How Does Which Wich® Make the World a Better Place?
When Jeff Sinelli, Founder and Chief Vibe Officer of the Which Wich® Superior Sandwich franchise chain attended a Conscious Capitalism summit in San Francisco in 2013, he was challenged to live by the words on his business card: “Make the world a better place.” He recently sat down with Michael Graber, a managing partner of the Southern Growth Studio to discuss our “conscious capitalism” efforts. In this effort, he discussed how Which Wich takes community involvement, philanthropy, and providing for those less fortunate extremely seriously.
Project PB&J is the biggest community outreach effort Which Wich takes part in. The idea for the program came almost immediately after Sinelli returned from that Conscious Capitalism conference, when he went to the franchise’s corporate headquarters in Dallas, made two PB&J sandwiches, walked them outside, and gave them to two people in need.
These were the first two of what is now more than 500,000 donated PB&J sandwiches that Which Wich corporate offices and franchisees have donated to local charities during times of great need. During the recent hurricanes that impacted the states of Texas and Florida, Which Wich franchises in the states opened their arms to those in need, providing thousands of free sandwiches to those who had been displaced as a result of the severe weather.
Which Wich has also provided aid to other charities, including The Salvation Army, Boys & Girls Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and hundreds of other efforts to feed those who are in need.
A Culture of Care & Charity
Which Wich cares deeply about our “Vibe” as a company. The Vibe is essentially our philosophy behind every decision we make, including who we choose to hire, what menu options we carry, and even who we choose to award franchises to. The Vibe’s ultimate purpose is to determine if a choice we’re making is in line with our goals and vision as an organization. Will this decision continue to help grow the brand and make our customers leave our businesses happier than when they arrived? It’s the most important part of the fabric that holds our business together.
To that end, the Vibe also includes significant charity efforts, including a willingness to put the community first. We frequently hold spreading parties where our stores donate hundreds of sandwiches to those who may not necessarily have a meal to eat that day, putting a smile on their face and leaving them feeling happier than they were before—just like we want our customers to be.
In turn, this commitment to helping make life better for those in need also helps our business grow. Our franchises that have shown the highest levels of community engagement and given the most back in terms of time, money, and PB&J sandwiches have also seen some of the highest levels of profit and sales amongst all our more than 500 stores around the world. “You can't measure a smile. You can't quantify joy. I've been in several of our local markets when we're providing PB&J sandwiches to people who may not have had a meal that night if we didn't show up. The gratitude and the feeling that you helped them through a tough time is the real benefit of our conscious capitalism philosophy,” Sinelli said.
This same commitment to care for our community is also something that’s particularly important to our international franchises. Which Wich takes pride in being a sort-of ambassador for American businesses and what they mean to countries around the world, which also means a full commitment to continuing these charitable efforts to better the communities we’re involved in.
Want to get involved with our community outreach by opening a Which Wich® Superior Sandwiches franchise of your own? Call us at (888) 668-8026 to find out if our business model is the right fit for your lifestyle and ownership goals!
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