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Potbelly Sandwich Shop Is Opening a Whopping 40 New Restaurants

The expansion will focus on two states.

Every neighborhood needs a perfect sandwich shop, and if your neck of the woods is missing one, you may be in luck. One of America's very favorite sandwich chains, Potbelly, is opening up 40 new restaurants in Ohio and Florida, signaling a big expansion for the Chicago-based brand.

The chain was looking like the underdog of the industry back in 2021, when dwindling foot traffic during the pandemic caused it to close 28 locations and lose almost 30% of annual revenue. But the brand has come back with a vengeance, unveiling a plan in 2022 to open 2,000 units across the country over the next decade.

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With new features like a revamped website, a loyalty program, a breakfast menu, and special promo deals, Potbelly won back its customer base and saw record revenue in Q3 of 2022, seeing not just a resurgence of retail customers but their catering offerings taking off too. In late 2022, Potbelly signed a 14-restaurant deal with STA Management and a second deal with entrepreneur Rob Wilbern to open an additional five Potbelly locations in Illinois, bringing the total number of Potbelly locations in the country to 450—with another 27 units in Maryland announced earlier this year, and 40 more announced this week.

This week's new announcement sees Potbelly working with Royal Restaurant Group, a Florida-based food and beverage franchise company founded earlier this year by Randy Pianin and Robert Negron, who kicked off their business by acquiring 23 Burger Kings in and around Jacksonville, Fla. Now, they're going into the sandwich business with a 40-unit Potbelly deal.

"We're delighted to have Royal Restaurant Group join the Potbelly system and further our growth in several key areas of the U.S.," said Potbelly President and CEO Bob Wright, in a statement, per Restaurant Business. "I have no doubt their expertise will benefit our company and help support our long-term goals."

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Hungry sandwich hunters tend to love Potbelly for its high-quality, mindfully sourced ingredients, its handy nutritional calculator function for custom orders and menu options alike, and its cozy, homey environment that celebrates the simple pleasure of a classic sandwich done right.

"We believe you can taste the difference when simple, high-quality ingredients are used," the chain says on its website. "At Potbelly, we'll never skimp on size or quality." With plenty of vegetarian and vegan options, there's something at Potbelly for everyone.

Louisa Ballhaus
Louisa is a culture writer and author from New York City covering entertainment, celebrity, and lifestyle content for outlets like Cosmopolitan and Bustle. Read more about Louisa