About the Guide

Here at Foodable we are monitoring more than 175K restaurant entities and the actions of the consumers that engage with them. One particular sector that has shown some tremendous change over the past few years is the category of sandwich brands. Just three short years ago our Top 50 Sandwich Brands Report showed a complete different landscape of which concepts were winning. Today, that list has significantly changed with over 30 new entries in our Top 50 Innovators list.

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Consumer Trends on Quality Matters

In this day and age, when a consumer is looking for a place to eat, they almost immediately look to see if a restaurant has a social account. Why? With numerous cuisines and menu options, it’s hard to decide.

Cue the Instagram searching for restaurants. Consumers want what will make their mouths water with satisfaction. Instagram is the perfect platform for a restaurant to draw in their hungry audience.

Sure, a consumer can just read the menu, but what better way to envision yourself eating something, than to physically see it? Nothing screams “that’s where I’m going” more!

There is more to it than just a good looking photo, younger generations in particular like Gen Z, want to see if you’re engaging with your audience too.

For these Top 50 Sandwich Innovators, it’s not hard to post an enticing photo on their Instagram. According to Foodable Labs data the Top 50 Sandwich Innovators social engagement earned an average score of 85.7 compared to some of the top national sandwich chains like Subway, Jimmy Johns, Jersey Mike’s, Firehouse Subs, and Potbelly, with a score of 70.4.

Here is a closer look at some of the Instagram profiles of these Top Sandwich Innovator brands, and why they’re killing the social media game:

Matt And Marie’s

Philadelphia-based, Italian-styled sandwich shop, Matt and Marie’s is not afraid to show off its ingredients. The brand takes pride in what it offers to its customers and it shows. Its Instagram photos all feature close-up shots of their masterpieces. The shop’s followers can easily see the layers of bread, cheese, artisanal meats stacked between their fresh-baked bread, making no doubt in what they’ll be receiving when they order for themselves. Matt and Marie’s Instagram feed is inviting its followers to come and experience the salivating sandwiches by providing and showcasing high-quality ingredients.  

A post shared by Zak The Baker (@zakthebaker) on

Zak the Baker

This kosher, Miami-based bakery has a humble, simple, and earnest air to them. Its Instagram doesn’t stray away from this. The mixture of food and those who bake it on their feed is refreshing to see. The clean composition in the pictures of freshly baked challah, or sourdough bread, rows of pastries, and soups shows the food for what it is. There is no clutter to distract their followers from the array of baked goods, all pictured in soft natural lighting. Zak the Baker’s feed has a sense of lightheartedness and fun showcasing Zak himself and other employees doing what they love—baking for their followers. The company’s feed not only lets its followers dream of the food, but relate better to the bakery as a brand because of the very human feel they get from following along with a day in the life of the employees.

The Melt

A post shared by THE MELT (@themelt) on

There is nothing more visually satisfying than melted cheese dripping or being pulled apart, and this California-based grilled cheese restaurant capitalizes on that. Just one look at their Instagram feed and it’s hard not to suddenly crave a grilled cheese. Like Matt & Marie’s, this brand’s feed shows confidence in what it has to offer its followers. The Melt’s images are shot to focus closely on the sandwich and cheese pulling, with the goal to show off each ingredient. The restaurant’s clear focus of melted cheese makes its feed’s aesthetic simple to stick with, but easy to include reposts of their followers’ content, allowing them to better engage with their audience. With the additional use of their Instagram Highlights on trending topics like supporting Pride Month, and showing off cute puppies, The Melt is utilizing Instagram well in their favor.

These restaurants are all different in what they have to offer their customers, but all have one thing in common, a great sense in how to market themselves on Instagram. Show your customers what you have, whether it’s premium ingredients, bang for your buck, or a healthy and trendy alternative to the norm. Instagram is an advantage to all restaurants when done right.


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