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The Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop Franchise Opportunity: Q&A with IFA Chairman David Barr

Three years ago, David Barr invested in Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop. Now, David Barr is the 2019 Chairman of the International Franchise Association (IFA), a Capriotti’s franchise partner and serves on the Capriotti’s board of directors – in addition to being a franchisee and board member for several other brands. With years of experience in the franchising industry, David has a wealth of knowledge to share with both franchisees and franchisors.

We sat down with David to hear his thoughts on the franchise industry, including what drew him to the Capriotti’s brand. Here’s what David had to share about the Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop franchise opportunity:

Q: Why did you invest in Capriotti’s?

A: It started with the product. I, like many Capriotti’s customers, absolutely love the product. I often say some sandwich shops win on value, some might win on speed, and some might even win on steam, but Capriotti’s wins on its taste. It’s unique and it stands out.

Once I saw the product and tasted the product, I inquired about the system’s growth. I had the opportunity to meet Ashley Morris and Jason Smylie, Capriotti’s CEO and President. After meeting with Ashley and Jason, I saw we had the same vision of growth for Capriotti’s.

Q: What are your growth goals for Capriotti’s, and how will we achieve them?

A: Capriotti’s has a management team fully aligned on one vision. That vision is to grow to 1,000 or more units. Why? Because we believe we have an incredibly good product. In order to bring that vision to reality, we have first aligned on the vision.

Next, we brought in a management team that supports that vision. We’ve done that through operations, franchise development, marketing, finance and IT. Through those services, we aim to support our franchise partners so they’re successful. We believe our product along with the procedures provided by management allows our franchise partners to succeed.

Q: Why are Capriotti’s five pillars so important to you?

I believe franchise systems are no different than any other business. There should be a clearly defined mission and vision. Oftentimes, values get overlooked, but they make up the fabric to a company, allowing everyone to speak a common language.

Franchise systems need this as well. In fact, one might say franchise systems need it more because there’s a disparate workforce. You have a franchisor, franchisees, and then, ultimately, the employees. Getting all of that into one set of discussions – the values by which we’re going to work together – is critically important.

At Capriotti’s, we have the values of family, passion, profitability, genuineness and integrity. We believe those are core to how we interact with our franchise partners as well as employees. So, we look for franchise partners who share those same values and view those values as something critical to the success of their business. We believe that by operating together under the same core values, we can achieve success for the franchisor as well as the franchisee.

Q: What inspires CAPAddicts?

A: Capriotti’s has some incredible, raving fans. In fact, when our CEO was fresh out of school, he broke one of his leases so he could move closer to a Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop. Or, we have some fans who have tattooed their favorite sandwich – The Bobbie, the Capastrami – on their bodies. We’ve even had some who got married at Capriotti’s. Capriotti’s has a long history – coast to coast – of creating raving fans.

At Capriotti’s, I believe we have a great brand because we have a strong product at the center of our brand promise. That promise goes beyond delivering great-tasting, wholesome food to guests. Our product also falls directly in line with the five pillars of the Capriotti’s franchise brand, and the values we have for running our business.

We stay true to our brand history, rooted in passion and family, to deliver an authentic, integral and genuine product that generates broad demand and helps franchisees stay profitable.

By sustainably scaling our business through franchising, we’re able to deliver our product – and these values – to guests on a consistent basis.

Not only are we living out our brand promise in everyday operations, but we also regularly communicate our mission to guests. As our system has grown to more than 100 units, we have also built the marketing muscle and strong messaging necessary to engage with our guests – and communicate our mission – across markets.

With his love for our sandwiches and vision for explosive growth for our brand, David has helped all of us at Capriotti’s take our franchise system to the next level. In 2019, we have opened 10 new shops and broke into new markets. We also signed franchise development agreements for 29 new locations, with more than 100 in the pipeline under area development agreements.

We’re on our way to our goal of 1,000 units. Are you ready to join us? Email us at or call us at 702-374-4746 to learn more about the Capriotti’s franchise opportunity.

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