Breakout Brands 2017: East Hampton Sandwich Co.

Unlike some sandwich chains, this fast-casual concepts focuses on the stuff between the bread

Sandwich chains frequently boast about their freshly baked bread.

But East Hampton Sandwich Co. focuses on the stuff between the bread.

The concept outsources bread baking, saving on square footage and concentrating on the ingredients.

“We use the kitchen for what goes between the bread, instead of the bread itself,” said Hunter Pond, the founder of East Hampton Sandwich Co.

The strategy has paid off: When the first location opened in the Dallas area, in 2012, there was a line out the door.

“It hasn’t slowed down since,” Pond said.

The six-unit chain is poised to open two more restaurants. At press time, Pond was scouting locations in Houston, which would be East Hampton Sandwich Co.’s second market. Not bad progress for a law school dropout who founded the chain at 25 years old, with no restaurant experience.

Pond, himself a sandwich lover, created East Hampton Sandwich Co. from a customer’s perspective.

“I’d eat them for dinner,” he said.

He wanted to serve high-quality sandwiches akin to The Cheesecake Factory, but not in a full-service model.

So East Hampton Sandwich Co. developed a menu of items like a Balsamic Tenderloin sandwich and Lobster Grilled Cheese.

“I wanted to have that upscale, American-grill quality sandwich in a fast-casual atmosphere,” Pond said.

“I just watched a lunch rush where we did 300 to 400 sandwiches in a lunch rush. You don’t have the ability to do that in full service. But you can when you pair the product with quick service.”

Breakout Factors:

  • East Hampton Sandwich Co puts a focus on premium ingredients by adding lobster and beef tenderloin to sandwiches.
  • The chain is establishing a market for upscale, fast-casual sandwiches.

All photos courtesy of East Hampton Sandwich Co.

Contact Jonathan Maze at jonathan.maze@penton.com

Follow him on Twitter: @jonathanmaze

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