SINCE 1988

Potbelly Fuels Nationwide Expansion through Increased Commitment from Existing Franchisees


Potbelly Corporation (NASDAQ: PBPB), the iconic neighborhood sandwich shop, today announced it has finalized four multi-unit development agreements that will further increase the company’s retail footprint. The growth will be led by current Potbellyfranchisees, who are each expanding their current commitments with the brand. The agreements will bring a total of 18 additional shops in new and existing markets. These reinvestments add to the existing list of development commitments that Potbelly has signed since launching its Franchise Growth Acceleration Initiative in 2022 and is a testament to how well the Potbelly brand resonates with customers across markets.

“As soon as our franchisees open their shops, they experience firsthand the widespread appeal of the Potbelly brand,” said Lynette McKee,CFE, Senior Vice President of Franchising. “This immediate success has been a driving force behind their independent decisions to reinvest in the brand and deepen their commitment to Potbelly. We are incredibly excited to continue strengthening our partnerships with these passionate franchisees and couldn’t be prouder to have them as part of our growing network.”

The four Potbelly franchisees who have signed new agreements with the brand include:

  • Ron Asmar of RTA Restaurant Group, LLC added four additional shops to his commitment and will now bring a total of 18 new Potbelly locations to Tampa, Florida. Asmar’s third shop is set to open in late spring/summer 2024.
  • Shari Nasir and Imran Malik of Sugarland Investment Group, LLC have committed to add six additional shops to their growing portfolio of Potbelly locations in Orlando, Florida. The group opened its first shop late January 2024 and is now set to develop 12 locations over the next few years.
  • Rob Wilbern of I’m A Wreck, LLC has committed to the development of four additional Potbelly shops in St. Louis, Missouri, adding to his five shop commitments in Springfield, Illinois. Wilbern opened his first traditional Potbelly shop in January and is developing a non-traditional location inside Springfield Memorial Hospital, which is expected to open in late March 2024.
  • Shakti Patel of MSS Fort Liberty, LLC signed a multi-unit non-traditional franchise agreement to bring three shops to the Fort Liberty Army Base in Fayetteville, North Carolina in 2024. Patel has been a Potbelly franchisee since 2015 and currently has 3 operating locations in his portfolio.

Following the launch of its Franchise Growth Acceleration Initiative, Potbelly has continued to prioritize development with multi-unit operators. Over the past [18] months, the company has supercharged its expansion, maintaining category-leading average unit volumes (AUVs) and driving double-digit same-store sales growth year-over-year. Additionally, Potbelly has invested in real estate innovation to make flexible store designs available to franchisees, including inline, endcap, drive-thru and non-traditional formats. These key brand differentiators, along with a diverse menu and multiple revenue streams stemming from various dayparts and catering, have made Potbelly a promising investment for prospective franchisees.


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