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13 Best Deli Business ideas You Can Start Today

Do you want to start a deli related business but you want to go niche? If YES, here are 13 best profitable deli business ideas & opportunities. A deli is a food business that offers convenient, affordable salads and sandwiches.

Deli environments are known to be more informal than a sit-down restaurant. These businesses sometimes also offer take-out items either for immediate consumption or to reheat later as meals. According to reports, the sandwich business, of which delis are a part of, is worth an estimated $20 billion.

The ideal operating locations for delis are in office districts, industrial malls and mall food courts. The key to success in this type of competitive food business is to provide customers with excellent quality products, exceptional service and a varied menu that’ll appeal to a large segment of the population.

When looking to start deli restaurant, it’s advisable you work with your local health department to make sure your layout and equipment align with their standards. You will need to submit a drawing of your proposed facility for review, and once you have made the upgrades they propose, you must have them inspected and approved.

Deli restaurants don’t just serve generic sandwiches and smoothies but also specialty menus. These specialty food offerings are what differentiate one deli restaurant from all the other. So, theoretically, you can have your usual fares that are found in most other deli franchises and you can pick from the specialty delis listed below.

Best Deli Related Business ideas

  1. Deli Franchise

The rapid growth of deli food has, expectedly, given rise to the number of deli food franchise restaurants all over the world. By franchising a deli food business, entrepreneurs can enjoy excellent support from other fellow franchisees and the franchisor as well.

Such support includes mentoring, hands-on training, and other forms of support once the deli franchise becomes operational. This support system is not possible when a deli business is run or started from the scratch.

  1. French Style Deli

The new French deli identity focuses on typical classic French style design elements such as the rooster, the colours red blue and white and the background ornamentation.

Just like other delis, this French styled deli does not only sell varied meats, cheeses and other gourmet foods, but also provide customers with a lunch delivery service, a few seats and tables for the sit-down lunch crowd and take-out catering options including cold meat and cheese trays.

  1. Family-Style Deli Restaurant

Family-style deli restaurants will primarily focus their menus and décor to attract families. Meal portions are typically on the larger side so everyone can share and taste a variety of flavours.

This type of deli restaurants are likely to become community gathering places where people can take their children and meet other families who are looking for some wholesome fun. You should also have a knack for bringing people together, and a desire to create a strong sense of community in the restaurant.

  1. Australia Style Delis

Australia style delis retain the normal European meaning of high-quality, expensive foods and stores. These delis offer a variety of cured meats, sausages, pickled vegetables, dips, breads and olives. In South Australia and Western Australia, “deli” also denotes a small convenience store or milk bar, and some businesses use “deli” as part of their business name.

  1. Deli Food Truck

You can start a food truck that focuses on deli meals or snacks and serves customers from a truck, van or trailer. To succeed in this business, you are expected to have culinary talents and the ability to quickly and efficiently serve these meals from a contained space, attract hungry customers and deal with the business obligations of obtaining all necessary licenses and permits. You also need to love foodservice and customer relations. It’s also a business that requires careful attention to details.

  1. Deli Food Kiosk

Generally situated in high traffic locations like malls, amusement parks or office towers, you may be selling exquisite French or German style delis, or perhaps a little bit of everything. Starting this niche business requires low capital investment with the possibility of rapid growth built right in.

Many food kiosks are owned and operated by individuals who love providing a delicious treat to customers. You will likely need to work long hours on your feet and will be materially involved in every aspect of the business.

  1. German Style Delis

In German-speaking countries, a common synonym for a deli is Feinkost (fine food), and shops that sell it are called Feinkostläden (delicacy stores).

Department stores often have a Delikatessenabteilung (delicacy department). Deli actually originated in Germany during the 18th century and spread to the united states in the mid-19th century. You can genuinely start a deli store that brings bank the origin of delis and attract a huge clientele base.

  1. Deli Restaurant

This type of deli serves prepared food and drinks and caters to people who don’t want to cook or who want the experience of dining out. Some these restaurants choose specific deli themes, like Italian or Australian, while other restaurants serve general “American” cuisine.

Note that your market will depend entirely on chosen concept, and the average price per menu item. However, this idea is best suited to people with excellent organization skills and entrepreneurs who have a passion for food.

  1. Personal Deli Chef

Personal chefs generally prepare a wide array of delicious and healthy food for individuals, businesses, and other organizations. Some of these foods are prepared ahead of time for consumption throughout the upcoming week or month.

Certain dishes are prepared at the client’s home or place of business and consumed right away. You can start a personal chef business that specializes on making exclusive deli meals for clients. This business is ideal for individuals who have a passion for tasty food and the cooking process.

Those who are interested in creating fulfilling meals and healthy dishes that suit the nuanced palates of clients will thrive in this business.

  1. International Deli Store

International deli stores, also called international grocery stores, are businesses that offer imported foods or assorted deli delicacies. Note that these delis range across many countries, nationalities, and dish types. This type of deli stores usually stock food, drinks, alcohol, candy, and condiments. This business is ideal for any business person who loves exotic foods.

The ideal international deli store owner has a fine taste for salads, sandwiches, picnic lunches, specialty drinks, desserts, and cooked meals. An international food store owner should be able to pinpoint the nationality of different foods. Deli-lovers, bakers, and café operators normally make good international food operators.

  1. American Style Deli

Although delis vary in size, in the United States they are typically smaller than grocery stores. American delis are known to sell cold cuts by weight and prepare party trays. Coupled with made-to-order sandwiches, many U.S. delicatessens offer made-to-order green salads.

Also prepared are pasta, potato, chicken, tuna, shrimp, or other salads, displayed under the counter and sold by weight. Precooked chicken (usually roasted or fried), shrimp, or eggplant dishes (fried or parmigiana-style) are also sold here.

  1. Meal-to-go Deli Business

Businesses in this niche prepare and deliver home-cooked deli meals to busy customers who prefer to save time on cooking and grocery shopping. They can afford to bring home or have delivered great meals for their family. What they lack is adequate time to find and select quality ingredients and then prepare a meal that is hot and fresh for their families.

Note that the most successful meals-to-go delis offer delicious and nutritious food according to diet planning that moderates unhealthy choices and leans towards healthier choices. This is where the big successes in this business are now coming from. Companies that provide these great meals are making record profits.

  1. Italian Style Deli

When people talk about deli food, one thing that immediately comes to mind is a picture of a nice-looking handcrafted sandwich that can make a gloomy day suddenly go bright. For some, this might just be the normal American road style deli.

However, you can choose to offer local, artisan deli products or deli products with just Italian emphasis. Within this focus, you should design core sandwiches and group of salads that will be your specialty. In addition, your deli should offer beverages and snacks that are consistent with its theme, such as cannolis.

Delis not only make delicious meals that can be enjoyed during snack time but also at lunch or during breakfast and dinner.

These meals can be washed down with a bottle of wine, fruit smoothie, coffee, or tea. When starting this business, it’s possible to experiment with traditional delis and infuse them with other elements to tweak their look and taste – it all depends on one’s imagination and preferences.