Offering Increased Sandwich Variety Could Boost Sales

HighwayBusinessMatters.jpgDiners are looking for more variety in sandwiches, according to foodservice consultant Technomic, and offering more options could boost sales for truckstop and travel plaza operators and industry suppliers while also increasing customer satisfaction. 

Industry suppliers may want to share results of The Sandwich Consumer Trend Report with their customers when presenting new and varied sandwich offerings. The report, which was based on an online survey of more than 1,500 people, shows that just over half of consumers were satisfied with the sandwich variety available at sub shops and delis while only 42 percent were satisfied with sandwich offerings at full-service restaurants. 

Darren Tristano, executive vice president at Technomic, said, “To improve in the area of variety, operators and suppliers may want to consider offering a wider range of sandwich ingredients, developing signature sandwich offerings, and allowing guests to customize their sandwiches.” 

Les Winograd, a spokesman for Subway, said variety goes beyond toppings. “It's the size of sandwich, type of bread, flavor of bread, type of cheese, sauce, vegetables, double meat, extra cheese, toasted versus not toasted, hot versus cold, and on and on.” 

Allen Burns, manager of West Winds Truck Stop in Green River, Utah, said he would like to find a way to offer customized prepackaged sandwiches in the convenience store for consumers on the go. 

“It would be really cool if there was a way to package the sandwiches with different toppings,” said Burns. “You can make the old turkey and cheese pretty crazy if you add enough things to it.” 

The Rochelle Petro in Rochelle, Ill., offers sandwiches at its Iron Skillet restaurant, in a deli at the fuel islands and in the travel store. Manager Cindy Knight said the location develops new sandwich ideas from customer feedback, but would also welcome input from vendors. “We are always looking to improve,” she said. “Because we are a franchise we do have some flexibility, too, to add things to the Iron Skillet menu.” 

Sandwiches are big business, as most consumers -- 81 percent -- have purchased a sandwich away from home at least once in the past two months. Among those, 93 percent eat at least one sandwich a week, and 59 percent said they eat at least three sandwiches a week. Of those surveyed, 77 percent said customization is crucial to creating a good sandwich. In addition, when asked what elements have the most impact in making a good sandwich, 86 percent of respondents said it was the quality of the meat, 84 percent said the freshness of ingredients and 81 percent said the quality of the bread. 

“A percentage of customers may gravitate to a favorite sandwich and not order anything else, but variety and customization play a big part in determining exactly what that favorite sandwich will be,” Winograd said.

{HBMHighway Business Matters is a brief semi-monthly newsletter created exclusively for companies that provide products or services to the truckstop and travel plaza industry. Highway Business Matters will keep you informed on trends, tactics, and tips to help you connect to the $65 billion truckstop and travel plaza industry. 

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Mindy Long's photo

Mindy Long

Before launching a full-time freelance career, Long edited NATSO's Stop Watch magazine. Prior to that Long worked as a staff reporter for Transport Topics, a weekly trade newspaper, covering freight transportation, fuel and environmental issues. In addition to covering the transportation sector, Long has written, reported and edited for a variety of media outlets. She was the Washington correspondent for WCAX-TV (CBS) in Burlington, Vt., a criminal court reporter in Chicago and a freelance copy editor for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine in Washington D.C. Long hold a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in Evanston, Ill., and a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Westminster College in Salt Lake City.More
Highway Business Matters (HBM)
Supplier Focus:
SubwayTechnomic, Inc.
Retailer Featured:
Rochelle Travel PlazaWest Winds Truck Stop

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