Inside the turnaround at Potbelly

A Deeper Dive: Bob Wright, CEO of the Chicago-based sandwich chain, joins the podcast to discuss the company’s recovery from the pandemic and its own organic struggles.

How did Potbelly turn its business around?

This week’s episode of the Restaurant Business podcast “A Deeper Dive” features Bob Wright, the CEO of the Chicago-based sandwich chain.

Potbelly struggled going into the pandemic, which hammered its core business in urban markets. Wright took over as CEO three years ago. On the podcast, he talks about what it’s like to take on a struggling concept during that time.

Wright discusses the changes Potbelly has made during those three years. The company closed around 30 locations its first year, but the brand has seen strong same-store sales the past couple of years. It expects to grow unit count about 10% this year.

Wright talks about getting the chain’s price-value equation right—without resorting to discounts or hammering profit margins. He also talks about the company’s efforts to improve operations, its development strategy and why Potbelly plans to franchise going forward.

We’re talking Potbelly on a Deeper Dive so please check it out.

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