Fancy an Earl of Sandwich sandwich?

In 2004, Sir John joined forces with Planet Hollywood entrepreneur Robert Earl (two Earls are better than one) to create a new sandwich franchise in the States. The Earl of Sandwich chain has grown steadily over the past seven years, gaining a loyal following - Earl of Sandwich even has an outlet in Disneyland.

Yesterday, the Earl of Sandwich set up his first shop on home turf. The store, situated on Ludgate Hill, near St Paul's, hopes to cash in on the lively local lunch-time trade.

But can the Earl of Sandwich stand up to the mighty Subway? The US chain currently boasts more stores than McDonalds in London, retaining a whopping 60% market share of the sandwich industry in the UK.

Alex Garland, CEO for Earl of Sandwich Europe, is unfazed by the competition: ""We have big plans to roll out. We'd like to establish a solid base in London fairly quickly, and if it's successful, we'll take it nationwide."

The positioning of the Earl of Sandwich brand is more high end than Subway - a sort of Subway-meets-Pret concept. "Hopefully we'll be original," says Garland. "The main concept is hot, fresh sandwiches made to order, which are prepared fast."

There are currently 13 varieties of hot sandwich available, all priced at £3.95.

Some interesting sandwich facts

  • The fourth Earl of Sandwich, also Sir John Montagu, first popularised the sarnie back in the 18th century when he demanded that cold meat be brought to him between two slices of bread. Copycat blue bloods began asking for "the same as Sandwich" and thus the name stuck.
  • Today, the humble sandwich is one of Britain's best-loved foods - we eat over 11.5bn of them every year.
  • The UK sandwich industry employs more people than the UK agricultural industry. It is estimated over 300,000 people are now employed in the commercial sandwich sector.
  • 25-54 year olds account for over 53% of all commercial sandwich sales - and men account for 55% of all sales.
  • 19% of all sandwiches are purchased in London with the Midlands just behind at 17% followed by Yorkshire (12%) and Lancashire (11%)

Want to open a sandwich shop? Check out our range of business plans.

Have you had an Earl of Sandwich sandwich? Think the chain will be the next big thing? Leave your review in the comments section below.

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