KULPSVILLE, Pa. -- Clemens Markets here expects more customers for lunch thanks to a new specialty sandwich program launched this month by Manhattan Bagel Co., Eatontown, N.J.
Clemens linked up with the branded bagel company two years ago with a full-bake Manhattan Bagel operation inside a new store in Quakerstown, Pa. Since then, Manhattan Bagel operations have been added in three more Clemens stores and another is set for next month. They're run by Manhattan Bagel franchisees who have a lease agreement with Clemens.
The bagel company's new, heavily promoted sandwich program dubbed, "Freedom from Boring Lunches," offers a menu of nine made-to-order sandwiches on bagels, wraps or rolls and is seen as a all-around boon to Clemens' business, officials at the 16-unit supermarket chain said.
Most of Clemens' stores have a custom-made sandwich program of their own in place, but the Manhattan Bagel lunch menu will not offer competition. Instead, it's seen as an enhancement.
While Manhattan Bagel operations, those inside supermarkets and those that are freestanding, had served lunch built around bagel sandwiches, the focus on that daypart is new. So is the expanded variety of sandwiches, said Mike Ryan, vice president, franchise services for Manhattan Bagel.
All the sandwiches were test-marketed over the last two months in freestanding Manhattan Bagel operations. In particular, the wrap sandwiches "did phenomenally well," Ryan said.