Potbelly keeps its focus on growth through franchising

The fast-casual sandwich chain said it has 192 franchised stores currently under development. It also released an updated rewards app.


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.

This latest move in a series of deals will refranchise nine corporate locations and add another 13 new franchised units in Washington state.

The Chicago-based sandwich chain reported same-store sales up 8%, driven by traffic. That momentum is expected to continue into Q4.

The more-than 430-unit chain is pushing both refranchising and new unit franchise growth.

Bryant Keil, who built a Chicago antique store into a chain of sandwich shops, has signed a 27-unit agreement to operate locations with his son Hampden.

And in other fast-casual highlights from investor conferences: Portillo's is killing it in the Sun Belt, and Potbelly is carrying momentum into 2Q.

The Chicago-based sandwich chain said its same-store sales and profitability will easily beat expectations this quarter.

Central business district units and catering sales have almost returned to pre-Covid levels on "traffic-driven tailwinds."

CEO Bob Wright is not quite ready to say "national rollout," but the test has improved order accuracy, speed and food quality while cutting labor costs.

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