A sandwich shop is a shop where different varieties of sandwiches are made and retailed. A sandwich is a dish consisting of one or more pieces of bread with fillings between them or one slice in the case of an open sandwich. Sandwiches are a common type of lunch food often eaten as part of a packed lunch.

Available statistics show that the sandwich and sub-store franchise sector in the United States was valued at 20.56 billion U.S. dollars in 2020, down from the previous year’s total of 25.12 billion U.S. dollars. in 2023, the market size was forecast to reach 22.56 billion.

Please note that according to IBIS World, the sandwich and sub-store industry experienced a 3.4% growth from 2014 through 2019. In 2015, the industry grew by 4.3%, and in 2017, the industry experienced a 6.0% growth.

Steps on How to Start a Sandwich Shop Business

  1. Conduct Market Research

If you are considering starting a sandwich shop, you need reliable market research to be able to maximize profits from the business. The first step in the market research process for your sandwich shop should be to develop market-based research questions in line with your overall business goal and objective.

In this regard, you should source for information that will help you maximize your business, give you reliable data and clue of what your potential market will be looking for from a sandwich shop, and also help you operate your sandwich shop with less stress and of course, build the business to profitability.

a. Who is the Target Market for Sandwich Shop Business?

If you are thinking of opening a sandwich shop then you should make target demographics all-encompassing. It should include students, migrants, entrepreneurs, tourists, and every adult in the neighborhood where your sandwich shop will be located.

b. Is Sandwich Shop a Profitable Business?

Yes, the sandwich shop business is profitable. Americans eat more than 300 million sandwiches every day – a pretty large amount considering that there are slightly more than 300 million Americans, meaning that each day over 50 percent of Americans eat a sandwich.

c. Are There Existing Niches in the Industry?

No, there are no existing niches when it comes to sandwich shops because the sandwich shop is a niche idea in the sandwich and sub-store franchises/restaurant industry.

d. Who are the Major Competitors?
  • Jimmy Johns
  • Subway
  • Amato’s Sandwich Shop
  • Plums Ice Cream & Sandwich Shop
  • Super Heroes Sandwich Shop
  • J C’s Sandwich Shop
  • PJ’s Sandwich Shop
  • Riverview Sandwich Shop
  • Potbelly Sandwich Shop
  • America’s Best Cuban Sandwich
  • Sandwiches Unlimited Lunch Box
  • B J Sandwich Shop
  • Harvey’s Sandwich & Salads
  • ThunderCloud Subs
  • Henry VIII Sandwich Shop
  • S. Sub Base
  • Primanti Bros Sandwich Shop
  • Milio’s Sandwiches
  • Old City Subs Sandwich Shop
  • The Lucky Dill Sandwich Shop
  • KFC™ Zinger Chicken Sandwich
  • D’Angelo Sandwich Shops
e. Are There County or State Regulations or Zoning Laws for Sandwich Shop Business?

Yes, there are county and state regulations and zoning laws for sandwich shops in the United States. Please note that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sets the federal Food Code but it doesn’t oversee individual sandwich shops. Instead, the various states use the Food Code as the basis for their food codes. They may adopt its rules, interpret them differently or set their own rules.

It is important to also state that in the United States, you are required to follow your own state’s foodservice code. Visit the FDA website for a list of food service codes by state. Use this to find the state authority handling restaurants and bars and view the laws that apply in your state.

f. Is There a Franchise for Sandwich Shop Business?

Yes, there are franchise opportunities for a sandwich shop. Here are some of them;

  • Potbelly Sandwich Shop
  • Subway
  • Arby’s
  • Jimmy John’s
  • Jersey Mike’s Subs
  • Firehouse Subs
  • Charleys Philly Steaks
  • Pita Pit
  • McAlister’s Deli
  • Penn Station East Coast Subs
  • Which Wich Superior Sandwiches
  • Erbert & Gerbert’s Sandwich Shops
  • Lennys Grill and Subs
  • Goodcents Deli Fresh Subs
  • Tubby’s Sub Shop
g. What Do You Need to Start a Sandwich Shop Business?
  • A Feasibility Report
  • Business and Marketing Plans
  • Business Licenses and Permits
  • A Good Shop facility
  • EIN (Employer Identification Number)/Federal Tax ID Number
  • A Corporate Bank Account
  • Supplies of ingredients
  • Employees
  • Startup Capital
  1. Memorable Sandwich Shop Business Names

  • Hunger Zone© Sandwich Shop, Inc.
  • Zone Zero® Sandwich Shop, LLC
  • Deep Cookers© Sandwich Shop, Inc.
  • Lauretta McKenzie® Sandwich Shop, Inc.
  • Milky Way™ Sandwich Shop, Inc.
  • Francis Highlander™ Sandwich Shop, LLC.
  • All Day© Sandwich Shop, LLC
  • Donie Silvans® Sandwich Shop, Inc.
  • George Finney© Sandwich Shop, Inc.
  • Day Fresh© Sandwich Shop, Inc.
  • Larry Duncan® Sandwich Shop, LLC
  • King Baker® Sandwich Shop, LLC
  • Lowey Martins™ Sandwich Shop, LLC
  • Benny Blanco© Sandwich Shop, Inc.
  • Alex Core® Sandwich Shop, Inc.
  • Mouth Full™ Sandwich Shop, Inc.
  • Rees Morgan™ Sandwich Shop, Inc.
  • Big Bite© Sandwich Shop, Inc.
  • Tripple Bites® Sandwich Shop, LLC
  • Plaxton Foods™ Sandwich Shop, Inc.
  1. Register Your Business

a. What Type of Business Structure is Best for a Sandwich Shop?

The truth is that there are several options when it comes to the business structure of a sandwich shop, but the one that most players in this line of business consider is an LLC. It is common to consider an LLC because providers want to protect themselves from lawsuits. Please note that an LLC will need an EIN if it has employees or if it will be required to file any of the excise tax forms listed below.

b. Steps to Form an LLC
  • Choose a Name for Your LLC.
  • File Articles of Organization.
  • Choose a registered agent.
  • Decide on member vs. manager management.
  • Create an LLC operating agreement.
  • Comply with other tax and regulatory requirements.
  • File annual reports.
c. What Type of License is Needed to Open a Sandwich Shop Business?
  • General Business License
  • Health and Safety Permit
  • Food Handlers’ License
  • Zonal Permits
  • Signage Permit
  • Operational State Facility Inspections
  • A music license if you want to play live, recorded, or streaming music in your sandwich shop
  • A dumpster placement permit that specifies where you can put your dumpster outside your sandwich shop
d. What Type of Certification is Needed to Open a Sandwich Shop Business?

You don’t need any certifications to open a sandwich shop business

e. What Documents are Needed to Open a Sandwich Shop Business?
  • DBA
  • EIN
  • Business and liability insurance
  • Federal Tax Payer’s ID
  • State Permit and Building Approval
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Business License
  • Business Plan
  • Employment Agreement (offer letters)
  • Operating Agreement for LLCs
  • Insurance Policy
  • Online Terms of Use
  • Online Privacy Policy Document
  • Contract Document
  • Company Bylaws
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
f. Do You Need a Trademark, Copyright, or Patent?

If you are considering opening a sandwich shop, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection or trademark. This is because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run it without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.

  1. Cost Analysis and Budgeting

a. How Much Does It Cost to Start a Sandwich Shop Business?

There is no clear-cut startup cost for a sandwich shop, but available data shows that the cost of starting a sandwich shop ranges from between $35,000 to $250,000. But if you intend to buy a sandwich shop franchise, then you should know that the average turnkey investment is approximately $350,000.

b. What are the Costs Involved in Starting a Sandwich Shop
  • Business Registration Fees – $750.
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits – $1,300.
  • Marketing, Branding and Promotions – $1,000.
  • Business Consultant Fee – $2,500.
  • Insurance – $1,400.
  • Rent/Lease – $35,000.
  • Other start-up expenses like commercial satellite TV subscriptions, stationery ($500), and phone and utility deposits ($1,800).
  • Operational Cost (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $30,000
  • Start-up Inventory – $15,000
  • Store Equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $1,750
  • Furnishing and Equipping the Shop and Kitchen – $50,000
  • Website: $600
  • Opening party: $3,000
  • Miscellaneous: $2,000
c. What Factors Determine the Cost of Opening a Sandwich Shop Business?
  • The size of the sandwich shop
  • The choice of location
  • The required licenses and permits
  • The type of facility
  • The types of sandwiches and related products retailed in the shop
  • The cost of hiring a business consultant and attorney
  • The cost for branding, promotion, and marketing
  • The cost for furnishing and equipping the sandwich shop
  • The cost of insurance
  • The cost for registering the business
  • Source of your supplies and ongoing expenses
  • Cost of recruiting and training your staff
  • The cost for the purchase and customizing of uniforms
  • The cost for the grand opening of the sandwich shop business
d. Do You Need to Build a Facility? If YES, How Much Will It Cost?

It is not compulsory to build a new facility for your sandwich shop, but if you have the required finance, it will pay you to build your facility. The truth is that building or reconstructing a facility will help you come up with a facility that will perfectly fit into your overall business goals and vision.

e. What are the Ongoing Expenses of a Sandwich Shop Business?
  • Supplies (inventory expenses)
  • Utility bills (internet subscriptions, phone bills, signage and software renewal fees et al)
  • Salaries of employees
f. What is the Average Salary of your Staff?
  • Shop Manager (Owner) – $45,000 Per Year
  • Accountant – $32,630,000 Per Year
  • Sandwich Maker – $30,000 Per Year
  • Delivery Guys – $28,100 Per Year
  • Cleaners – $25,000 Per Year
  • Security Guard -$24,000 Per Year
g. How Do You Get Funding to Start a Sandwich Shop Business?
  • Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
  • Raising money from investors and business partners
  • Sell shares to interested investors
  • Applying for a loan from your bank/banks
  • Source for soft loans from your family members and friends.
  1. Write a Business Plan

a. Executive Summary

Big Bite© Sandwich Shop, Inc. is a registered sandwich shop that will be located in one of the busiest business and residential districts in Fort Wayne, Indiana. We have been able to lease a shop facility that is big enough to fit into the kind of sandwich shop we intend launching and the facility is located in a corner piece property directly opposite the largest shopping mall in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

b. Products and Service
  • Varieties of Sandwich (Turkey, Veggie Delite, Veggie Patty, Chicken, Chicken Pizzaiola, Chicken Teriyaki, Chicken Tikka, Chipotle Chicken, Ham, Italian B.M.T., Meatball Marinara, Roasted Chicken, Spicy Italian, Steak & Cheese)
  • Beverages and water
c. Mission Statement

Our mission is to establish a sandwich shop that will make available a wide variety of sandwiches at affordable prices to the residents of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and other cities in the United States of America where we intend to open chains of sandwich shops.

Vision Statement

Our vision is to build a business that is beyond selling sandwiches.

d. Goals and Objectives

The goals and objectives of a sandwich shop business are to provide a retail outlet where patrons can go to buy or order sandwiches if the shop has delivery options.

e. Organizational Structure
  • Shop Manager (Owner)
  • Accountant
  • Sandwich Makers
  • Delivery Guys
  • Cleaners
  • Security Guard

Marketing Plan

a. SWOT Analysis
  • Ideal location for a sandwich shop business
  • Highly experienced and qualified employees and management
  • Access to finance from business partners
  • Unique sandwich recipe.
  • Reliable and efficient inventory management system.
  • Financial constraints may restrict the publicity and branding of the business
  • A new business that will be competing with well-established sandwich shops in the city
  • Inability to retain our highly experienced employees longer than we want during the teething stage of the business.
  • A rise in the number of sandwich lovers within our market space
  • Online market, new services, new technology, and of course the opening of new markets.
  • The arrival of a new sandwich shop within our market space
  • Economic uncertainty
  • Liability problems
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could change its regulatory status and decide to enforce strict regulations that can strangulate new businesses like ours.
b. How Do Sandwich Shops Make Money?

Sandwich shops make money by selling the following products;

  • Varieties of Sandwich (Turkey, Veggie Delite, Veggie Patty, Chicken, Chicken Pizzaiola, Chicken Teriyaki, Chicken Tikka, Chipotle Chicken, Ham, Italian B.M.T., Meatball Marinara, Roasted Chicken, Spicy Italian, Steak & Cheese)
  • Beverages and water
c. Payment Options
  • Payment with cash
  • Payment via credit cards
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via mobile money transfer
d. Sales & Advertising Strategies
  • Introduce your sandwich shop business by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to households, schools, socialites, and other key stakeholders throughout the city where your sandwich shop is located.
  • Advertise on the internet on blogs and forums, and also on social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn to get your message across
  • Create a basic website for your business to give your business an online presence
  • Directly market your products
  • Join local sandwich shop associations for industry trends and tips
  • Provide discount days for your customers
  • Advertise our business in community-based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
  • List your business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
  • Encourage the use of word-of-mouth marketing (referrals)

Financial Projection

a. How Much Should You Charge for your Product/Service?

The price of a sandwich depends on the size and type of sandwich but the median price of a sandwich ranges from $2.5 to as much as $5.

b. How Much Profit Do Sandwich Shop Owners Make a Year?

The profit a sandwich shop owner is expected to make in a year depends on some factors, but Lennys Grill & Subs reports that a free-standing sub shop brings in average gross sales of $657,963 per year.

c. What Factors Determine the Amount of Profit to Be Made?
  • The capacity of the sandwich shop
  • The types of sandwiches and related products retailed in the shop
  • The location the sandwich shop is covering
  • The management style of the sandwich shop
  • The business approach of the sandwich shop
  • The advertising and marketing strategies adopted by the sandwich shop.
  • The number of years the sandwich shop is in business
d. What is the Profit Margin of a Sandwich Shop?

The profit margin of a sandwich shop is not fixed. On average, sandwich shops tend to have an overall profit margin of between 7.5% and 13% annually.

e. What is the Sales Forecast?

Below is the sales forecast of a sandwich shop. It is based on the location of the business and other factors as it relates to such startups in the United States;

  • First Fiscal Year: $320,000
  • Second Fiscal Year: $450,000
  • Third Fiscal Year: $600,000
  1. Set Up your Shop 

a. How Do You Choose a Perfect Location for a Sandwich Shop?
  • The demography of the location as it relates to people that eat sandwiches regularly
  • The demand for sandwiches in the location
  • The purchasing power of businesses and the residents of the location
  • Accessibility of the location
  • The number of sandwich shops, and related businesses in the location
  • The local laws and regulations in the community/state
  • Traffic, parking and security et al
b. What State and City are Best to Open a Sandwich Shop?
  • New York City, New York
  • San Francisco, California
  • Washington DC
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Palm Beach, Florida
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Los Angeles, California
c. What Equipment is Needed to Operate a Sandwich Shop?
  • Industrial Oven
  • Dough Cutters
  • Dough Scrapers
  • Olive oil cans
  • Sauce ladles & spoons
  • Dough boxes and lids
  • Dough box trolleys
  • Sauce dispensers
  • Sandwich boxes
  • Heat-resistant gloves
  • Sandwich delivery bag.
  1. Hire Employees

When it comes to hiring employees for a standard sandwich shop, you should make plans to hire a competent shop manager (you can occupy this position), account clerk, sandwich makers, delivery guys, cleaners, and security guard.

  1. Launch the Business Proper

In recent times, no sandwich shop opens its door for business without first organizing an opening party to officially launch the business. You can choose to do a soft opening if you are operating on a low budget or you can go for a grand opening party. The bottom line is that with a proper launching of the sandwich shop, you will officially inform people in your city that your sandwich shop is open for business.

a. What Makes a Sandwich Shop Business Successful?
  • Choose a good location and shop facility to launch the business
  • Make available varieties of sandwiches (give your customers options)
  • Throw a party before officially opening the sandwich business
  • Be deliberate with your marketing sales approach
  • Encourage the use of word of mouth marketing to promote your sandwich shop business
  • Leverage on all available online and offline platforms to promote your sandwich shop business
b. What Happens During a Typical Day at a Sandwich Shop?
  • The shop is open for the day’s work
  • The kitchen, ingredients, serving areas, serving wares, chairs, and tables are cleaned and properly arranged
  • Walk-in customers are attended to
  • Deliveries of orders are made
  • Stocks are taken and reports are written and submitted to superior officers
  • The business is closed for the day.
c. What Skills and Experience Do You Need to Build a Sandwich shop Business?
  • Excellent baking and culinary skills
  • Excellent customer services skills
  • Interpersonal skill
  • Accounting and bookkeeping skills
  • Business management skills
  • Bargaining skill
  • Work experience in a sandwich shop
  • Experience in managing people
  • Experience in business administration
  • Experience in making different types of sandwiches.