What’s so special about November 3rd you say? It’s National Sandwich Day of course! So why not honor this tasty holiday by digging into some fun facts and promo ideas?
WARNING: The following article may cause hunger and/or uncontrollable drooling.
The History of the Sandwich
While it’s hard to define the true origin of the sandwich, this beloved menu item’s history can be traced all the way back to 1st century BC, with a Jewish rabbi by the name of Hillel the Elder.
It’s believed Hillel placed a mixture of chopped nuts, spices, apples, and – somehow – wine, between two matzos to eat with bitter herbs. This concoction became an integral part of the observation of Passover, known as a “Hillel sandwich”. Fast forward to the Middle Ages, when people were eating from slabs of stale bread – known as “trenchers” – instead of plates. Meats, sauces, and other toppings were piled on top of these trenchers and enjoyed as finger food.
Even though it’s origins trace back centuries, the sandwich as we know it didn’t become popular until the 18th century. As the story goes, amidst a 24-hour gambling event, Fourth Earl of Sandwich John Montagu, not wanting to put his gambling on pause for a lunch break, was longing for a meal he could eat with one hand. Legend has it, Montagu ordered his valet to bring him meat between two pieces of bread. Since Montagu was also Fourth Earl of Sandwich, his fellow gamblers followed suit, proclaiming they’d have “the same as Sandwich!”
By the 1900s, the sandwich became a staple in American culture, with much credit owed to Otto Rohwedder of Davenport, Iowa, the inventor of the bread slicing machine. His invention made sandwiches easier to make than ever before. The sandwich quickly became the preferred on-the-go meal for workers and school children alike, as it remains today.
Promo Ideas for National Sandwich Day
How about some inspiration to follow that history lesson? Here are a few fun promos you can run at your restaurant, in honor of #NationalSandwichDay.
Feature a classic on your menu: BLT, Grilled Cheese, Peanut Butter & Jelly, Philly Cheesesteak, or a Turkey Club. Use Thrillist’s roundup of the 50 greatest sandwiches for more inspiration.
Hold a sandwich eating contest! Let your patrons vote on the toppings, while the contestants eat their strange concoctions for the grand prize of a gift card to your establishment.
Create a sandwich based on your most popular menu item. Customers can’t get enough of your spaghetti? Make a spaghetti and meatball sub.
Give your sandwich-loving customers free range by offering a “build your own sandwich” option.
Feature a secret menu sandwich! These wacky menu items create a lot of buzz on social media, forcing customers into your venue to get the inside scoop of what’s in that sandwich – the wackier, the better.
For every customer that tweets a sandwich meme at your business, give them ½ off their sandwich when they come in.
Thanks for stopping by to learn a thing or two about the good ol' sandwich – it’s been a slice!
About the Author
Jackie is a Content Marketing Specialist and Social Media strategist at TouchBistro. She covers the latest food, dining, and technology trends for the restaurant industry. A lover of all things coffee, Jackie’s hobbies include breakfast, lunch and dinner.More Content by Jackie Prange