A Filling Profit
The out of home sandwich market is growing*, as customers are willing to pay more for taste and enjoyment. British Sandwich Week (19-26 May) is a great excuse for operators to experiment with their sandwich menu and create something that will stand out so their offering becomes much more than just a simple sarnie.
What to serve
Sandwiches, wraps and paninis are a great menu choice as they are affordable and perfect as a to-go or eat in option. Served hot or cold, there is an almost limitless range of fillings to suit all tastes. According to research by Kantar, sales of sandwiches such as wraps and toasties are growing by 7% compared to standard ones, so these should have a good presence on your menu.
Stick to the basics
Cheese, chicken, ham and egg are the tried and trusted fillings all outlets should have on their sandwich menu. Chicken with stuffing, egg mayo, ham salad or cheese and pickle are simple, traditional favourites you’ll find hard to beat! And don’t forget the humble bacon sandwich – done well, it’s probably one of life’s greatest pleasures. The Pink Teapot in Otley, West Yorkshire sells 100 of them most Saturdays. “The bacon comes from our local butcher, we don’t cut any fat off and cook it on the griddle. We serve it on a white ‘flat cake’ – a bun – with butter,” says Sonya Conway and Lisa Hobson who run the cafe.
Customers are becoming more adventurous in their tastes; interest in world flavours has grown and products showing provenance and quality are important factors. Mexican flavours are on-trend, so a chicken baguette with fiery green jalapeños and sweet chilli sauce will help give a kick to your sandwich menu. Asian flavours are also popular, so a tandoori chicken wrap or an Indian-spiced cheese toastie with coriander chutney will be perfect. With a growing interest in a vegan diet, take inspiration from the spiced and salty sour notes of Filipino cuisine and serve vegan ‘meat balls’ and ‘burger’ patties.
Innovative bakery alternatives such as thins and wraps, and ‘old world’ artisan breads have grown in popularity. Inclusions such as seed mixes and grains provide flavour and texture, while vegetable flours, such as beetroot or spinach, have added interest and address the gluten-free concerns. “The influence of world cuisines on flavours and styles is prolific, with breads such as Lebanese and Turkish flatbreads appearing with and without inclusions,” explains Chris Dickinson, new business development director at Pan’Artisan. “Menus should now feature a variety of vegan offerings and breads with less or removed unhealthy ingredients such as salt and sugars and for those with food intolerances, wheat or gluten-free options.”