overlook the classics (white and wheat remain perennially
popular), but a few specialty breads can help make your
sandwiches stand out.
America’s largest sandwich slingers understand that
options are crucial for today’s customers. At Togo’s
Eateries, a 250-location chain based in San Jose, California, artisan breads include Parmesan Cheese, San
Francisco-Style Sourdough and 100% Honey Whole
Wheat. Dallas-based Which Wich, meanwhile, appeals
to health-conscious customers with the option to “skinny
your wich” by scooping out the insides of the bread.
Schlotzky’s Deli mixes up its menu with Dark Rye and
Jalapeno Cheese buns, while Subway multipurposes its
flatbreads for sandwiches and flatbread-style pizzas.
Whenever possible, pizzeria operators should allow
customers to select their own breads, though they’ll also
appreciate if you supply a “suggested bread” for each
sandwich. In recent years, pretzel breads, Italian favorites such as ciabatta and focaccia, multigrain blends, and
herb- or flavor-infused breads have gained in popularity,
but even breakfast staples like croissants and bagels can be
a great choice. Ron Eyester, chef/owner at Timone’s Pizza and Deli ( timonespizzaatlanta.com) in Atlanta, notes
that some of his most popular sandwiches are o;ered on
homemade bagels, made fresh every morning.
However, if bread making requires too much of a time
commitment, you can also partner with a trusted local
brand. Gene Mongan, owner-operator (with partner Kurt
Raepple) of John’s Pizza and Subs (johnspizzaandsubs.
com), with four locations in New York, o;ers its subma-
Offering sandwiches bundled with drinks and sides appeals to families
who seek value meals.
Some fad diets come and go, while a few look like they
may be here to stay. Why not use them for sandwich
1. Gluten-Free—Accommodate gluten-free guests by purchasing premade gluten-free breads for your sandwiches.
Example: Cottage Inn ( cottageinn.com), with 40-plus
stores in Michigan and Ohio, offers the gluten-free Italian
sandwich, with ham, salami, provolone, hot pepper rings,
red onion, lettuce, tomato and mustard sauce.
2. Paleo—Paleo dieters may crave a breadless option,
but “paleo breads” are gaining in popularity. Use other
ingredients (slices of tomato or portobello mushrooms,
lettuce wraps or meat patties) in place of a bun, or offer
a bunless option for any of your sandwiches. Example: So
Natural Organic Restaurant & Market (sonaturalmarket.
com) in Harker Heights, Texas, offers its sandwiches on
traditional, gluten-free or Paleo Bread.
3. Meat-Free—For vegetarians and vegans, move beyond
the basic fixings on a bun. Add flavor and depth with
meat alternatives, local veggies, vegan cheeses and
inventive sauces. Example: Hillside Pizza (hillsidepizza.
com), with three locations in Massachusetts, offers the
Stupendous Seitan, with seitan, onions, peppers, cheddar
and sundried tomato pesto.
4. Low-carb—Low-carb devotees appreciate the option of
making any sandwich into a wrap for less of the white
stuff without sacrificing flavor. Try flavored tortillas, pitas
or lavash for an ethnic touch. Example: Wild Olive Pizzeria
( wildolivepizzaspringfield.com) in Springfield, Massachusetts, offers white, wheat and low-carb wraps, including
the Spicy Tuna, with white albacore tuna, bacon, banana
peppers, roasted red peppers and provolone cheese.
“You won’t fail or succeed
until you try something new.
New ideas, combinations
and flavors allow you to find
something fresh, new and
delicious.” —Todd Peterson,