Business Overview

Delicatessen, better known as delis, were brought to the US during the 1800's by German Jews. Traditional delis sell Kosher sandwiches and snacks such as knishes, but these days many small grocery stores which also offer a variety of ready-to-eat food items may call themselves delis. All delis offer extremely casual, if not friendly, quick service.

Who is this business right for?

Owning a deli is often more of a lifestyle than just operating a business. Depending on the size of the business, owners can find themselves working 12 or more hours a day, five or more days a week. People considering opening a deli should not only have a background in the restaurant business but more importantly, a passion for the industry. Since owning a deli can take up so much time, it essential the owner's family is supportive of the business from the beginning.

What happens during a typical day at a deli?

Operating a deli is like running two businesses at the same time. Deli owners need to run and manage a retail store plus a restaurant. This means owners spend their working day ordering and preparing food, stocking shelves, cleaning, serving customers, and working the register. Many deli owners also handle their own bookkeeping duties

What is the target market?

Delis appeal to all ethnic and social-economic groups. The ideal customer is anyone looking for a fast, filling meal within walking distance of the location. Many delis now cater to vegetarians and those customers who want healthier eating options by providing a wide range of selections.

How does a deli make money?

Delis make money by selling prepared food and quickly serving food. In addition, some delis make money selling a limited amount of groceries.

What is the growth potential for a deli?

Delis are a multi-billion dollar business in the US and the popularity of quick, ready-to-eat meals shows no signs of declining. There is great growth potential for delis which offer healthy food options and choices for customers with food allergies.