Digital Marketing Stackup: Sandwich Edition

Justin Watkins
August 16, 2016

Somewhere between lunch and a strategy session, we got curious. Which sandwich shop rules the digital space? We decided to figure that out.

Google Analytics Image on LapTop with Charts

First, we wrote down a few favorite spots that we frequent around town:

From there, our analysis takes into account several important aspects that are crucial for any successful restaurant to consider: search, online ordering, social engagement and reviews. Here are the metrics we’re using to assess these categories:

Google analytics social media traffic

For a fair assessment, every restaurant is given points based off their rankings in each category (6 points for first place, 5 points for second, etc.) Who’s ready for a little lively competition between sandwiches?


Google Analytics Screenshot with monthly breakdown

Domain authority is a score on a 100 point scale that estimates how well a website will rank on Google. For sandwich shops, this score is important because a hungry customer’s restaurant selection is very often based off who makes it to the top of a Google search. Jimmy John’s had the highest domain authority score, with Which Wich and Potbelly close behind.


Location-based google analytic reporting

FACEBOOK - 8/17/2015 - 8/15/2016

Google analytics chart divided by city and state

Over the last year, Goodcents saw the most posts and most engagement per user, despite having a lower audience size. Potbelly took the lead in number of likes, shares and comments, as well as the second-highest number of posts and followers. Jimmy John’s audience size far outnumbered any other competitor, though its engagement rate took the bottom spot. Which Wich and Pickleman’s fell somewhere in the middle, though Pickleman’s had a higher engagement rate than most others.

TWITTER- 8/24/2015 - 8/21/2016

Google analytics image with social retweet symbol

Overall, audience size and engagement proved to be lower on Twitter. Jimmy John’s once again took the lead, with the highest amount of engagements and largest audience size, and the second-highest engagement rate. Which Wich performed with the second-highest amount of engagements and audience size, and the top engagement rate.


When you need a sammich like right now, there’s an app for that. Jimmy John’s and Pickleman’s tied for the best-rated app for iOS. For Android, Jimmy John’s tied again with Goodcents.

Bonus: Our Favorite Yelp Reviews

Goodcents – “The only thing that MIGHT be better than Mr Goodcents would be a rescued puppy from a no-kill shelter with a name like ‘Freedom’ or ‘America’.”

Potbelly – “This isn’t Subway, darling. There is a little bit more pride in the food here.”

And the Winner Is…

Google analytics image with cursor over the top

JIMMY JOHN’S! Their solid social media presence and high performance across categories secured first place, followed closely by Which Wich and Potbelly. Consistent performance from Goodcents and Pickleman’s means these two competitors shouldn’t be ruled out either. Planet Sub, it should be noted, is on a completely different scale with their 24 locations compared to a Jimmy John’s with +2500 locations. Also, shout out to their Tijuana Taxi for powering me through this highly-scientific analysis.

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