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Breaking the Monotonous Mold

In an industry overrun with “sameness,” as Which Wich founder Jeff Sinelli put it, he decided it was time to find inspiration in a new and unexpected source when it came to conjuring up new and creative sandwich names for the trendy casual dining joint. For Sinelli, that source was music. With the help of Better than Ezra lead singer Kevin Griffin and songwriter Sam Hollander, he got exactly what he was looking for when the three of them rocked out together during a jam session in the Casa del Mar hotel in Santa Monica.

Griffin employed the same approach he uses to craft hit songs, spit-balling ideas until the names rolled out like magic. Giving a turkey sandwich a name was no longer just another mundane act of necessity, but a real collaboration and blend of varying creative minds. For Griffin, if the name sang well, he knew it was a keeper.

This past April, Sinelli booked Griffin to speak at the franchise’s annual press conference, where franchisees were all asked to suggest lyrics and write them into a song, which would later be produced in a record. Griffin is on the same page as Sinelli and believes the music industry does indeed share many similarities with the restaurant business. Musicians have a limited amount of time to hook a listener on a song, which is not unlike a menu in a restaurant. If there is nothing eye-catching about the options on a menu, that customer might either leave or never return for subsequent visits. You have one shot.

Sinelli only revealed one name thus far, but hinted at that Which Wich’s loyal vegetarian and vegan customers would be well represented, giving them “the party they deserve.”

The sandwich he revealed, named the Garden Party Wich, pays homage to the Ricky Nelson tune and will likely appeal to an older generation.

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