Which Wich Founder Jeff Sinelli Explains How His Leap of Faith Turned into a Success
Which Wich, the innovative and socially conscious sandwich shop, has enjoyed a remarkably fast-paced growth of success and popularity, which is now spread across the globe in over 500 locations. Founder Jeff Sinelli recently took some time to reflect on this great achievement by delving into the more humble beginnings of the business, when it was nothing more than an idea and a handful of business cards. In fact, when Sinelli took his idea to the National Restaurant show and began handing out cards, he had yet to even make a sandwich. Nevertheless, he received several calls from reporters inquiring about the alliteratively named restaurant. It was not long before Sinelli was on the cover of a major trade magazine and realized that he needed a real company.
Unfortunately, no one in Dallas wanted to lease any real estate to him to begin his business. At a time when Subway and Quiznos were dominating the sandwich market, it seemed impossible to convince a landlord to give him a chance. Finally, he made a sweet deal with a landlord – if Sinelli promised to put milkshakes on the menu at his restaurant, he would lease him the real estate necessary to turn his idea into a reality. Sinelli had never planned to include milkshakes on his menu, but took a leap of faith, and made the milkshake deal. Incidentally, today, his milkshakes still sell very well.
Not long after the fortuitous milkshake deal was made, Sinelli and his girlfriend traveled to Italy. Despite having already embarked on the beginnings of his new business, Sinelli still had some doubt regarding the risk he was taking in starting Which Wich. However, when he noticed a painting in the window of a gallery by artist David Dalla Venezia, he took the alliterative name that was only one letter away from “Dallas” as a sign that he was on the right path. While he could not afford the painting at the time, he walked away with a $10 print that still hands next to his office door.
The $10 print took on a whole new meaning as the years passed, becoming symbolic of what the company stands for, serving as a constant reminder of the importance in taking leaps of faith, regardless of the odds.
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