The American Earl of Sandwich sandwich chain has closed its only UK outlet, but vowed to be back soon.
The company, a partnership between the 11th Earl of Sandwich John Montagu and Planet Hollywood founder Robert Earl, has 30 outlets in the USA, and opened its first UK shop in Ludgate Hill in 2011.
This site was sold to Itsu last month, Earl Enterprises managing director Alex Garland told British Baker, after it “made a very nice offer”.
However, the brand was “coming back fairly soon”, he said, as he was close to signing a deal to open two Earl of Sandwich outlets in travel locations, with a simplified menu. He said he hoped to open three or four other sites over the next year.
The brand is also being rolled out to Qatar, where a deal to open five outlets over the next five years has been signed, Garland said. He also hopes to target other locations in the Middle East, he told British Baker.
Garland said: “The Ludgate Hill outlet was fantastic for lunch, but was not good outside lunch; it was not progressing well after three years.”
The Earl of Sandwich claims to sell the World’s Greatest Hot Sandwich and Garland said the concept had been described as a “posh Subway”, with high-quality ingredients such as topside of beef used in its sandwiches.
The most popular of the 24 Earl of Sandwich outlets - at Disneyland in Orlando - turns over $10m (£8.57m) annually.