Erbert & Gerbert’s latest introduction is a line of sandwiches made with gluten-free bread, which Denver-based Udi’s supplies to the 65-store chain out of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. “We tried so many different breads out there, and theirs is an absolutely fabulous product,” says Eric Wolfe, CEO.
It’s not the first experience with taste-testing for the franchise—far from it. “We’re heavily invested in being different, in having sandwiches that people think are off the wall,” Wolfe says.
To find the flavors, he and his management team make a point of visiting mom-and-pop restaurants anywhere in the world they find them. “I love being out in the field,” he says. “There’s so many neat brands out there,” and he likes to sample their fare. Any promising combinations are presented to an advisory council, and those that make the grade hit the menu, often for a limited time only to attract customers with fresh flavors.
Next up for Erbert & Gerbert’s is a turkey sandwich with coleslaw. “People like crunch in their sandwiches,” he says. “We had a taste-testing at our annual convention, and everybody loved it.”
But his favorite? “I would say the Titan, and it’s turkey, pesto, mayo, with cucumbers,” he says. “It’s a very good sandwich.”