffet options including sandwiches, rolls and wraps, as well as cheese boards, finger food with dips, hot meals like fajitas, curry and chili con carne, and even desserts like cakes, flapjacks and fruit skewers.

Franchisees ensure that all food is prepared in local commercial business units, before it is transported in a branded, refrigerated van. With a minimum investment of £42,500 and a total investment of around £140,000, franchisees gain access to a 16-week training programme. In a tempting offer for franchisees, Jasper’s helps to find and secure the commercial base for food preparation, and local social media platforms are set up and maintained for the first year of the franchise on behalf of the franchisee. As a result of sustained support from the company, franchisees can build on an established and successful business model and expect to generate a £3,000 weekly turnover by week six.

The sandwich industry is a diverse and exciting sector where competition is fierce, and there are always new businesses emerging. We've tried to reflect this diversity by looking at established, big-name brands as well as smaller businesses, and traditional sandwich makers, as well as vendors of alternative products. All five of the sandwich shops listed above are excellent investment opportunities just waiting for the right applicant.

Similar to Wrap It Up!, Jasper’s isn’t looking to expand its UK franchise network with us at the moment unfortunately.

Another Franchise Opportunity

Although it’s not advertising for franchisees in our UK Franchise Directory, Pret A Manger is currently looking to expand its UK franchise network.

Pret A Manger

Pret A Manger is a sandwich shop chain that operates across the globe and is headquartered in London. Approximately 67 percent of its trade comes from the UK capital. It started out back in 1983 and has since expanded to over 450 outlets in nine countries. The company focuses on offering natural ingredients as well as making sandwiches fresh the day of purchase. At the end of the day, whatever isn’t sold is collected charities.

Pret A Manger asks that franchisees have relevant experience in managing the operation of a medium to large food and beverage concept; in other words, a sales turnover in excess of £10 million. It is also a requirement to have sufficient access to capital and have a net worth of at least £7 million with access to liquid assets of £3.5 million.

If you think you’ve got what it takes, Pret A Manger encourages you to complete an online application form that you can find on its website.

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