Potbelly Celebrates 45 Years of Good Vibes and Toasty Sandwiches
Born Out of a Neighborhood Mom & Pop Antique Store, National Brand Begins Anniversary Year Thanking Fans for Four-and-a-Half Decades of Dedication with BOGO Free Sandwiches
January 10, 2022 // Franchising.com // CHICAGO - Potbelly Corporation (NASDAQ: PBPB) (“Potbelly” or the “Company”) and its legion of fans across the country have another reason to rejoice in 2022.
This January, the brand is kicking off a milestone anniversary year, its 45th, sharing the joy of hot, toasty sandwiches with its faithful following. To celebrate more than four decades of customer fanfare and the bonds that have been built in neighborhoods dotting the nation, Potbelly will be offering a Buy One, Get One sandwich deal. On Friday, Jan. 14, the official anniversary date, all customers who order an Original sandwich using the promo code BOGO online or through the Potbelly app will receive a free Original-sized sandwich. Fans are not required to be a member of the Potbelly Perks loyalty rewards program to participate (offer valid only online or the Potbelly app on Friday, Jan. 14; limit one per order).
“Our customers’ love for Potbelly is timeless. It has always been a reflection of our passion for high quality food made fresh and served hot along with the Good Vibes service you only get at Potbelly,” said Bob Wright, CEO of Potbelly. “Our associates and franchisees have a deep appreciation for our customers, so we decided there is no better way to show it than by giving fans more of what they love - hot, toasty sandwiches.”
The brand’s heritage is a testament to neighborhood connections. Potbelly started in the unlikeliest of ways - at a mom-and-pop antique store in Chicago. The Lincoln Park community fixture refurbished potbelly stoves and as a way to more closely engage with its neighbors, the store’s owner, Peter Hastings, began selling sandwiches to customers.
The sandwiches quickly became a hit and soon there were lines of people out the door waiting to get their favorite sandwich. Firmly established as the neighborhood go-to spot, Potbelly flourished, and it began to amass a significant fan base. In 1996, Hastings sold Potbelly to one of its regulars, Bryant Keil, who believed everyone should be able to enjoy Potbelly and had a vision to grow the brand throughout Chicago, into the area’s suburbs and beyond.
“From the start, it has always come down to the incredible sandwiches. High quality, freshly prepared sandwiches kept the long lines forming and made Potbelly the brand it is today,” added Wright. “The next generation of customers still have those same feelings all these years later. Of course, today’s customers love our soups, salads and irresistible cookies and shakes just as much, which affirms that notion that we have a very special brand. We look forward to the next 45 years and serving so many more.”
As Potbelly reaches this major milestone, it is also showing its ability to remain at the leading edge of the sandwich restaurant category. Less than six months ago, the company unveiled a new website and app, key pillars of the Company’s ‘Traffic-Driven’ Profitability Strategic focus. Both are designed to elevate the brand position and digital Potbelly experience, bringing the good vibes of visiting a shop to the digital space. The new app and website provide fans with real-time offers and content capabilities, leading to more effective communication.
Potbelly also recently showcased to fans its new menu, providing three tasty new sandwiches, plus enhanced versions of the favorites they know and love. The update also features the introduction of new sandwich sizes to fit any appetite and a simplified menu design for easier ordering.
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