Sub Sandwich Franchise: How to Incorporate Healthier Menu Options


Author: Jemma Pringle

In an era where health consciousness is more than a trend and has become a lifestyle, the fast-food industry is experiencing a paradigm shift. This transformation is driven by consumers’ increasing demand for quick, convenient, but also nutritious and wholesome options. This evolution presents a unique opportunity for sandwich and sub franchises to take charge of redefining fast food, making it synonymous with health and well-being.

Embracing Whole Grains

The cornerstone of any sub sandwich is its bread, and this is where the journey toward healthier options begins. Introducing whole grain breads, rich in fiber and essential nutrients, can significantly elevate the health quotient of a sandwich. 

Whole grains such as quinoa, millet, and whole wheat offer a robust texture and a nutty flavor, enhancing the overall eating experience while providing sustained energy. By offering a selection of whole-grain breads, franchises can cater to a spectrum of the health-conscious.

Lean Proteins: A Game Changer

Protein is a vital component of a balanced diet, and in the context of subs, the choice of protein can make a world of difference. 

Sub-restaurant franchises can redefine their protein offerings by incorporating learner options such as grilled chicken, turkey, and plant-based proteins like lentils, chickpeas, and tempeh. These alternatives cater to the nutritional needs of consumers and address diverse dietary preferences, including vegetarian and vegan choices. This inclusivity can broaden the customer base and enhance the appeal of your franchise.

Fresh Vegetables: Color and Crunch

Vegetables are pivotal in adding nutritional value and sensory appeal to sandwiches. An array of fresh, crunchy vegetables, such as lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers, inject a burst of color and texture while contributing essential vitamins and minerals to diets. 

Sub franchises can encourage customers to customize their sandwiches with a variety of vegetables, promoting a “more is better” approach when it comes to greens. This strategy aligns with healthy eating guidelines and allows for personalization, making each dining experience unique and satisfying for your customers.

Low-fat Condiments and Sauces

Condiments and sauces are often the hidden culprits of the added calories and fats in sandwiches. By offering alternatives like low-fat mayo, mustard, salsa, and other light dressings, franchises can dramatically reduce unnecessary fat while retaining the flavors customers love. 

These healthier condiments can be marketed as a guilt-free way to enhance the taste of sandwiches, appealing to those who are mindful of their dietary intake.

Portion Control: Size Does Matter

The trend of supersized meals is gradually waning, with more consumers preferring quality over quantity. Sandwich shops can adapt to this shift by offering sandwiches in varied portion sizes, catering to those who prefer a lighter meal or are mindful of their calorie intake. 

This meets the customer’s demand for healthier options and addresses the global issue of food wastage, making it an environmentally responsible choice.

Nutritional Information Transparency

Consumers are more informed and vigilant about their food choices in today’s digital age. 

Providing detailed nutritional information, including calorie count, macronutrient composition, and allergen alerts, can empower customers to make decisions that align with their health objectives. Franchises can leverage technology to make this information readily accessible in-store and online, fostering a transparent and trust-based relationship with their customers.

Salad Options: Beyond the Bun

While sub sandwiches are the staple, offering salad options with the same high-quality ingredients caters to those seeking a lighter, low-carb alternative. This diversifies the menu and accommodates various dietary preferences, from gluten-free to ketogenic diets. 

Salads can be customized with various proteins, vegetables, and dressings, offering a fresh and nutritious meal option that complements the traditional sub offerings.

Seasonal and Local Produce

Incorporating seasonal and locally sourced produce can significantly enhance sandwich ingredients’ freshness and nutritional value. This practice not only supports local farmers and reduces the carbon footprint associated with transportation but also introduces customers to new flavors and ingredients at their peak. Seasonal menus can create anticipation and excitement, encouraging repeat visits and fostering community engagement.

Health-Conscious Kids’ Meals

Addressing the nutritional needs of children is crucial, and offering healthy kids’ meal options can attract families looking for dining options that cater to all age groups. 

These meals can include mini subs with whole grain bread, lean proteins, and plenty of vegetables, accompanied by sides like fruits or yogurt. Providing healthier beverages like milk or juice instead of soda can further enhance the nutritional profile of kids’ meals.

Employee Training on Health Benefits

The role of informed and enthusiastic employees must be balanced in promoting healthier menu options. Training staff to understand and communicate the health benefits of various menu items enables them to assist customers in making informed choices. 

This education can range from the basics of nutrition to the specific advantages of certain ingredients, such as the heart-healthy fats in avocados or the high fiber content in whole grains. When knowledgeable, employees can share this information with customers, making recommendations based on dietary preferences and health goals. This enhances the customer experience and reinforces the franchise’s commitment to promoting healthy eating habits.


As the fast-food industry evolves, sub-sandwich franchises are uniquely positioned to offer healthier menu options. Franchises can cater to the growing demand for nutritious and delicious meals by focusing on fresh, quality ingredients, consistent inventory control, and good customer service. By embracing these strategies, franchises can redefine the fast-food experience.

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