Franchise Player: Lee's Sandwiches

min read
lees-sandwiches.jpg

The Le family of San Jose, Calif., parlayed a catering business into one of the most successful Asian food franchises in the Southwest. There are 35 Lee's locations, mostly in California, with a few scattered in Texas, Arizona and Oklahoma.

The staple of Lee's sandwiches is "banh mi" -- Vietnamese sandwiches with French flair. The first thing you'll notice at a full-service Lee's is the smell of racks upon racks of freshly baked baguettes. The franchise's signature sandwiches are simple stacks of meat -- often pork or pate -- onions, cilantro and jalapeno served between chewy slices of near foot-long baguettes. The flavor is solid if not a little exotic for burger eaters, but the hook is price: $2.45. The establishments also serve more Western-style sandwiches on baguettes and croissants that feature mayonnaise, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes. Egg rolls and spring rolls are optional, as are Asian-style sweets, including a new item, Korean cream puffs called delimanjoo. There's a clean, assembly-line quality to the eateries, which are arranged around a walk-up register and a pick-up counter. An automated voice calls out customers' orders by number when the food is ready. And that's usually within a few minutes. Most of the establishments seem to be cash only. All feature free wi-fi. Franchise fees start at $248,180 for a "mall unit" and top out at more than $2 million for a "production unit" where bread is baked onsite. More info can be found here.

More from Entrepreneur

Get heaping discounts to books you love delivered straight to your inbox. We’ll feature a different book each week and share exclusive deals you won’t find anywhere else.
Jumpstart Your Business. Entrepreneur Insider is your all-access pass to the skills, experts, and network you need to get your business off the ground—or take it to the next level.
Starting, buying, or growing your small business shouldn’t be hard. Guidant Financial works to make financing easy for current and aspiring small business owners by providing custom funding solutions, financing education, and more.

Latest on Entrepreneur