Sandwiches can be eaten any time of the day and are usually preferred by people who want a ‘grab and go’ meal that can be eaten anywhere. That said, sandwiches are big business. In fact, the top 10 sandwich franchises that made it to Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 Ranking, also belong to the Top 200.
One of the probable reasons why these franchises made the top rankings is because they offer and serve healthier meal options to their customers. The quick service sandwich industry is also continuously moving towards excellence by focusing on convenience, variety, and nutrition.
The Most Popular Sandwich Spots
Among the numerous sandwich franchises available in the country today, below are the franchises which made Entrepreneur’s list.
This world-famous sandwich franchise has been in the business since 1974 and has more than 34,000 franchises all over the globe. That is one of the reasons why Subway is considered to be the leader in the industry. It even beat McDonalds as the fast food chain with the most outlets worldwide. Aside from the usual sandwiches, Subway also has a line of breakfast sandwiches and they are also planning to add a drive-thru service for more convenience.
- Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches
This franchised sandwich restaurant chain was founded by Jimmy John Liautaud in 1983, with his father as his co-owner. Over the years, the franchise has grown to more than 2,500 locations across the United States, except for Alaska, Hawaii, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire & Vermont. It means that they have opened an approximate of 200 locations per year over the past three years.
- Charley’s Grilled Subs
Formerly known as Charley’s Steakery, this American restaurant chain of submarine sandwich stores was founded in 1986 by Charley Shin on the campus of Ohio State University. The brand has been successful since then as it focuses on providing hot food that is prepared in front of the customers.
Traditionally, Charley’s Grilled Subs locations can be found in malls, airports, and military installations across the US, but they are now refocusing on freestanding locations and strip centers.
- Firehouse Subs
This is definitely one hot franchise, which has been sizzling since it was founded in 1994 by former firefighters and brothers, Chris and Robin Sorensen. Firehouse Subs has been franchising since 1995 and has more than 1,000 locations in 44 US states as well as Canada, Puerto Rico, and Mexico.
- The Pita Pit
People who are conscious about their food intake and give more attention to their food’s nutrition information and calorie count can consider the Pita Pit to be an attractive and healthier alternative to fast food. The company has been franchising since 1997 and now has more than 500 locations in the US, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Brazil, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, and India.
The first Arby’s restaurant opened in 1964 in Boardman, Ohio. Back then, the menu was very simple as they only served roast beef sandwiches, potato chips, and iced tea. The franchise has diversified over the years and their menu has expanded to include more items such as market-fresh sandwiches, wraps, curly fries, salads, milkshakes, as well as kids’ and breakfast meals.
- Penn Station East Coast Subs
This quick service restaurant was founded by Jeff Osterfeld in 1985 in Cincinnati. Franchising of the restaurant began in 1987, two years after it was introduced. When it started, there were only four sandwiches available on the menu, including the grilled cheese steak sandwich.
Penn Station East Coast Subs is proud that they only use the freshest ingredients in their display cooking setup, which allows their sandwiches to be made in full view of their customers.
- Extreme Pita
The first Extreme Pita was opened in 1997 by brothers Alex and Mark Rechichi and franchising began a year later. They offer diverse menu items such as pita wrap sandwiches, flat baked pita pizzas, as well as cookies, smoothies, and salads.
- Togo’s Franchisor LLC
Togo’s also has its humble beginnings on a college campus when student Mike Cobler purchased a small sandwich store in 1971 in San Jose, California. He wanted his sandwiches big and packed with ingredients, and that is how he markets his made to order sandwiches. Franchising for the store started in 1977 and up to now, Togo’s still prides itself on making excellent sandwiches, soups, and salads.
- Which Wich Superior Sandwiches
Jeff Sinelli started the Which Wich Superior Sandwiches in 2003 with a simple goal and that is to “create a fresh, innovative concept featuring superior sandwiches served in an edgy, attractive environment.” They also have a unique way of getting and serving orders using sandwich bags with menus printed on them.