Just listening to the description of Tommy DiNic’s signature sandwich is mouth-watering: roast poark, broccoli rabe with provolone. It’s not just mouth-watering, it’s award winning, nabbing the title of “The Best Sandwich in America” by Travel Channel’s Man vs Food’s Adam Richman. Tommy’s family-run shop, open since 1954 is located at the Reading Terminal Market in Philly, and since Adam’s crowning, business is most certainly booming.
Though Tommy isn’t in the business of tech, he’s certainly got some tips for anyone starting a business. He shared his secret to success with Mikal E. Belicove from Entrepreneur.com; here are some highlights of the best startup tips from the interview.
When most entrepreneurs would capitalize on the instant “Best Sandwich in America” fame, Tommy is staying put. He works about 50 hours a week, his son works about 70, and expanding his business to him would mean one good store would equal two bad stores. “Mediocre” or “bad, to Tommy, are just unacceptable.
Startup Advice? Focus on improving product quality, not drastic expansion. This is key to customer loyalty and potential national accolades.
On Creating The Best Sandwich in the Country
Tommy believes anything that has his name on it, can never be just “OK”. He says his team’s dedication to making the best quality product from scratch, in this case slow roast pork and brisket starting at 4am, is his secret to making the best sandwich and creating a successful business.
Startup Advice? Focus on a business that is product-driven. Your team and your customers are your meat and potatoes, but its the quality of your product that is going to keep both around and drive business success.
On Measuring Success
Revenue, of course, is one of the most essential ways of measuring success, after all, says Tommy, it doesn’t matter how good your product is, if you’re losing money your business won’t succeed. Period.
Advice? Remember that the business doesn’t drive the product; it’s your product that drives your business.
On Advice for New Entrepreneurs
Finding the perfect location is another key compontent to business success, says Tommy. If you have a great product or a great business in the wrong location, it won’t work. It may take months to choose the right place to start your business, but it’s an investment worth your time.
Startup Advice? Make sure your product and your business are strategically located where they are needed and where it will succeed.
The reoccurring theme here? IT’S ALL ABOUT PRODUCT QUALITY. You don’t get crowned “The Best Sandwich in America” with low-grade ingredients. So, if you’re ever in Philly, stop by DiNic’s, grab a pork sandwich and thank Tommy for his killer business advice.