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The Sarnie Business day 5 – Not stopping, just stalling

Lauren (@LaurenDouglin) and Scott (@ScottHudson) have moved up from bikes and are now selling their sarnies from a stall. Will a stronger street presence and location help their business?

Lauren: We got an upgrade to a stall today so we got in early, we cracked on, and we were able to make more sandwiches than ever. More sales too.

Scott: And we made them really fast actually, we’re perfecting our technique. We timed it, and working together like a production line we made our sandwiches 20% faster.

Scott: Location-wise, it’s pretty good. There are other stalls and people are coming here for food. You get that halo effect.

Lauren: With the stall, I knew exactly how I wanted it and we kept tweaking the look and feel. We had to move signs and boards and things to get the best effect.

Scott: Yeah, just make it as easy as possible for people to come in and see exactly what we’re selling, how much it is, and who we are. It’s not rocket science but it’s not always easy to get it right first time.

Feeding the birdwatchers


Twitcher tsunami

Scott: A coach trip of birdwatchers came to see the rare crested reed warbler that nested in my bike. That was obviously a business opportunity so Lauren made some more sandwiches to meet demand.

Lauren: We came up with some new fillings for the sandwiches and Suzanne (successful small business caterer and sandwich supremo from Gustatus) tweaked them and told us how to make them better and more efficiently – she’s a pro! She’s great at getting deals with suppliers too, she’s been our saviour.

Scott: And then we had another big order – 15 sandwiches for an office event. It stressed me because we had to prep on the stand and everyone was looking.

Lauren: I put my bossy pants on, so I was like, “okay, what do you want? You want fifteen. Chicken and pork? Great, Scott, you do the chicken, I’ll do the pork”.

Scott: Lauren took control and we needed that at the time. We were using each other’s strengths, suggesting bits and bobs to each other, as to how we could overcome the situation.


Scott puts the finishing touches to the stall



Scott: We’ve been using an iZettle and a tablet to keep track of costs and payments. It’s a payment card reader with an app and when it’s connected to the tablet we can use it like a till and take contactless payments. That was super handy, people really like that.

Lauren: But one customer didn’t like any of the flavours, and didn’t like anything else that we had. So, it was just a case of just being really nice to him while realising that although we could change our flavours just for him, you have to go with what the majority of what people like.


Profit and (no) loss

Lauren: Our profits were definitely up today. We had a couple of good large orders and now that we’ve got our fillings down to around £1 per sandwich, selling at £3 each we made a couple of hundred quid today. This could really work.

Scott: A lot of extra work but that was obviously a good thing, very happy with that.


Lessons learned

Lauren: Play with the hand you were dealt as if it was the hand you wanted. So, whatever happens, just go with it treat it like it was exactly what you wanted all along.

Scott: Make your choices and be decisive. We spent too much time tweaking the layout of the stall when it was already fine, sweating the small stuff a bit too much – it helps, but it doesn’t beat face-to-face selling.


Next week

When both weather and the locals turn against them, The Sarnie Business could be about to go under.


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