Potbelly Accelerates Franchise Momentum
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Potbelly Accelerates Franchise Momentum

Potbelly Accelerates Franchise Momentum

Propelling the Potbelly franchising initiative is its focus on optimizing shop performance. The emphasis on operational enhancements has been squarely on technology, which is having a positive impact systemwide. 

“We've driven significant revenue and profitability improvement as well as record AUVs in the quarter,” said Potbelly CEO Bob Wright. “Looking forward, we are highly encouraged by our ability to continue delivering value to our customers, and we remain on a positive trajectory to achieve our long-term growth objectives.”

Tech Stack Evolution

A purposeful approach to enhance the digital experience has given Potbelly a strengthened foundation. From its new app launch to an advanced web presence and boosted Perks loyalty program, the brand’s renewed digital environment is accelerating revenues. Mirroring fan behavioral shifts, the new tech stack offers quicker, easier ordering, crave-worthy imagery and improved customer loyalty rewards. Additionally, the upgraded technology platforms provide fans with real-time offers and customized content – improving both transaction count and communications.

Next, Potbelly is streamlining kitchens in its restaurants with the launch of the Potbelly Digital Kitchen. These enhancements include elevating order sorting in a new tech-driven, time efficient manner facilitating quality, accuracy and speed.

Robust Franchise Initiative

Potbelly has set a goal of reaching 2,000 total units in the next eight to 10 years, with at least an 85% franchise system. The prioritization of franchise growth supports the brand’s ‘Traffic Driven’ Profitability Strategic Plan,” which included the Tech Stack rollout and the implementation of a new menu.

The company is also emphasizing a refranchising initiative of corporate shops across select markets, aiming for approximately 25% of its corporate locations to convert to franchises during the next three years. Moreover, growth goals include 10% annual new-unit growth rate by 2024, with accelerated growth in the years to follow.

In addition, Potbelly’s excellent sales to investment ratio, double-digit comp store sales growth and its systemwide average unit volume (AUV) of $1 million-plus* set the brand apart from its competitors. The 45-year-old brand, with more than 400 locations across the United States, is taking an innovative approach to its systems and operations, marking a distinctive inflection point that franchise investors can take advantage of while exclusive territories remain available.

Multi-unit Development

Targeting growth from South Florida to Northern California, the brand’s franchise initiative prioritizes development deals with seasoned multi-unit operators.

Underscoring the brand’s alignment with talented operators is the recent new shop opening in the Tampa market. It is the second location for franchisee group STA Management, a multi-unit restaurant operator with locations across the country.

“STA represents the quality of the multi-unit operators we’re attracting, and that spans across our franchise system. We anticipate accelerated franchisee interest based on the appeal of our franchise offerings,” said Larry Strain, Chief Development Officer for Potbelly.

Are you ready to add a high-performing concept to your portfolio built for today and tomorrow? To learn more, visit potbelly.com/franchising-why-potbelly

*Annualized systemwide sales in the 2022 FDD, Item 19

Potbelly Sandwich Works
With a 46-year track record, 1.3M+ Avg. Gross Sales* and flexible footprints, Potbelly is a perfect addition to your portfolio. *Top 25% of franchised Potbelly shops operating during 12-period timeframe in 2022. Learn More

Published: September 9th, 2022

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