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This Beloved Sandwich Chain Is Closing up to 30 Locations

Like many fast-casual chains, Potbelly has endured a significant drop in revenue.

A fast-casual restaurant chain known for its thick deli sandwiches is set to close anywhere between 25 and 30 restaurants—down from its initial forecast of 100 back in May.

Potbelly Corp. revealed a significant drop in year-over-year revenue when it released Q3 results on Thursday. The quarter, which ended on Sept. 27, showed revenue down from $104.2 million in 2019 to $72.7 million in 2020, or a dip of more than 30%. Though the chain was able to revise down its closure forecast, it plans to reduce costs by a whopping $3.5 to $4 million in part through staff reductions.

Potbelly will also enact corporate expense optimization and consolidate franchise and company location support services into one entity in order to further trim costs. Since this time last year, the chain is already down 21 corporate-owned restaurants. Other fast-casual chains concentrated in urban centers, such as Corner Bakery Cafe, Le Pain Quotidien, and Shake Shack, have struggled as many Americans continue to work from home.

Some of the largest fast-food chains in the country have also been forced to permanently close restaurants since initial pandemic-related shutdowns began in March. Pizza Hut, for example, shuttered 1,2oo of its global locations, more than 400 of which were U.S. restaurants. Quick-service breakfast and coffee chains are in trouble, too. Dunkin' recently announced it had shuttered nearly 700 of its U.S. locations. (To find out about other chains impacted by closures, check out 9 Restaurant Chains That Closed Hundreds of Locations This Summer.)

Potbelly Corp. did not respond to Eat This, Not That's request for comment.

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Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the news editor of <Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and drink coverage, and breaking down the science behind the latest health studies and information. Read more