Sandwiches With A Smile

It is a safe bet that almost everyone loves a good sandwich. The proof is in the success of big box sub shops like Subway. There is another contender in the sandwich business that is ready to elbow its way into the spotlight. That business is Capriotti’s.

Capriotti’s is a specialty sandwich shop franchise. Their delicious sandwiches have pulled people from all over, motivating some people to drive many miles just to purchase a couple sandwiches. With 70 locations in ten states, Capriotti’s is only at the beginning of a very promising expansion. For the right entrepreneur, now may be the time to bring this sandwich shop into your own town.

I recently asked Ashley Morris, CEO, a few questions about his company and his franchise opportunity.

Tell us a little about Capriotti’s.

Capriotti’s is a sandwich shop that delivers the freshest and most extraordinary sandwiches possible all with a smile.

What inspired it?

The first Capriotti’s was opened in 1976 in Wilmington, DE. The idea behind the sandwich shop was to roast whole turkeys every night and then use the fresh roasted turkey in sandwiches the next day. This sort of quality meat and the other fresh ingredients used on the sandwiches began gaining popularity in the area and in 1987, the second and third locations opened. It was around this time that our signature sandwiches such as the “Bobbie®” were born.

What are some of the specialty sandwiches you offer?

Our most famous offering is the Bobbie, made with the roasted turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing and mayo. Some of our other popular special sandwiches include the Capastrami® with hot pastrami, Swiss cheese, Russian dressing and cole slaw and Cole Turkey® with the slow-roasted, homemade turkey, provolone cheese, Russian dressing, cole slaw and mayo. Capriotti’s also has a wide variety of vegetarian options and classics like an Italian and a Homemade Meatball.

What separates you from the competition?

The quality of our meats and freshness of our ingredients. Every night, at every location, 24 pound turkeys are slow roasted in the store and then shredded off the bone the next morning. The other ingredients such as the cole slaw and stuffing are made in store with our 30+ year old recipes. Another thing about the Capriotti’s menu is that about 50 percent of our offering are hot.

Tell us a little about your franchise opportunity.

Capriotti’s is always looking for interested franchisees and now is a great time since we are really looking to build out the brand.

What are the requirements?

For a single unit franchisee, the minimum financial requirements are $100,000 – $300,000 liquid and $500,000 net worth. Restaurant experience is preferred, a minimum of 2 years, business experience and a passion for the restaurant industry. Our franchise fee for a first-time, individual location is $46,000. As an Area Developer, the franchise fee goes down to $36,000 per restaurant.

Do you have any goals that you’d like to accomplish over the next year or so?

Capriotti’s is going through a big expansion right now, with plans to open about 20 new locations by the end of this year. Then our plans for the next 3 to 5 years is to expand to about 200 locations with new locations in new states and cities.

What are some lessons that your business has taught you?

Being involved with Capriotti’s has taught me that you always have to be ready to change plans and switch directions. If something isn’t working it doesn’t make sense to dig your heels in but rather to problem solve. For example, our original plans with Capriotti’s was to develop franchises with buyers one or two at a time. However, now, we are focused on developing territories with multiple locations in the works at a time.

Do you have any advice that you’d like to offer fellow entrepreneurs that are just getting started?

I never thought I would end up CEO and partial owner of a sandwich chain, so my advice would be to take chances but always get behind a product or brand you believe in.

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