One recent addition is the Stacks
sandwich line that features layers
of meat, cheese, veggies and special
sauces “that are a little bit unconventional [think honey-mustard or Bour-sin cheese]. We’ve been experimenting with mixing different spices with a
sauce to make something very special
just to us,” said Loniecki.
duction. If food costs are too high, you
look at portion sizes and possible theft.”
Controlling food costs is paramount
for any type of foodservice program
— including sandwiches. According to
NACS State of the Industry data, top
performing retailers who execute successful foodservice programs consistently control expenses and keep food
costs in check.
NACS CAFÉ’s Caldarola emphasizes
that managing food inventory and documenting and lowering waste are essential ingredients to a successful sandwich program. “Recipes for each main
type of sandwich must be costed and
constantly updated with the most recent ingredient purchase price. Made-to-order locations shouldn’t forget to
calculate the edible portion amounts
for fresh produce to determine food
cost for the sandwich. If you omit this
step, food costs can be inaccurate and
actual sales prices might be lower than
they should be,” she said.
“Let quality and innovation be your
primary driver in developing a new
product, not retail price point,” said
Loniecki. “Develop your recipe, deter-
mine your food cost and then assign a
price point that garners the margin you
require. We have found, time and time
again, that a customer will pay a premi-
um price for a premium product.”
Rutter’s employs mangers with res-
taurant experience to coordinate all as-
pects of the company’s sandwich pro-
gram, including food costs and waste.
“Track inventories so you know where
you are and what goals you need to
reach,” said Weiner. “If spoilage is too
high, you know you’re not tracking pro-
As the ultimate convenience food,
sandwiches are a natural fit for con-
venience stores. “Sandwich options
help convenience stores compete
with QSRs,” said Weikel. “Picking up
a made-to-order or grab-and-go sand-
wich at a convenience store can be just
as good and more convenient than go-
ing to a fast-food restaurant in terms of
quality, freshness and customization.”
“The possibilities of sandwiches are
pretty limitless, and they’re just so easy
to do,” added Loniecki. Because sand-
wiches drive foodservice profit and
traffic, she recommends sandwiches as
a good starting point for a foodservice
program. “You can start a good, quality
fresh-food program for your customers
without a great deal of capital invest-
ment, without ovens or a hood vent
or things of that nature. If you have
space you can dedicate to production,
adequate refrigeration and a good mer-
chandising location in your store, sand-
wiches can be an easy way to ease into
the foodservice arena.”
Sarah Hamaker is a NACS Magazine
and NACS Daily contributing writer.
Visit her online at sarahhamaker.com.
No matter what sandwich program a retailer has —grab-and-go or made-to-order —keeping food safety top of mind is extremely important. Dr. Nancy
Caldarola, education director of NACS CAFÉ, offers these food-safety tips.
■ Think about the line set-up. Keep all meats and cheese separated from
vegetables and sauces. Any ingredient that could carry foodborne illnesses
should be kept close to the sandwich board to avoid contamination when
reaching over other food ingredients.
■ Do not cross-contaminate with utensils. Condiments such as mayonnaise
should have their own knife. If possible, wipe the cutting knife on a clean
sanitizer cloth between sandwiches. Color-coded knife and utensil handles
help employees keep them straight. Always have a lavender-colored “
aller-gen-free” cutting board and knife-and-utensil set available to use for customers who may be allergic to cheese and dairy.
■ Think temperature. Make sure your refrigeration units are properly functioning by conducting temperature checks every two hours. Clear out the
make-table every night and store all product in the walk-in fridge overnight.
■ Think personnel. Train all foodservice workers in food safety. Follow-up
training with frequent checks and refresher courses.
■ Think like a customer. Walk up to your counter as a customer would and
check to ensure the visible areas are neat and clean at all times. Seeing what
your customers see can open your eyes to potential problems and can help
you devise good food-safety procedures.
For more information on food safety, purchase the ServSafe Food Handler
Guide, available at nacsonline.com/products.