20 Sandwich Franchises

sandwich franchises

If you’re in the market for a franchise system that sells sandwiches, there are plenty of options to choose from. With such a variety of choices, there’s something for everyone.

In this article, we’ll discuss 20 of the best sandwich franchises to open up shop. So which one is right for you? Read on to find out!

What Are Sub Sandwich Franchises?

These franchises are some of the most popular fast food chains in the restaurant industry worldwide. They offer a variety of sandwiches, including submarine sandwiches, grilled sandwiches, wraps, and salads.

Most franchises have a similar business model offering customers a choice of meat, cheese, and toppings assembled on a fresh bun or roll.

Sandwich Franchises

Why You Should Consider a Sandwich Franchise?

The sandwich chain is a great way to get into the food business. Here are five reasons why you should consider starting your own sandwich shop franchise in 2022:

  • Proven concept. Sandwich shops are a proven business model with a long history of success, and there are plenty of well-known and popular chains to choose from.
  • Typically very profitable. Franchise sandwich shops are typically very profitable, with some chains generating millions of dollars in annual revenue.
  • Be your own boss. As a franchise owner, you’ll be in charge of your own business and will have the independence to make decisions that are best for you and your customers.
  • Brand recognition and marketing support. When you open a franchise, you’ll benefit from the brand recognition and marketing support of the parent company.
  • Relatively easy to operate. Making submarine sandwiches is not rocket science and most franchisors offer comprehensive training programs.

Sandwich Franchises

General Criteria for Choosing the Best Sandwich Franchises: Our Methodology

We will evaluate these criteria on a scale of importance from 1 to 5, with 5 being the most critical:

  1. Quality and Variety of Ingredients (5/5):
    • The quality of ingredients used in sandwiches is paramount. Fresh, high-quality ingredients lead to delicious and healthier options. A wide variety of ingredients allows for diverse menu offerings.
  2. Franchise Reputation (4/5):
    • A strong and positive reputation in the franchise industry is important. Franchises with a history of success and customer satisfaction are more likely to provide support and a proven business model.
  3. Location and Accessibility (5/5):
    • Location is crucial for foot traffic and customer accessibility. Proximity to business districts, schools, or other high-traffic areas can significantly impact success.
  4. Menu Innovation (4/5):
    • An innovative and evolving menu keeps customers excited and coming back for more. Franchises that introduce new and unique sandwich creations stay ahead of the competition.
  5. Training and Support (5/5):
    • Comprehensive training programs and ongoing support from the franchisor are vital for success. This includes staff training, marketing support, and operational assistance.
  6. Costs and Fees (4/5):
    • Evaluate the initial franchise fee, startup costs, and ongoing royalty fees. Ensure they align with your budget and financial resources.
  7. Customer Base and Demand (5/5):
    • Assess the demand for sandwiches in your target market. A franchise located in an area with a high demand for quick and tasty sandwich options is more likely to thrive.
  8. Marketing and Advertising Support (4/5):
    • Franchises that provide marketing materials, strategies, and advertising support help you attract and retain customers more effectively.
  9. Flexibility and Customization (3/5):
    • Some franchises offer more flexibility in menu customization than others. Depending on your preferences, this criterion may vary in importance.
  10. Health and Dietary Options (3/5):
    • Consider the availability of healthy and dietary-specific options. Meeting the needs of various customer preferences can expand your customer base.
Factors to ConsiderDescriptionNotesImportance (1-5)
Quality and Variety of IngredientsAssess the freshness and variety of ingredients used in sandwiches.Fresh, high-quality ingredients contribute to better-tasting and healthier options.5
Franchise ReputationResearch the reputation of the franchise in the industry and among customers.A strong reputation indicates a proven business model and customer satisfaction.4
Location and AccessibilityConsider the importance of location for attracting customers.Proximity to high-traffic areas can significantly impact success.5
Menu InnovationEvaluate whether the franchise introduces new and unique sandwich creations.An evolving menu keeps customers excited and engaged.4
Training and SupportAssess the level of training and ongoing support provided by the franchisor.Comprehensive support is crucial for success in the restaurant industry.5
Costs and FeesEvaluate the initial franchise fee, startup costs, and ongoing royalty fees.Ensure costs align with your budget and financial resources.4
Customer Base and DemandDetermine the demand for sandwiches in your target market.High demand in the area increases the likelihood of success.5
Marketing and Advertising SupportCheck if the franchise provides marketing materials and advertising support.Effective marketing helps attract and retain customers.4
Flexibility and CustomizationInvestigate the franchise's menu customization options.Consider your preferences for menu flexibility.3
Health and Dietary OptionsExamine the availability of healthy and dietary-specific menu items.Meeting diverse customer preferences can expand your customer base.3

Sandwich Franchises

Best Sandwich Franchises

Do you want to offer cold sandwiches, hot sandwiches, or specialty sandwiches? Will you offer sides like potato salad?

Whatever you want to offer, you’re sure to find the right opportunity in our list below:

1. Firehouse Subs

If you’re looking for a tasty and affordable franchise, Firehouse Subs, which began franchising in 1995, is a great option. They offer delicious carryout-style sandwiches with a unique hook – all of their meats and cheeses are steamed before being placed on the freshly baked bread.

With an initial single-unit Firehouse subs franchise fee of only $20,000 and an average total cost of $412,731, it’s a relatively affordable option. Plus, you’ll need liquid cash of at least $100,000 to qualify. Other fees include a 6% royalty fee on sales and an advertising fee of 3-5% of sales.

2. Pita Pit

Opening this franchise can be a very lucrative decision. It’s home to Lebanese-style pita sandwiches and began franchising in 1995.

The initial franchise fee is $24,000-$30,000 depending on your location and restaurant size. The total estimated initial investment is $353,154 – $574,486. Net worth requirements are $100,000 and liquid assets of at least $75,000.

3. Jimmy John’s

Third on our list of franchise opportunities is Jimmy John’s, which was started by Jimmy John Liautaud in 1983. He was 19 at the time and borrowed $20,000 from his dad to start the company.

You can start a franchise that has no royalty fees (for a limited time) and an advertising fee of just 4.5%. Your investment will range from $316,100 to $558,600, and you’ll need a net worth of at least $1 million.

4. Blimpie

With an initial investment of between $232,770 and $524,325, you can become a Blimpie franchisee. The company has been in business since 1964 and has over 200 franchise units. A minimum liquid capital of $125,000 is required.

5. Charleys Philly Cheesesteak

If you’re looking to open a Charley’s Grilled Subs franchise, be aware that the initial investment will range from $251,637 to $1,002,700. The company requires a $24,500 initial franchise fee for the first unit, and $15,000 for each additional unit. There is also a 6% royalty fee on gross sales.

6. Penn Station East Coast Subs

If you’d like to open a Penn Station East Coast Subs franchise, you’ll need to have a net worth of at least $500,000 and liquid assets of at least $300,000.

The initial franchise fee is $25,000 per restaurant, and royalties are 2%-8% of sales (depending on sales volume). There is also a national advertising fee of 2% and local marketing co-op fees that vary by market.

7. Togo’s Sandwiches

Opening a Togo’s Sandwiches franchise will require an initial investment of between $231,500 and $476,500. This includes the franchise fee of $30,000. You will also be responsible for a 3% marketing fund contribution and a 5% royalty fee based on gross sales.

8. Miami Grill (formerly Miami Subs Grill)

Opening a Miami Grill franchise is a great way to get into the restaurant business. The initial franchise fee is $45,000, and the initial investment is between $310,000 and $685,000.

You’ll need a strong credit history, a net worth of at least $700,000, and $250,000 in liquid assets to qualify.

9. Which Wich

Which Wich is a sandwich chain that was founded in Dallas, Texas in 2003. Guests write their orders on sandwich bags that have menus printed on them.

To start a franchise with Which Wich, you must have $150,000 in liquid assets and a total net worth of $250,000. The total cost per unit varies depending on the size and scope of different markets and locations.

Royalty fees are 6% of gross sales, and there’s also a national “Brand Development Fund” fee of 3% of gross sales.

10. McAlister’s Deli

Want to open a McAlister’s Deli franchise? Get ready for a tasty investment. McAlister’s average net sales for the fiscal year 2021 were $1,865,861.

You’ll need a minimum liquid capital of $425,000 and a minimum net worth of $1,000,000. The estimated initial investment for a franchised McAlister’s Deli ranges from $821,000 to $1,308,850.

Sandwich Franchises

Other Major National Restaurant Franchise Options for Sandwiches

Let’s continue with our list by looking at one of the top sandwich franchises around:

11. Subway

Opening a Subway isn’t overly complicated, but it does require some initial investment. The good news is that the total investment needed to open a subway franchise isn’t too high, starting at just $116,000.

The franchise fee isn’t bad either at $15,000. As for other fees, you’ll be looking at paying 8% of your weekly sales in royalties to Subway, as well as 4.5% of your sales in advertising fees.

12. Goodcents Deli Fresh Subs

Joseph Bisogno started Goodcents in the late 1980s. He’s a serial entrepreneur who had a lemonade stand at six and owned an ice cream truck at 18. To open your own shop, you’ll need a 680 or higher credit score, a $200,000 net worth, and at least $100,000 in liquid capital. The total investment is between $333,550 and $499,700.

13. Jersey Mike’s Subs

Jersey Mike’s Subs is a great option for anyone looking to open a well-known franchise. The initial franchise fee is $18,500 and the total investment ranges from $144,668 to $786,233. The company has a great reputation and strong brand recognition.

14. Steak Escape

Steak Escape has a franchise fee of only $25,000, with an initial investment of $223,000 to $660,000.

You’ll need a minimum of $200,000 in liquid assets and an overall net worth of $400,000. Their royalty fee is 6% of gross sales, and marketing fees are 0.5% to 3%.

15. Potbelly Sandwich Shop

Potbelly is located in about 90 cities across the country. To open a Potbelly franchise, you’ll need a passion for great food, people skills, and about $565,000+ including a $40,000 franchise fee.

16. Capriotti’s

Capriotti’s is an award-winning shop that’s won a Top 50 Franchises award. Opening a Capriotti’s will run you about $40,000 in franchise fees alone.

However, you should be prepared to invest a total of $417,100 to $748,500 in the entire process.

17. PrimoHoagies

You’ll need a minimum net worth of $425,000 to qualify for a PrimoHoagies franchise. The initial investment range is $215,500 – $554,500.

The franchise fee is $15,000 – $40,000. PrimoHoagies has a 6% royalty fee and a 2% advertising fee.

18. Erbert & Gerbert’s Sandwich Shops

Opening an Erbert & Gerbert’s Sandwich Shops franchise starts at a total investment of $194,820 – $393,270.

To qualify, you’ll need $80,000 in liquid assets and a net worth of at least $300,000.

19. Cousins Subs

Cousins Subs offers franchises for an investment that ranges from $292,200 to $797,500, which includes a franchise fee of $25,000. You’ll have to also pay 6% in royalty fees.

20. Schlotzsky’s

Schlotzsky’s is a sandwich chain with over 300 locations and average net sales of $1.1 million. The estimated initial investment for Schlotzsky’s ranges from $522,570 to $1,635,380.

The minimum net worth required is $1 million with a minimum of $300,000 in liquid capital.


Sandwich Franchise Ownership Frequently Asked Questions

What is the typical franchise fee for a sandwich shop?

Franchise fees for sandwich shops can vary widely. They typically range from $15,000 to $45,000, depending on the specific franchisor and the type of sandwich shop.

What are royalty fees, and how do they work in a sandwich shop franchise?

Royalty fees are ongoing payments made by franchisees to the franchisor. They are typically calculated as a percentage of the franchise’s gross sales. In the sandwich shop industry, royalty fees typically range from 2% to 8% of sales.

Are there advertising fees in addition to royalty fees?

Yes, many sandwich shop franchises require franchisees to contribute to advertising or marketing funds. These fees can vary but often range from 2% to 5% of gross sales. These funds are used to promote the brand and support national and local marketing efforts.

What are the financial requirements for potential franchisees?

Financial requirements can vary significantly among sandwich shop franchises. Typically, franchisees need to demonstrate a minimum net worth and liquid capital. Net worth requirements can range from $100,000 to over $1 million, and liquid capital requirements usually start at around $75,000.

Is prior experience in the restaurant industry necessary to open a sandwich shop franchise?

While prior experience in the restaurant industry can be beneficial, it is not always a strict requirement. Many franchisors offer comprehensive training programs to prepare franchisees for success, regardless of their previous experience.

How long does it take to open a sandwich shop franchise from initial inquiry to opening day?

The timeline for opening a sandwich shop franchise can vary. It typically involves several steps, including application, approval, site selection, training, and construction. On average, it may take anywhere from several months to over a year, depending on various factors.

What ongoing support can franchisees expect from the franchisor?

Franchisees can expect ongoing support from the franchisor, including assistance with marketing, operations, and training. Most sandwich shop franchises provide comprehensive support to help franchisees maintain the brand’s standards and grow their businesses.

Can franchisees own multiple sandwich shop locations?

Many sandwich shop franchisors offer opportunities for franchisees to own multiple locations. However, this often depends on the franchisee’s financial qualifications, experience, and the availability of suitable locations.

What happens if a franchisee wants to sell their sandwich shop?

If a franchisee wishes to sell their sandwich shop, they typically need to follow the franchisor’s guidelines for selling a franchise. This process may involve finding a qualified buyer, obtaining approval from the franchisor, and completing the necessary legal and financial steps.

What support does the franchisor provide for site selection and restaurant design?

Franchisors often offer assistance in selecting suitable locations for sandwich shops and provide guidelines for restaurant design and layout. They may also offer support in negotiating leases and securing real estate.

Are there opportunities for customization in menu offerings within a sandwich shop franchise?

The level of menu customization can vary among sandwich shop franchises. Some offer more flexibility for franchisees to introduce local or seasonal items, while others maintain a standardized menu across all locations. Franchisees should inquire about menu flexibility when considering a franchise opportunity.

What Is the Largest Sandwich Franchise?

Subway is the largest, with about $11 billion in annual sales, 43,600 stores in 100 countries, and 410,000 employees. Each franchise unit generates about $422,000 annually, on average.

How Much Does it Cost to Open a Sub Sandwich Franchise?

The cost of opening a sub-franchise depends on the franchisor and the location. Some franchisors require as much as $2.1 million, including a franchise fee. Each franchise has its own costs to start and run, royalty fees, ad fees, etc. So do your research before making a decision.

Is Owning a Sandwich Shop Profitable?

Yes, owning one can be profitable. However, this will depend on several factors, such as the franchisor, the location, and your own business acumen. Your marketing and management skills will also play a role in your success.


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Kevin Ocasio Kevin Ocasio is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been with the team for 2 years. He holds certifications in SEO, digital marketing, and content marketing. Kevin is also certified in Information Technology Technical Support Fundamentals.