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Nick Lanni, the founder of Great Steak & Potato Co. (founded in 1982, sold in 2004 with 260 locations), is starting a new sandwich concept at my alma mater, Miami University in Oxford, OH. The concept is called “SoHi Grilled Sandwiches” and is supposed to be a fresh grilled build-your-own cheese steak and burger place.

Coincidentally, his sons started the 25 locations Currito: Burritos Without Borders.

About Ryan Knoll

Attorney and advisor with an interest in franchising. Feel free to email me comments and questions on the "Contact Us" page.


  1. When I was commissioned to do a study on sandwich concepts, the concept with the largest loyalty factor AND in the 20-45 demographic was a grilled sub concept. So it sounds like this would be spot on with the typical university crowd.

    • He must know something because with all his and his son’s experience, he is putting it in a college town. The article said he even bought the Great Steak location from a franchisee to open up his SoHi.

      • The article said he even bought the Great Steak location from a franchisee to open up his SoHi.

        Ha, now that is slick. Think about it for a few minutes Ryan. He will capitalize on whatever goodwill and concept awareness of the predecessor franchise which should translate into much higher than expected weekly sales, which should make the year end sales extraordinarily high for a start-up concept.

        If he wants to roll this out as a franchise that is the sort of bait that attracts zees. An astute businessman.

        One of the things I have looked at in the past when evaluating a business opportunity is predecessor relationships. Tough to do in large cities but fairly easy in smaller communities (say <200K) as usually the city council members remember what comes and goes for around a 10-15 year period.

        There is also a lesson in here for zees who are counting on a renewal and don't have it in their lease no a protection clause. I have seen on more than one occasion when a landlord did not renew a lease and put in his own roll your own knock-off concept to capitalize on the goodwill that a franchise had built in a location.

        The one I seen most often targeted are pretzel, popcorn, ice cream, and hotdog concepts.

        Most pleasant regards…

  2. I think it’s completely natural to get into the same business as your father. Though the restaurant concepts are different the franchise development of a concept is the same. It looks like Nick Lanni’s sons merely got into the family business.

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