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Running a Sandwich Shop

By: Elaine Everest - Updated: 13 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
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If you prefer to run your catering business from a shop but do not have the skills or interest to own a cafe or a restaurant then a sandwich shop or sandwich bar may be the ideal business for you.

Buying a Sandwich Shop

When you decide that a sandwich bar would be the perfect catering business for your skills consider whether you wish to purchase a business that is already up and running or whether you would start from scratch with empty premises. An established business would mean that you can step in and be earning money from day one.

You would have inspected the accounts and be aware of what to expect with regards to turnover and running costs. You will most likely have staff who know the business that you can continue to employ until you decide whether you and possibly a family member or partner can work with you without outside help.

Starting From New

When purchasing a shop in order to open a sandwich bar you should check out whether there is enough passing traffic that could become your customers. Are there businesses nearby whose staff would need lunches? Is there a shopping centre where shoppers would come for lunch or afternoon tea? How about fitting the shop for the serving of sandwiches and other items, you will need servicing counters, preparation equipment and refrigeration equipment.

Also when starting a new sandwich bar you would have to advertise the business and wait for customers to appear. In some ways an established business seems more appealing for the person wanting to run a business rather than have weeks of preparation and planning.


The length of opening hours is up to you. As the owner you can decide how many you wish to work. You may rely on staff and only pop in to check on how things are running and to work on the accounts. However, this would mean that you were paying a high wages bill each week and this will affect your profit margins.

By opening early you will catch the commuter trade on their way to work. Stay open until late afternoon and you will attract the afternoon teas customers. Weekends will entice the shoppers if you are situated near to a shopping centre. Check with your local council that you are allowed to open during the hours of your choice.

Further Trade

Apart from sandwiches you should be prepared to serve other foods. Many workers do not have time for breakfast and to be able to collect something to eat on the way to work would be a boost to your customers and also encourage them to return at lunchtime.

Offer a sandwich delivery service to local establishments. This could be provided by telephone or even a website where customers place a sandwich order by a certain time and a member of your staff could deliver at lunchtime.

If the sandwich delivery service was a success you could extend the service so that you had a member of staff visit all local offices and factories each lunchtime and sell from a van. Further services could include supplying buffets for meetings and parties.

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