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Charleys Joins the Quick Service Sandwich Renaissance

What is the Quick Service Sandwich Renaissance?

It’s no secret – consumers, more than ever, are demanding better quality, fresher ingredients and a higher level of service out of their quick service options. As a result, many of the biggest sandwich chains, unable to adapt, have been closing at unprecedented rates, paving the way for other brands to step in and offer something new – and downright better. As QSR Magazine coined it, a “Renaissance of Sandwiches” is happening, and Charleys Philly Steaks is at the forefront.

It’s true, the popularity of sandwiches has never been higher: according to the University of Washington, Americans eat more than 300 million sandwiches every day – quite an astonishing amount given that there are 329.5 million people in the country! What is changing, however, is people’s palate. As major sandwich QSRs contract, Americans are realizing there are better options out there. Forget the bread that barely tastes like bread – QSRs are now offering innovative menus, local options, and fresh ingredients.

But the Sandwich Renaissance isn’t just happening on the food front. QSRs are also thriving by embracing all the changes that have come with the digital revolution and new consumer preferences brought on by the pandemic. Consumers have shown they want convenience when ordering, which is why so many QSRs invested heavily in online-ordering and delivery technologies. Many QSRs, for instance, are reporting that digital sales are accounting for nearly 50% of total revenues. Loyalty programs, too, are just another offering that is helping up and coming sandwich QSRs make their name in the industry.

Charleys franchise ultimate club sandwich quick service

The Staying Power of Digital Sales for Quick Service Restaurants

Digital sales are not only here to stay, they are set to take over a bulk of QSR sales for good. Already on track for a digital-first economy, the events of the pandemic accelerated this timeline and made it all too clear consumers want the ease of ordering online. According to a report from PYMNTS and Paytronix Systems Inc., the average QSR now generates as much as 75% of its sales from online ordering as well as orders over the phone.

“The brick-and-mortar restaurant is no longer the focal point of consumers’ dining experiences, but a single touch point in a much broader, decentralized and digital-first ecosystem,” the report says. “Restaurants have come to understand that providing digital ordering features is key to delivering their customers the food ordering experiences they want when they want them, but some restaurants have yet to realize that digital ordering features are the price of admission in this new market — not a differentiator.”

Charleys Philly Steaks has been uniquely positioned to be one of the leaders of the Sandwich Renaissance by utilizing its business model to take charge in the digital revolution. Charleys Philly Steaks recently launched a new mobile app that allows customers to easily place orders on the go, which also offers a loyalty program to earn and redeem rewards. As a result, digital sales and online orders have gone through the roof the past few years as Charleys Philly Steaks meets customers where they want to be.

What About Third Party Delivery Apps?

Uber Eats, Grubhub, DoorDash – third party delivery apps basically became household names during the pandemic, when consumers were unwilling or unable to dine-in at restaurants. Post-pandemic, consumers have proven they still prefer the ease and convenience of calling a third party delivery app to deliver their food. According to an industry study, third party delivery services doubled from 5.5% to 11% during the pandemic, with purchase frequency rising from three orders to 6.5 orders per household per quarter. And these habits remain relatively unchanged.

The Charleys Rewards mobile app makes placing pickup and delivery orders easier than ever. With the click of a button, you can browse the Charleys menu, order your favorite items, and track delivery to your door. And, you can earn and redeem rewards while you’re at it!

How Charleys Franchises Use the Sandwich Renaissance

First and foremost, Charleys Philly Steaks has offered sandwiches in a class all its own within the QSR industry for years. Offering delicious, made-to-order food without sacrificing quality has helped the franchise grow to more than 630 locations over the past three decades. As consumers increasingly become sick and tired of stale sandwich chains, Charleys is attracting more and more loyal customers searching out new menu offerings that are fresh, healthy, and delicious.

Charleys Philly Steaks has also proven it is not only keeping up with the times and changing consumer demands, it’s at the forefront of these trends. Our new app-based loyalty program provides a platform for customers to place orders on the go, and earn and redeem rewards, which also drives customer loyalty and sales. The new app also features a points-based system with personalized rewards, making the experience more intimate for our customers.

“The brand is serious about improving all aspects of the guest experience,” says Brian Hipsher, Chief Marketing Officer for Charleys Philly Steaks, said. “Our new app and online ordering platform are just the beginning. Our fans and franchisees will absolutely love this new program. Who doesn’t want to be rewarded for their loyalty?”

Want To Own A Charleys Philly Steak Franchise?

The quick service industry is experiencing one of the most significant and unprecedented changes in its history, with the traditionally big market chains falling by the wayside, paving the way for new brands to take center stage. Charleys Philly Steaks has built a reputation for years as a fan favorite for the classic Philly cheesesteak, but in this new economic climate, the franchise is ready for an expansion that will take the industry by storm. To learn more, visit our research pages here. If you’re ready to start a conversation with our franchise team, fill out our form here. We look forward to hearing from you!