10+ Best & Profitable Deli Business Ideas [2023]

Looking to open a deli business in 2023? Discover the 10+ best and most profitable deli business ideas to suit your needs. Get tips on how to start and succeed in the deli business today!

By Nick Cotter
Updated Feb 07, 2024

Image of deli business ideas
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Hey there, fellow foodie and aspiring entrepreneur! You've landed on the right page. πŸŽ‰

Have you been dreaming about opening your own deli but aren't sure where to start? Or perhaps you're already running a deli and are looking for fresh, profitable ideas to take your business to new heights? Either way, you're in the right place!

Running a deli can be a rewarding and profitable venture. It's not just about slicing and serving meat and cheese - it's about creating a welcoming space where people can come together, enjoy delicious food, and feel at home. 🏠

But let's be honest, it can also be a bit daunting. There's a lot to consider - from the menu and location to staffing and marketing. And that's where this article comes in. We've done the hard work for you and compiled a list of the 10+ best and most profitable deli business ideas for 2023. πŸ’‘

So, whether you're a seasoned pro or a newbie to the deli scene, buckle up and get ready to be inspired. Let's dive in and uncover the potential of your deli dream! πŸš€

Gourmet Sandwich Shop

A Gourmet sandwich shop is a type of business that specializes in offering high-quality, unique sandwiches made with the freshest, most delicious ingredients. It is an excellent business idea for entrepreneurs for several reasons:

  • Gourmet sandwich shops can be tailored to different tastes, diets and budgets.
  • The cost of ingredients and supplies are relatively low.
  • It’s relatively easy to create a unique menu and atmosphere.
  • Sandwiches appeal to a wide range of customers and eating occasions.
  • The demand for gourmet sandwiches is growing, especially in modern urban centers.
  • It’s possible to build a loyal customer base and create a local niche.
image of a Gourmet Sandwich Shop

Mobile Deli Cart

A mobile deli cart is a business that sells sandwiches, salads, and other deli items out of a cart or mobile truck. It's a great business idea because it has minimal overhead costs and allows for flexibility in terms of location, hours, and offerings. Additionally, customers appreciate the convenience and quick service that mobile deli carts can provide.

  • Low overhead costs
  • Flexible location and hours
  • Convenient for customers
  • Quick service
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Examples of successful businesses:

The deli business industry is a competitive market, with many successful companies on the rise. Here is a list of some of the top-performing deli businesses:

  • Jimmy Johns
  • Subway
  • Potbelly Sandwich Works
  • Firehouse Subs
  • Earl of Sandwich

Salad Bar

A Salad bar is a type of food establishment that provides customers with a selection of pre-made fresh salads as well as various toppings and dressings to choose from. It is a great business idea for a few reasons:

  • Salad bars offer convenience for customers who don't have the time to make their own salads or wait for other restaurant orders.
  • It provides an unlimited variety of salad combinations, allowing customers to customize the perfect salad.
  • It is an economical way to eat healthy, since customers only have to pay for what they select.
  • It can be used as a marketing tool since customers can sample items before purchase and share their favorite creations with friends and family.

Fresh Juice Bar

A Fresh juice bar is a great business idea for those who love the health benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables. Producing top-quality juices and other health-oriented beverages can make it possible to provide customers with an enjoyable experience, while achieving a healthy lifestyle. Here are some advantages to starting a fresh juice bar:

  • Provide high quality, healthy products
  • A wide range of options for customers
  • Easy access to natural and organic products
  • The ability to offer custom blends and blends with added supplements, such as vitamins and minerals
  • Promote a healthier lifestyle based on the consumption of fresh juices
  • Provide customers with an enjoyable experience

Soup Stand

A Soup Stand is a business that specializes in selling soups, stocks and broths. It is a great business idea because soup has a long shelf-life, it is relatively cheap to produce, and it can be sold either hot or cold. Additionally, there are many creative ways to prepare soups that make them appealing to a wide range of customers.

  • Soup has a long shelf-life
  • It is relatively cheap to produce
  • Can be sold either hot or cold
  • Creative ways to prepare soup appeal to a wide range of customers

Cheese Shop

A Cheese shop is a business that specializes in selling various types of cheese, as well as related products such as sauces, crackers and charcuterie. It can be a great business idea for entrepreneurs who enjoy cheese, are passionate about food, and want to own their own business. Here are some of the benefits to owning a cheese shop:

  • A unique niche that is not yet saturated with competitors.
  • The chance to develop relationships with artisanal cheesemakers and other specialty food producers.
  • The potential to offer tastings and educational experiences for customers.
  • The opportunity to grow and expand the business into something larger.

Artisanal Cured Meat Store

An artisanal cured meat store is a type of specialty food shop that specializes in cured and processed meats. These stores typically offer deli-style items, as well as prepared sandwiches and hot meals. In addition to selling meats, some may also offer other types of goods such as cheeses and specialty seasonings. The popularity of artisanal cured meats has risen significantly in recent years. This makes it a potentially profitable business idea for entrepreneurs. There are several potential benefits to opening an artisanal cured meat store:β€’ Customers get freshly prepared, premium quality products β€’ Artisanal cured meat stores can act as a β€œone-stop shop” for customers looking for high-quality meats β€’ The shop can also provide specialized services, such as curing and aging meats for customers β€’ Since artisanal products often have a premium price point, this type of store can command higher profits than conventional delis and butcher shops β€’ Artisanal cured meat stores are usually less labor intensive than traditional grocery stores

Submarine Sandwich Shop

A Submarine sandwich shop is a restaurant offering submarine sandwiches, also known as subs, hoagies, grinders, heroes and wedges. Submarine sandwich shops are a unique and special way to experience the taste of a truly fresh sub. Submarine sandwich shops take a lot of pride in their fresh ingredients, focusing on carefully crafted flavors that will keep customers coming back for more. A submarine sandwich shop would make a great business idea because:

  • Subs are easy and cheap to make
  • You can create custom flavor combinations for customers
  • It has high potential for customer satisfaction
  • You can easily expand the menu with additional items like chips and salads
  • It is popular among all ages

Kosher Deli

A Kosher deli is a type of deli that specializes in Jewish cuisine, specifically food that meets the requirements of Jewish dietary laws (kashrut). This type of deli could make a great business idea because:

  • It can tap into a niche market and bring in customers who are looking for specific, specialized kosher food.
  • It can offer customers a wide range of menu options, including hot and cold sandwiches, appetizers, salads, soups and desserts.
  • It can provide catering services, which could be a great way to bring in additional business.
  • It can use recipes that have been passed down through generations and offer customers authentic Jewish cuisine.

Bagel Cafe

A Bagel Cafe is a type of eatery that specializes in bagels and related menu items. This type of cafe typically offers a wide variety of bagels, cream cheese spreads, and other toppings. They may also offer additional items such as breakfast sandwiches, soups, smoothies, salads, and more. Bagel Cafes can make a great business idea for a few reasons:

  • Bagels are an inexpensive food item with an excellent profit margin.
  • Bagels are a familiar food item that most people enjoy.
  • Bagels provide the potential for creative menu combinations to help differentiate the cafe from competitors.
  • A bagel cafe can focus on fast service for quick eating customers.


Founder and CEO

I'm Nick, co-founder of newfoundr.com, dedicated to helping aspiring entrepreneurs succeed. As a small business owner with over five years of experience, I have garnered valuable knowledge and insights across a diverse range of industries. My passion for entrepreneurship drives me to share my expertise with aspiring entrepreneurs, empowering them to turn their business dreams into reality.

Through meticulous research and firsthand experience, I uncover the essential steps, software, tools, and costs associated with launching and maintaining a successful business. By demystifying the complexities of entrepreneurship, I provide the guidance and support needed for others to embark on their journey with confidence.

From assessing market viability and formulating business plans to selecting the right technology and navigating the financial landscape, I am dedicated to helping fellow entrepreneurs overcome challenges and unlock their full potential. As a steadfast advocate for small business success, my mission is to pave the way for a new generation of innovative and driven entrepreneurs who are ready to make their mark on the world.