For many business owners the prospect of expanding their operations into new and unchartered territories can be daunting. This has not been the case with Sandwich Baron, the fastest growing lunchtime franchise in South Africa, which recently opened its first store in Soweto and is actively seeking to expand further into the country’s township areas. Trevor Mashabane and Gloria Mautloa, the new owners of the Sandwich Baron at Bara Mall, Soweto, have recognised these areas as a fresh frontier with immense potential for profitability for the brand.
For people in the township areas of this country, Sandwich Baron is a unique offering. From online ordering to free delivery and fair pricing, the Sandwich Baron concept offers customers greater choice than many other lunchtime food stores. The meals on offer are also a healthier option and because they are always freshly produced on site, they are of a high quality.
“Although many people enjoy sandwiches, the sandwich business has not really been marketed in the township areas, where pap and fried chicken or fish and chips have long been the predominant lunchtime meal choices. Sandwich Baron offers these communities a familiar concept with a delicious spin. The humble sandwich has broad appeal, with the brand’s clientele spanning blue collar and office workers alike. There is a definite gap in the market for this offering and therefore loads of untapped potential for the brand to carve out a meaningful slice of market share alongside the fast food brands that have been very successful in these areas,” shares Mautloa.
“Our township expansion plans are not only aimed at serving the locals something fresh, new and healthy, but also offering entrepreneurs in these communities the opportunity to embark on ventures of their own. Aside from welcoming new customers into the Sandwich Baron family, our vision is to create jobs for the people who live in these areas by means of the Foundation we have established.” adds Mashabane, who founded the Mashabane Commerce Foundation alongside his son, Katlego.
The Mashabane Commerce Foundation was established to not only create employment opportunities through township stores, but also to educate and allow learners from township high schools to have access to business information related to their immediate township’s business sector. In addition, the Foundation will accommodate these students in becoming shareholders of the township franchises with a percentage share. The greater plan is to train people in these communities who did not have prior access to complete their studies in areas of business, so that the right knowledge and skills are imparted to allow them to build their own futures.
The concept of Sandwich Baron had such a strong pull for both the new owners. The Soweto store is Mashabane’s second store, with the other established in Braamfontein, and Mautloa has an interesting story of her own. She became involved in the brand when its ‘Win a franchise’ competition was run. Even though she did not walk away with her own store (ending up in the top ten short listed candidates), Mautloa made such an impression on the judges that she was the first to be recommended when Mashabane needed a partner.
“I am most grateful to have been afforded the opportunity to become involved in the Sandwich Baron legacy and even more so, to assist in being able to take this brand into unexplored territories. Our arrival has been met with great support thus far and we look forward to creating many memorable experiences for our new customers in future,”