Potbelly Sandwich Shop

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Potbelly Sandwich Works)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Potbelly Corporation
Russell 2000 Component
IndustryFast casual
FoundedJanuary 14, 1977; 43 years ago (1977-01-14)
FounderBryant Keil
HeadquartersThe Gogo Building, 111. N.Canal Street,
Number of locations
474 (as of December 29, 2019)[1]
Key people
Alan Johnson,
Chairman & CEO
Bryant Keil,
Founding chairman
ProductsSandwiches, salads, soups, ice cream
RevenueDecrease US$409.707 million (FY 2019)[1]
Increase -US$9.196 million (FY 2019)[1]
Decrease -US$23.992 million (FY 2019)[1]
Total assetsIncrease US$332.879 million (FY 2019)[1]
Total equityDecrease US$69.169 million (FY 2019)[1]
Number of employees
6,000 (As of December 29, 2019)

Potbelly Corporation is a publicly traded restaurant chain that sells submarine sandwiches and other edibles in the United States, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Canada, and Kuwait. The company headquarters are in Chicago, Illinois.[2]


Founding and growth[edit]

The first Potbelly Restaurant, in Lincoln Park, Chicago.

Potbelly Sandwich Shop is a sandwich and food store that was founded in 1977 by Peter Hastings. The original store is located at 2264 North Lincoln Avenue in Chicago, in a retail space that was previously an antique store called Hindsight, also owned by Hastings. Many of the items that decorated the restaurant were taken from the former antique store including the namesake Potbelly stove.[3] In 1996, Bryant Keil purchased the original store. Keil quickly expanded the company, The second store was opened in 1997, and he expanded Potbelly to over 300 stores in several states and the District of Columbia.[4][5] Investors include Maveron (Founded by Starbucks Founder, Howard Schultz) and American Securities.[6] As of August 2019, approximately 10% of the chains 450+ locations were franchisees. [7]

Paycheck Protection Program Loan[edit]

During the Covid-19 crisis, Potbelly Sandwich Shop applied for and accepted $10 million under the PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) which the United States government created for small businesses to maintain workers through the Covid-19 crisis. [8] On April 14th, 2020, the company was awarded $10 million in PPP Loans from the federal government. Protesters began picketing April 20, 2020 at the Chicago headquarters demanding the return of the funds.[citation needed] The company continued operations as their drive-thru business thrives during the pandemic and which included payments to international employees that were fired in Q2 2019.[citation needed] Potbelly Sandwich Shop announced on April 25th, 2020 that they would return the $10 million loan.[9]


In August 2013, Potbelly filed an Initial Public Offering with US regulators to raise up to $75 million.[10] Shares in the company began trading on the NASDAQ Stock Market on October 4, 2013.[11]


A view inside the first Potbelly Restaurant seating area

On November 5, 2007, a new Potbelly store in Glen Ellyn, Illinois became the first to feature a drive-through. A second drive-through store was added shortly thereafter in Waukegan, Illinois.[12]

In 2011, Potbelly opened two franchise stores in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates; these are the first international Potbelly locations.[13]

Potbelly opened its first European store at Westfield Stratford City, London, in July 2015[14] and its first Canadian store in Toronto in October 2016.[15] By August 2017, 60% of Potbelly's business came from lunch. It had 424 owned stores and 54 franchised stores.[16] Early that month, Potbelly announced it was considering putting itself for sale.[16]

In December 2017, Potbelly opened its first franchise in India with a new location in Cyber City, Gurgaon. The company signed a multi-franchise agreement with India's Kwals Group, with plans to open five franchises in the country by the end of 2018 and 20 locations over the next five years.[17]

As part of its 2019 Q2 earnings call, chief financial officer Thomas Fitzgerald made the following announcement; “As part of our strategy to hone our focus on the turnaround of our core business and exit international markets, this quarter we closed six international shops, leaving one remaining international shop, which is in the Middle East, We expect to close that shop in the second half of this year.”


Potbelly's menu features a variety of sandwiches that are all served hot. Potbelly began offering salads in February 2007, and the menu also includes soup, shakes, malts, smoothies, and cookies.

Live music[edit]

Many restaurants included live music from local musicians during the lunch hours in the past.[18][19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Potbelly Corporation Form 10-K for 2019 Annual Report. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (Report). Retrieved March 25, 2020.
  2. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions Archived 2010-03-08 at the Wayback Machine." Potbelly Sandwich Shop. Retrieved on February 24, 2010.
  3. ^ "Our Story". Potbelly Sandwich Shop. Retrieved 20 February 2014.
  4. ^ Blessing, Anna H. (September 13, 2004). "Bob Schwartz: Potbelly's district manager is on the fast track, works with 'the people' to employ corporate standards". Nation's Restaurant News. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
  5. ^ "Timeline". Potbelly Sandwich Shop. Retrieved 20 February 2014.
  6. ^ "ZEPHYR – Bureau van Dijk". zephyr2.bvdep.com. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Entrepreneur". entrepreneur.com. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  8. ^ "OREGONLIVE – Associated Press". oregonlive.com. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  9. ^ Miller, Hannah. "Potbelly says it will return $10 million small business loan, following others after outrage". CNBC. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  10. ^ Avik Das (29 August 2013). "Sandwich maker Potbelly files for IPO of up to $75 million". Reuters.
  11. ^ "Potbelly Corporation Announces Pricing of Its Initial Public Offering". Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  12. ^ "Economic Files of Potbelly" (PDF). Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  13. ^ "Potbelly (US) Opens in Dubai – 07 Mar 2011". www.worldfranchiseassociates.com. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  14. ^ Murphy-Bates, Sebastian (2015-05-23). "Stratford to welcome first Potbelly in Europe". Newham Recorder. Retrieved 2015-07-28.
  15. ^ "Toronto Restaurant Openings: Harry's, Potbelly Sandwich Shop, Montaditos, Matcha Tea Dessert". Blogto.com. 2016-10-13. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
  16. ^ a b Jargon, Julie; Hufford, Austen (August 4, 2017). "Sandwich Maker Potbelly Hangs 'For Sale' Sign". The Wall Street Journal. New York City, New York, United States. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  17. ^ "First Potbelly Sandwich Shop Opens in India". Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  18. ^ "A Lively Lunch | Plymouth". Community Life Magazine. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  19. ^ "6 Things You Didn't Know About Potbelly Sandwich Works". The Daily Meal. September 5, 2014. Retrieved February 9, 2018.

External links[edit]