Here’s how Swiggy helped a decades-old sandwich brand reach newer heights.
It takes a lot to bring a brand established in the 80s to the present and not lose popularity in the process. But Mumbai’s Sandwizzaa makes it look as easy as the butter on their bread.
This is the story of how one restaurant that started in Santa Cruz in 1986 rebranded years later. Despite the change in branding, Sandwizzaa not only kept their old customers, but also managed to expand that base after they partnered with Swiggy.
Fresh out of the oven
Back in 1986, Om Prakash Sharma started a business with his brothers, where they sold sandwiches made by his mother and wife. As time went by, that business started thriving with regular customers making a beeline for the restaurant.
“People in and around the area grew up eating sandwiches. Whether it was the price point or the quality of food, everything worked well for us. In fact, my interest in the brand started because I grew up eating sandwiches every second day from the outlet,” says Sachin Lele, the current CEO and promoter of the brand.
While Swastik Sandwich ran from 1986 to 2002, it was then that the team decided to rebrand. “I saw great potential in the brand and wanted to take this well-loved brand to more people.That is when I went to the owners and floated the idea of a QSR service with plenty of outlets across the city,” Sachin says. And so Sandwizzaa was born.
With 18 outlets in Mumbai today, things weren’t always easy for the brand. “Back then people viewed sandwiches as street food. They didn’t think that it was supposed to be had at a restaurant, and you would usually find vada pav or sandwiches being sold by street vendors. So working on changing that belief system and getting customers to buy from an outlet was quite a task,” he says, while adding that value for money was another challenge they faced.
Swiggy steps in
When Swiggy was new in the market, many restaurants started partnering with the company. “Initially I didn’t plan to onboard with the company. But when we did make the move in 2017, we decided to stay low. We weren’t making big moves with Swiggy. But we started noticing that account managers from the company were very proactive. They would send us stats about how Sandwizzaa is doing and suggestions on how we can improve our business. That changed my perspective,” he explains while adding that the brand now has over 55 products on their menu.
While Sachin agrees that their delivery bandwidth has expanded dramatically after joining Swiggy, he believes that’s just one aspect of onboarding with the company. “Swiggy is not just for discovering a brand or delivering. The gestation period of a new store in a newer area has reduced by leaps and bounds due to Swiggy. Secondly, our go-to-market strategy has become easier. Reaching out and making the brand available to a new set of customers by providing them with discounts is a great strategy. I need new customers to taste our food just once and this discounting allows them to test it out at great prices,” Sachin adds.
Hemal Gaikwad, Swiggy’s account manager started working with Sandwizzaa in 2023
When he took over, the brand was already established and well-loved by customers. “So, the challenge was surrounding growth. We had to increase our orders per day. We weren’t competing with the local sandwich players, we wanted to create a dent with the burger players and so we had to take another look at the pricing. The brand has a very high repeat rate and they have an edge over several national players. So our challenge was to increase our orders per day in a sustainable manner,” says Hemal.
Speaking about how it is to work with Hemal, Sachin says, “Working with Swiggy’s account managers has been great. The kind of input he provides me with and the fact that he allows me time to think about it is a big deal. He displays so much ownership that it feels like he is part of our team.
While the 18 outlets in Mumbai keep Sachin and Hemal busy, they are currently focussing on going beyond. “Sandwizzaa as a brand is growing and we are doing well in the areas where our outlets already exist. Now, we want to conquer more areas,” Hemal says.