Every day is turkey day at Capriotti’s. This fast-casual chain has carved a niche for itself in the crowded sandwich segment thanks to their homemade, American menu items and warm, comfortable atmosphere. The brand is expanding and seeking franchisees who want to add to the company’s legacy of exceptional food and hospitality.
“We’re not fast food,” says Bruce Evans, vice president of franchise sales for Capriotti’s. Evans says the big difference between Capriotti’s is the menu, which includes lots of homemade items. “What differentiates us from other companies in the segment is that we roast our turkey and our roast beef in-house, we make our coleslaw from scratch. This makes our flavor profiles completely different.” This commitment to making as much of the menu as possible in-house has been part of the company’s 40 year history and is reminiscent of how the brand got started.
That happened in 1976 as a simple sandwich shop where Louis Margolet, a lifelong Wilmington, Delaware, resident, roasted whole turkeys overnight to make sandwiches for the next day’s lunch service. Today, the company has grown beyond its humble origins to more than 100 stores across the country. The company also recently expanded the menu to include soups and salads that appeal to a variety of diners.
“We’re looking for somebody who loves our brand and our food,” Evans says of Capriotti’s ideal franchise owner. The current Capriotti’s CEOs are also franchisees themselves, and are always following that passion for the brand and empathy for other franchisees to make decisions for the company, Evans says. “We also want franchisees who can see the big picture—that we’re trying to build a national brand.”
Capriotti’s requires $100,000 in liquid assets, two years of business experience, and, most importantly, passion for the restaurant industry. “When we interview potential franchisees, we’re really trying to glean a passion for the brand,” Evans explains. After a candidate is approved, they spend a day with Capriotti’s executive team, for “an informal meeting” before completing four weeks of company training.
Build-out of a store takes about nine weeks, and Capriotti’s offers support for franchisees every step of the way. “One week before a franchise location opens, we’ll send out a training team to help new owners train employees. The team stays a week after the store opens to make sure everything is on track,” Evans says. Capriotti’s also gives franchisees access to a business consultant who will meet with them four times a year. “Our goal is to make our franchisees successful,” Evans says.
“We want people that we can build a relationship with,” Evans says. The ideal Capriotti’s owner is one who is ready to work hard and wants to become part of the brand’s family. Capriotti’s dedication to building a relationship instead of only thinking about the bottom line is going to be a big part of the company’s future success, Evans says. “The future of Capriotti’s is really extraordinary franchisees selling exceptional product.”
For more information about franchising opportunities with Capriotti's, visit www.Capriottis.com