Potbelly's eyes 2024 growth led by franchised stores

Zach Russell headshot
Potbelly says its long-term goal is to reach 2,000 shops.

Potbelly Corporation has announced a new series of development agreements to expand its number of sandwich shops across the U.S.

The company has signed 192 new development agreement commitments, putting Potbelly on track for rapid growth in 2024. Since the launch of its Franchise Growth Acceleration Initiative, Potbelly has signed shop development agreements across the country, including in New York, Maryland, Florida, Ohio, Washington, Arkansas, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

The chain, which offers toasted sandwiches, salads, shakes and more, says its franchise operators include those from well-known restaurant brands such as Burger King, Dunkin’, Wendy’s and Wingstop. Potbelly says its long-term goal is to reach 2,000 shops, with approximately 85% of those locations being franchised.

Potbelly founder and former CEO Bryant Keil and his son, Hampden, are among the franchisee partners who signed an agreement with Potbelly in 2023. In July, Potbelly announced it had finalized a 27-shop agreement with Keil, which included the purchase of 12 existing shops in Maryland and a commitment to build an additional 15 shops in the state.

“Our 5-Pillar Strategy, which focuses on traffic-driven profitability and franchise unit growth, has yielded impressive results since putting it in place in late 2020,” said Bob Wright, president and CEO of Potbelly. “We’re pleased with the continued momentum we’ve seen in 2023 in sales and traffic growth, margin expansion and franchise development commitments across the U.S. Looking ahead, Potbelly is prioritizing further expansion with experienced, multi-unit restaurant owner-operator groups, and we’re committed to realizing growth in new and existing markets where we’re confident the brand will continue to thrive. We’re thrilled to bring the unique Potbelly experience to customers in so many new locations across the country.”

Founded in Chicago in 1977, Potbelly operates 425 sandwich shops in the U.S., including roughly 75 franchised shops.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds