Potbelly Corporation (NASDAQ: PBPB) (“Potbelly” or the “Company”) is rapidly advancing its Franchise Growth Acceleration Initiative with two signed agreements that will add a total of 19 new stores to the Tampa, Fla. and Champaign-Springfield areas -Decatur areas in central Illinois.
“Our new Shop Development Area Agreements come at an eventful time for us at Potbelly,” said Bob Wright, CEO of Potbelly. “They are consistent with our multi-unit franchise development strategy and in line with what we aim to achieve with our previously announced initiative to accelerate franchise growth. We are very excited to enter into these development deals with such quality franchisees, and we look forward to sharing other deals once they are signed.”
STA Management is the talented owner/operator group powering the 14 Tampa-St. Petersburg in the next five years. The group already has two Potbelly locations in the area – one is on Falkenburg Road and the other in the retail and restaurant hub adjacent to Raymond James Stadium and George Steinbrenner Field. The group is well positioned to serve the restaurants as multi-brand owners and operators of more than 60 restaurant locations.
“Having already had two successful Potbelly locations, we knew it was time to sign up for more,” said Ronnie Asmar, franchisee and partner at STA Management. “It’s a great fit for us with the experience we already bring to the restaurant industry. It’s also incredibly rewarding to see how much our customers love the brand. We can’t wait to bring more good vibes and toasted sandwiches to Tampa!”
Rob Wilbern is the entrepreneur bringing five locations to the Champaign-Springfield-Decatur area. He runs an accounting firm, a car dealership and several other businesses, and previously developed his own restaurant concept in Springfield. Wilbern’s background equips him well to oversee the business side of his sites along with a strong operator to oversee day to day operations.
“The support of the leadership team led me to Potbelly – I looked at a few different franchise opportunities and did a lot of research. Potbelly stood out from the rest,” said Wilbern. “In addition, the quality of the food and the extensive menu are second to none. With a large student population and an active residential and business community in the area, we’re confident Potbelly’s toasted sandwiches and robust rewards programs will be a hit.”
A popular national mainstay widely celebrated for its iconic sandwiches and friendly atmosphere, Potbelly thrives in areas like Tampa and Champaign-Springfield-Decatur. The brand is targeting talented owner/operator groups through a strategic franchise initiative targeting attractive markets across the country.
As part of the Franchise Growth Acceleration initiative, Potbelly plans to reach 2,000 units over the next 10 years, at least 85% of which will be franchised stores. The brand also plans to refranchise about 25% of its corporate stores. Earlier this year, Potbelly announced a strategic partnership with REEF, the largest operator of virtual restaurants, logistics and proximity hubs in North America. This partnership along with the two deals announced today put Potbelly on the right track.
Ideal franchise candidates should be able to meet the required financial criteria, have experience in restaurant operations, strong business skills, focused and dedicated problem-solving skills, and enjoy working with others. Operators can take advantage of the Sandwich concept’s flexible store designs, including in-line, endcap, drive-thru and non-traditional locations equipped with technology-enabled enhancements to encourage in-store, take-out and delivery . These factors, along with a diverse menu and multiple revenue streams arising from different parts of the day, make Potbelly an attractive investment in a franchised restaurant.
For more information on Potbelly franchise opportunities, visit www.potbelly.com/franchising-why-potbelly.
Potbelly Corporation is a neighborhood sandwich concept that has been feeding customers’ smiles for more than 40 years with hot toasted sandwiches, signature salads, hand-dipped shakes and other fresh menu items customized exactly how customers want them . Potbelly promises fresh, fast and friendly service in an environment that reflects the local neighborhood. Since opening its first store in Chicago in 1977, Potbelly has expanded into neighborhoods across the country with 400 company-owned stores across the United States. In addition, Potbelly franchisees operate over 40 stores across the United States. Visit our website at www.potbelly.com for more information.
This press release may contain statements that may be considered forward-looking statements or predictions of future business, including with respect to its ability to successfully execute its franchise growth acceleration initiative and development agreements and its ability to successfully refranchise certain of its locations. Such statements are made in accordance with the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and are based on management’s belief or interpretation of currently available information. These statements and assumptions involve certain risks and uncertainties, including that it may not be able to successfully execute its initiative to accelerate franchise growth and that the company may not achieve its planned expansion. Actual events may also differ from these expectations because of risks identified from time to time in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We assume no obligation to update these statements at any future time.