How to start a sandwich business

Updated April 17, 2017

When located in a high-traffic area, sandwich shops can be highly successful for the right entrepreneur. No matter the state of the economy, these businesses often thrive, relying on hungry business people, college students and tourists. In order to reach the most customers who will want to keep coming back, your business must be run effectively. Below you will find helpful tips on opening a sandwich shop.

Consider start-up costs, and develop a plan to fund your sandwich shop venture. Capital is needed for the leasing of space, store supplies and furniture, food, staff, taxes and office equipment. Where you open your shop will greatly affect the amount of start-up capital needed. If you are opening a store in a strip mall in a small Midwestern town, the capital needed is much less than if you open a sandwich shop in midtown Manhattan. If you do not have the personal resources to fund your business, you can consider loans from family or friends, bank loans or funding from other investors.

Write a business plan. If you are uncertain where to begin, books and online resources can offer suggestions on how to do create a solid business plan. Your business plan will outline your needs for funding, discuss your sandwich shop idea in detail and include your marketing plan, which is critical to effectively advertise your new business. Your business plan is your blueprint for success.

Decide on a location--key to the success of your business. Ideally, your sandwich shop should be located in a high-traffic area frequented by tourists, college students or business professionals. Downtown areas, near college campuses or in the midst of a highly frequented tourist destination would be appropriate locations.

Find vendors for food and business supplies. Selecting the right vendors to supply your sandwich shop with food and other supplies is critical to your success. You want vendors who can offer high-quality products at a fair price. Research food vendors and take bids from several before making decisions.

Market your sandwich shop. Print to-go menus and send them to area businesses and colleges. Advertise in publications--the local weekly and daily papers or a local magazine are good choices for print advertising. Offer coupons, such as "free coffee with any breakfast or lunch sandwich." Leave flyers or menus at college dorms, office buildings and any other nearby locations that may be frequented by potential customers.


Offer unique items on your menu that customers will not be able to find anywhere else. Know what your competition is offering. Serve breakfast as well as lunch. Consider delivery and catering as your sandwich shop grows.


Don't ignore proper accounting procedures; utilise accounting software to help manage your business.

Things You'll Need

  • Business plan
  • Sandwich shop location
  • Staff
  • Food and supplies
  • Marketing materials
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About the Author

Cheryl Gorski Ronzoni is a former nonprofit executive who has been writing for more than 15 years. She has been creating online content for nearly five years. Along with business and grant writing, she has experience writing event scripts and feature articles for local newspapers and magazines.