Your Reading List & recommendations

The Sarnie Business day 4 – The birds and the bikes

Lauren (@LaurenDouglin) and Scott (@ScottHudson) need to get back on their bikes and get selling. But the public are proving resistant to their delicious sarnie fillings.

Lauren: We fixed the bike that got a puncture on the first day but I ended up walking because the road is terrifying. Me, on one of those things I just know would infuriate city drivers on my rickety old bike swerving down the middle of the road – it’s just not a good idea.

Scott: We’re still selling all our sandwiches at £3 still but Suzanne (successful small business caterer and sandwich supremo from Gustatus) has helped us get the cost down to £1 each which is brilliant. We haven’t compromised on the fillings and we’ve done that by ordering the right amounts for each day and reducing wastage. Suzanne is amazing. It’s great to have someone around who’s been there and done it all, who can act as our mentor.


Twitcher on the prowl


Birdwatcher blessings?

Scott: Then we had a disaster. We stopped for a quick break after the lunch hour rush and when I came back my bike was cordoned off by police-style tape because a very rare endangered bird had decided to nest in my bike. They do nest quite quickly I was told. And there were some birdwatchers hiding in the bush who told me I couldn’t use the bike because it’s protected.

Lauren: Which was fine by us, really. It was a sign from the universe that bikes are a no-no, but we’re going to set up a stand instead to cater to the birdwatchers.


The power of social

Lauren: So we were quite relieved that we couldn’t use the bikes and we just focused on street selling. We asked for feedback on the fillings where we could and we made some changes. We toned down the chilli in the jerk chicken for instance. My grandma makes it spicy and I like that but it kind of blew people’s heads off so we toned it down a bit.

We’ve got an office order for next Wednesday. It’s a friend of mine, but she saw us on social media, and liked the look of the fillings, cos we’d shared pictures on social media too. So she told her friends and now they’ve ordered 20 sandwiches for Wednesday lunchtime.

Lauren: And a London food blogger got in touch to review our food. He heard about us because I hashtag followed just about everyone on Twitter who was anything to do with sandwiches. So if he gives us a good review that would be amazing.


Lauren selling in the sun

Lessons learned

Lauren: Give the customer what they want. And the best way to find out what they want is to ask them, either in person or online.

Scott: And get to know your product inside out. You need to be very clear about what it costs, what you can sell it for and be flexible to change when you have to.



The dynamic duo gets an upgrade with a brand new Sarnie Business stall.


Read more about The Sarnie Business

Watch all 5 Sarnie Business videos


All articles


Public sector

Safe & secure


Tech advice

Work smarter