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Potbelly hires Adam Noyes to be COO

The sandwich chain added the operations veteran to aid in its turnaround efforts.
Potbelly's COO
Photo courtesy of Potbelly's

Potbelly Sandwich Corp. has hired a longtime Checkers and Rally’s executive to fill the new role of chief operations officer. 

Adam Noyes assumed the role last Friday. Prior to joining the fast-casual sandwich chain, he held a number of operations positions with Checkers and Rally’s over the course of nearly 30 years. Before that, he worked in operations for McDonald’s.

Potbelly is in the midst of a turnaround after pandemic-induced problems brought it to the brink of bankruptcy earlier this summer. The chain hired a new CEO and saw improvement in the second quarter after issuing a going concern warning in May. The addition of Noyes is another piece of its recovery effort.

“Adam is a seasoned restaurant operations leader who possesses the combination of unique skills and experience that are a perfect fit for Potbelly at this stage of our turnaround, as well as our next stage of growth,” said Potbelly President and CEO Bob Wright in a statement. “He is a tremendous addition to our team, and we are looking forward to his many contributions as we strengthen this great brand and return it to growth.”

While at Checkers, Noyes led a franchise turnaround that resulted in more than 20% average sales growth and six consecutive years of same-store sales growth. With Potbelly, he will focus on staff development and training, improving customer experience, and top-line growth, the company said.

“I am thrilled to join the Potbelly family of over 6,000 employees and many franchise owners,” Noyes said in a statement. “Our continued turnaround will be fueled by achieving and exceeding customer expectations on every visit in our shops. I am eager to support and lead our passionate team in delivering on our Fresh, Fast & Friendly customer promise while positioning Potbelly for an exciting future of growth.”

Noyes holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from the University of Florida and is earning a Masters in Business Administration from the University of South Florida.

The new COO position will include the responsibilities of the former chief restaurant operations officer job, which will be vacated Friday, Potbelly said. That position has been occupied by Julie Younglove-Webb since 2018.

Chicago-based Potbelly has more than 400 company-operated shops and more than 40 franchised locations.

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