Ep. 228 — How a Love of the Sandwich Became a Tour Business

In today’s episode, we dive into the fascinating world of sandwich tours turned thriving business with our guest, the sandwich enthusiast himself, Ben Gollan. Join our host Mitch Bach as he uncovers the story behind Ben’s love for sandwiches and how it led to unexpected opportunities in the media world. From appearing on a morning show in Sydney to features in renowned publications like the New York Times, Ben shares invaluable insights on leveraging your passions and seizing opportunities. Discover how Ben turned his hobby into a full-time job, the challenges he faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, and his creative pivot to hosting online sandwich cooking classes. Get ready for an episode filled with nostalgia, mouth-watering sandwiches, and the entrepreneurial journey of a lifetime.

  • 00:00 🍔 Former lawyer turned accidental entrepreneur finds job satisfaction in running sandwich tours in New York City after being inspired by niche tour operators and starting as a hobby.
  • 08:27 🏠 Airbnb’s website relaunch in 2022 impacted experienced hosts’ organic business, but CEO Brian Chesky promises a renewed focus on experiences in 2023.
  • 16:28 🥪 Team building should be simple, fun, and interactive, with a shareable hook like the hot dog sandwich debate, and alternative ingredients can be used if needed.
  • 22:38 🍔 Niche food tours use SEO optimization, content creation, and media coverage to expand their reach and engage with passionate audiences.
  • 26:58 🥪 A Man and his Sandwich promotes unique tourism experiences through storytelling, nostalgia, history, and purpose.
  • 33:03 🚶‍♂️ Ben shares how identifying opportunities and capitalizing on luck led to success in the tour industry, while pursuing passions and avoiding burnout in the sandwich business.
  • 37:46 👥 Learn to outsource effectively and build a team to work on your business, not in it, as demonstrated by Ben’s experience running 45 online classes during the busiest week before Christmas 2020 and seeking assistance from other hosts for hosting and tours.
  • 41:45 🥪 An open face sandwich is still a sandwich… or is it?  

About Ben

Ben Gollan is an accidental entrepreneur who discovered his passion for leading tours while pursuing his love for food and socializing. Initially treating it as a hobby, he would run tours once a week for a couple of hours, simply for the fun of it. However, everything changed in April 2019 when the startup he was working for closed down.

On that fateful day, Ben had been invited to a dinner for hosts in New York City. Sitting among a group of incredibly inspiring individuals who were running their own niche tours, such as thrift shopping, candy making, sailing, and motorbike riding, he had a realization. It became clear to him that his little hobby had the potential to become a full-time career.

Though it took him some time to fully grasp the opportunity in front of him, Ben was determined to seize it. Recognizing the moment, he made the decision to pursue his passion and turn his tours into a full-time gig. With his love for food, his charismatic personality, and his desire to connect with people, Ben Gollan embarked on his journey as a professional tour guide and entrepreneur.

Visit Ben’s Website

Ben Gollan on LinkedIn