The Top 3 Sandwich Franchises

12/02/2018 17:00 | Start a business

Top 3 sandwich franchises

Food to go fuels the British workforce. We’re all usually in such a rush first thing in the morning that making ourselves a packed lunch can be the last thing on our minds. It’s much easier to simply pop into the local sandwich shop on the way to the office, or when we take that (all-too-brief) lunch break at mid-day, and grab something tasty.

Sandwich franchise opportunities

Over the past 20 years, sandwich franchises have proven to be one of the most popular and most successful franchises to buy. Although they do involve a considerable amount of initial investment and the need for substantial start-up capital, they also tend to generate very high levels of revenue very quickly. They’re also highly sustainable and can be upscaled by franchisees who want to take on multiple opportunities. Let’s look at three of the most popular sandwich franchises, starting with that high-street favourite, Subway.

Subway – a popular brand with high customer recognition

  • Minimum investment – £100,000
  • Total investment £200,000
  • Training - 2-week course

First established in the USA in 1968, Subway and it’s ‘Eat Fresh’ brand identity has spread across the globe to become the single-most successful chain in the Quick Service Restaurant Industry. It’s on almost every high street, offering a choice of both hot and cold food to go.

The Subway franchise has very high customer recognition, and benefits from high footfall traffic, thanks to the prime location of most outlets. Consumer trust in the brand is also very high, making the Subway franchise a particular favourite with franchisees as it tends to generate high levels of income from day one.

Investment levels for a Subway franchise are high, but thanks to the brand identity lenders are willing to provide loans of between 50-70% of the initial investment fee (£100,000) for the duration of the franchise licence. Overall, it’s estimated that you’ll need to invest around £200,000 (including rent, equipment, branding, etc). Successful outlets with a good position and high footfall levels can turn a profit within year two.

Subway offers a two-week training course for franchisees, with ongoing support provided by e-courses and newsletters. The high profile of the Subway brand, coupled with a strong business model, ongoing support and a vast (and incredibly loyal) customer base makes Subway one of the best franchises to buy.

Bagel Corner – something a little different from the usual sandwich

  • Minimum investment - £500,000
  • Franchise Fees - £15,000
  • Format – Take away kiosks, Shop-in-shop and restaurants
  • Training – 10-day course

Created in France at the beginning of 2010, Bagel Corner already has a network of around 30 outlets, ranging from kiosks to full-size restaurants. The focus, unsurprisingly, is bagels, made to order and in front of the customer (a similar operating model to Subway). However, their USP is that customers can pre-order online and then pick up their bagel from the restaurant, avoiding queueing especially at peak periods. This methodology has resulted in a fiercely loyal customer base and high levels of customer satisfaction. The result is a sandwich franchise with a difference, and one that is now rapidly expanding.

Because Bagel Corner is different from your typical sandwich outlet, it doesn’t compete directly with the likes of Subway and Greggs, making it an easy fit into almost any high-street scenario. While the franchise fees are low for Bagel Corner, the minimum investment required to secure a licence is quite high. Lenders are looking closely at Bagel Corner, and so far, seem to be quite willing to lend around 50-70% of the initial start-up investment. However, this will still mean that a considerable amount of capital is needed to buy into the franchise, so this is one to think about perhaps as a joint venture with another franchisee so that the capital is more achievable.

Bagel Corner aim to have 100 outlets across Europe, the UK and Scandinavia by 2020, so currently there are plenty of franchise deals on the table for entrepreneurs.

Granier Bakery – fresh bread all day, every day

  • Minimum investment - £120,000
  • Total investment - £200,000
  • Franchise fees - £0
  • Training – Ongoing support and assistance – no prior bakery experience required

If you’re searching for sandwich franchises but the current crop just doesn’t quite ‘slice your bread’, you could look at Granier Bakery. This franchise is a little different in that rather than just being a simple sandwich shop, it specialises in creating artisan bread (59 different types), as well as baked goods that can encourage customers to impulse buy more than just their daily loaf. Turnover is fast, and the franchise is rapidly building up a loyal following of customers who want a change from mass produced sliced white loaves or bland wholemeal rolls.

With a formatted retail layout that provides consistency across the brand, and the emphasis on a friendly, homely atmosphere (topped off, no doubt, by the irresistible smell of freshly baked bread!), Granier Bakery’s ‘traditional’ moniker makes it particularly popular in more affluent areas.

Granier Bakery knows its market, and will help franchisees find the right location and launch the store, as well as assisting with recruiting staff. With an approximate profit margin of around 15%, franchisees can expect to go into profit within year two.

This is one of the more affordable franchises to buy, and is popular among lenders who are willing to provide funding of around 70% of the minimum investment figure. No experience is necessary (you don’t have to be a master baker to take on a Granier Bakery franchise), and with the overall popularity of baked goods in the UK, this is a franchise that has a very healthy future.

Sandwich franchises – bread and butter businesses

It’s a simple format, it is popular with customers, and if you position yourself correctly, it can be very profitable. The sandwich franchise fits in well with our fast-moving society – it’s a model that customers recognise and trust, with instantly identifiable branding and USPs designed to make people’s lives easier. If you’re prepared to put the work in, and have the capital for the start-up, a sandwich franchise is a good choice.

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