The Sandwich Shop™ | Business Simulation

Compete against up to three playing teams and one virtual team to run a simple business and make the most profit.

Learning Objectives

  • General business principles
  • Teamwork and planning skills
  • Business strategies
  • Analysis and interpretation of simple financial data
  • Importance of a quality product

Five-Year Repeat Use Licence

This Northgate training activity comes with a five-year licence for repeat use with up to 24 participants per training session within the licence-holding organisation. Please ask for a discount on multiple licences to use with larger groups. Also includes access to the Northgate Trainerhub (see below for details).

  • Participants

    3-24 (up to 4 teams of 3-6 per team)

  • Timing

    2 - 3 hours + debrief

  • Uses a computer?

    Yes - 1 PC required (printer optional)

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The Activity

Teams take over the running of a sandwich shop and attempt to develop the business over a series of 'six' weeks (or Rounds). They compete with other playing teams and also with a very successful, virtual team.

Each period teams decide what products to sell, what price to charge, the quality of their offer, the number of staff required, what to pay them and whether or not to extend opening times. In addition they can add 'speciality' drinks to their range and take up - or not - various opportunities.

Decisions are recorded on a Decision Form, details of which are entered into the program for analysis. The resulting Profit & Loss Account is issued together with advice and extra tasks. Mr Cleverdick and Miss Knowitall are full of ideas and advice but should teams pay attention?

The P&L figures need analysing and will influence future decisons in order to build on what is working and cut down on what is not. All decisions can be changed from week to week. It's all about developing an effective business strategy.

The team with the highest profit at the end of the six weeks is the winner.

Trainer's Role

  • Divide the group into teams, briefly introduce the simulation and issue Team Briefs. After 20-30 minutes issue Decision Form No.1 and allow time for these to be completed before collecting from teams.
  • Enter the data (easy) from the forms onto the program, using a unique PIN for each team. Produce the trading results - and any information on business opportunities - and issue these to teams for analysis. There is also an option to view the results on-screen.
  • After a further 20-30 minutes of analysis and decisions on the next steps, issue a 2nd Decision Form.
  • When all teams have completed six weeks of running their business enter the final decisions and produce the final P&L accounts but do not issue these immediately. Either ask each team to make a brief presentation on running their business or move straight into the Debrief.
  • Lead a Debrief on the activity, the learning points as they see them and the key issues that emerged both in terms of business principles and working as a team (full guidance in the Trainer’s Notes).
  • The debrief can focus on key points about teamwork and planning or on business acumen and the way teams developed their business and handled the competition.

Pack Contents

  • Trainer’s Notes
  • Computer program (internet access required)
  • Team Briefs with information on: Premises, Overheads, Selling price, Marketing, Staffing, Quality, Market research
  • Score Sheets

The computer program is accessed via an online portal called the Northgate trainerhub (internet access is required to run the computer program).

Northgate Trainerhub

Benefits of the online Northgate Trainerhub include:

  • Easy-to-access resource library which stores all the digital files for the activity in one place
  • Immediate access to upgrades made to the activity over the five-year licence term
  • Access to an online Trainer Forum where you can post questions, share experiences & network with other Trainers
  • Access to free activities and icebreakers
  • Option to send information to team leaders digitally via the hub using Team Access Codes (for paperless training sessions)
  • Unlimited Trainer logins for all Trainers based at the licence-holding site

I have used 'The Sandwich Shop' business simulation on a recent course designed by Network Rail called Finance for Non-Finance Managers. It was used to form the afternoon session, after having looked at basic financial principles and in order to bring the learning in to a more real situation. It worked extremely well and the learners were very engaged throughout as they found it very different to the 'normal' kind of exercises they do on courses.

E. Adams, Management Development Specialist PD&T, Network Rail

'The Sandwich Shop' is a good awareness-raising exercise, it gets people to think about all the factors involved in running a business, including a realisation of costs, marketing, product quality, people, resources and the impact these all have.

Anon, Trainer, Independent Training Organisation

Everyone totally enjoyed the experience. They shared informed and intense discussions, trying to predict costs and forecast any potential profit and hence made bold and informed decisions. An addictive and irresistible exercise promoting true entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen. This exercise allowed everyone to 'learn more by doing' than just talk about the theory of running a business.

Steve Laing, Consultant, QC Training International

We used 'The Sandwich Shop' game on our Bootcamp on the second day of training and weeks later we are still referring and referencing activities from the game. That was really good.

Paul Parish, Group Sales Trainer, Advanced Business Software & Solutions

'The Sandwich Shop' was a great success when I ran a session with a group of bankers because it was realistic!

Hazel Sia, Certified Trainer, Comsolutions Sdn Bhd, Malaysia

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