Sandwich Ideas to Drive Participation All Year Round


Sandwiches are a staple at lunchtime, both in school cafeterias and fast-casual concepts. Make sure your sandwiches can compete with fast-casual style sandwiches by elevating your commodity meats and cheeses with breads.

Create excitement around sandwiches
Celebrating National Biscuit Month and National Sandwich Day in your cafeteria is a great way to create excitement around your sandwich offerings.

  • Offer Biscuit Month and Sandwich Day LTOs
  • Hold a sandwich naming contest
  • Post biscuit-themed questions of the day throughout the month of September (National Biscuit Month)

Deconstructed sandwiches: make it a bowl!
Bowls are a big in fast-casual restaurants right now, and many serve variations on the deconstructed sandwich. Arrange sandwich ingredients such as meats, cheeses and veggies in a bowl for instant fast-casual appeal.

Or, capitalize on the Southern comfort food trend and try a biscuit bowl!

Get inspiration from around the country and the world
Generation Z (K-12 age right now) is a more multicultural generation than any before and today’s kids look for Latin American or Korean food as often as BBQ or burgers.¹ Fast-casual restaurants recognize this and are offering tried-and-true staples with regional and global twists. Here are some ideas that you can try in your cafeteria.

  • Fish Po’Boy with Cajun Sauce 
  • Chicken Parm Sandwich with Italian Vegetables
  • French Dip with Au Jus
  • Gyro
  • Rodeo Burger Sandwich
  • Carnitas Torta
Sandwich Ideas to Drive Participation All Year Round

Pay attention to presentation
Don’t forget that presentation is half the battle when encouraging kids to choose school lunch. Use a pretzel instead of a toothpick to hold sandwiches together or wrap to-go sandwiches in attractive paper for typical fast-casual appearance and finish with a sticker.

Lastly, remember to layer sandwich ingredients strategically: putting things like lettuce and less-saucy ingredients toward the outside against your bread will minimize sogginess.

For more great ways to bring fast-casual style to your cafeteria, check out Good Times Café, our one-stop-shop for ideas, tips and free downloadable assets.

¹Fast Casual Industry Analysis 2018 – Cost & Trends, Franchise Help, 2018