You don’t have to dig very far to find out that sandwich shops are some of the most popular franchises out there. And the numbers would definitely support your hunch. In fact, sandwich and sub store franchises have shown consistent growth over the last five years, according to a recent IBISWorld report. It’s a $23 billion dollar industry, which is great for anyone researching the best sandwich shop franchises and considering opening their own.

But as the IBISWorld report points out, there is a fairly high level of competition in this space. Rather than let that turn you away from your decision to join this fast-growing and lucrative industry, here are four reasons why that level of competition can actually help your business.

Validation that Your Product or Service is in Demand

One of the scariest prospects when starting a new business is not knowing how real customers will respond. You can do your research but in many cases, despite your best efforts, entrepreneurship is a leap of faith. Even with a franchise it’s possible to enter an industry where there’s simply not enough demand, making your job harder and your chances of turning a profit slim.

Luckily, a lot of competition in a particular field generally indicates a healthy existing audience for your product or service. Especially if the other players in the industry are established or growing, it’s a good clue that you’d be heading in a similar direction. When you think about it, the high demand for a delicious, affordable sandwich is not so surprising. As Forbes contributor Deborah Sweeney puts it, “Food brings people together and sandwiches are not an exception to this rule- the simple creation of a sandwich, the layers and texture of vegetables and meats bring people together just as much.”

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Keeps Customer Service Levels High

Don’t forget about this key differentiator! Customer service can make or break a business. It’s also an excellent way to become a leader in a competitive industry.

Think about this scenario: A customer is heading to a work meeting offsite and needs to grab a quick bite on the way. He sees your sub shop and decides to give it a try, even though he might be more familiar with other “big” brand names. If you can treat this customer to a superior experience start-to-finish, he will likely return the next time he is in the area. He might even tell his coworkers about his great meal.

Inspires Innovation

The best sandwich shop franchises may rely on a few special, time-tested menu items, but they never stop innovating. Why? They don’t want to risk becoming outdated or out of touch when competitors are keeping up with industry trends and incorporating exciting new items into their menus. Also, the more fresh options you can give customers, the more likely it is they will return to try something new – or the greater your chances of converting a customer who was previously on-the-fence about your product.

Instead of being frustrated because of a high level of competition in your industry, be happy that you have a motivating reason to think outside the box and expand your market share in the process. Remember: “Innovation makes it easier to grow, regardless of the size of the business.” (Inc.)

Helps You Refine Your Messaging

The best sandwich shop franchises know that the key to attracting customers in a crowded space is making sure your messaging clearly states your singular value proposition. This is a good thing, for many reasons. For one, customers will know what to expect when they visit your store. Secondly, you will be carving out a unique space your business in the industry. Rather than ride on the coattails of some other popular sandwich shop, for example, you have the opportunity to present a new and different perspective than what’s already out there.

Want to learn more about what sets Jon Smith Subs apart as one of the best sandwich shop franchises? Contact us today and a member from our franchise team will be in touch soon.