How irritating is it, when you go to a sub shop, pay your hard earned cash for what you expect to be a delicious sandwich, only to be disappointed by the sloppy mess they give you poorly wrapped and bleeding out of the cracks in the paper? My next question, is how happy are you, when you get your sandwich, and it looks just like the commercials, and you can tell, based on the taste and whole sandwich experience that an effort was made to make you want to come back and get it again?
I worked at a sub shop for a few years, and it was my mission to make the best looking, tasting, and consistent subs out there. I wanted to build the business, not because of the fact we were offering different unique products that other sub shops didn’t have, but because our customers could expect their roast beef turkey stacker to look awesome, and most importantly taste awesome just like it did the day before. Nobody wants the same sandwich to taste different based on who is making it, or because the person is rushed. I turned sandwich making into an art and after a few months had many customers who only wanted me to make their sandwich and would wait for their meal longer than they needed to for their request to be fulfilled. So what was my secret? What did I do differently with the same ingredients as everyone else, to make my subs the pinnacle of every customers deepest lunch desires?
- Have all of the subs, and the amounts of ingredients that goes on them memorized.
- Do some research into what breads go best with what meats and other ingredients.
- Always be ready to make quick, good suggestions on things that a customer might like to try. Knowing some advanced information about the ingredients in the food you serve will go a long way into helping with this.
- Even when it becomes busy, make sure your sandwich build quality does not diminish.
- Make sure that if an ingredient does not fit the brand of your company, your throw it away (such as a crappy looking tomato slice or some brown lettuce). Sacrificing some low grade looking food pieces will go a long way into the appearance of your masterpiece.
- Make sure that as you make your build, you do it the same every time.
These are some good general guidelines to begin improving your abilities, but I am about to divulge to you the most important thought process in the industry. If you follow this process, you will gain a cult-like sandwich following that will spread like wildfire and bring in people from afar who want your “version” of the roast beef turkey stacker, because they hear you make it best, and you make it the same way every single time. They know that each bite they take will have ¼ of a tomato, 3 black olives, half a teaspoon of chipotle mayo, a half an ounce of turkey and beef, 2 pickles, you see my point.
This process is called the MATEST Method (Make it Awesome and Terrific Every Single Time). The process begins with the bread cut. You want the base of your build to be infallible. Some shops cut the bread in half on purpose. If this is the case, make sure the bottom piece is not too thin. If you’re a normal place, make sure that the roll has a good spine. Your sandwich CANNOT break and spill of its delicious guts all over the wrapper. If this happens you fail. Next I like to put the sauce on. If you can, use a knife and make sure that every nook and cranny has sauce on it. If a customer takes a bite of their sub and there is no sauce in that bite… you fail. Next are ingredient portions. Begin with the meat and cheeses. Make sure every part of your sandwich is not just covered with meat, but the SAME amount of meat. If a customer bites into his sandwich and gets little or no meat in ANY particular bite… you fail. Veggies are huge and are the most likely to fall off of the sandwich. Fine tune your craft and make sure you cut this down to a minimum. If I bite into a sandwich you make me, and EVERY ingredient I wanted is not present in every bite… you fail. That last thing is the wrapper. Make sure you roll the sub properly and evenly. Everything should be symmetrical, and the customer should enjoy watching you wrap your masterpiece, instead of stressing out about if you are going to fling out ingredients or wrap it too tight and break the spine of the roll. If you fail the wrap, you fail the sandwich and your customer.
In conclusion, if every bite they take into your sandwich is not as good and proportionate to the one they took before, you failed. If you can hammer down and fine tune this strategy and apply it to how you prepare your subs, you will have a surge in business and loyalty. I created and followed these steps to sandwich success and I only hope the same for you.