Potbelly Corporation, the iconic neighborhood sandwich shop, announced it has finalized a 16-unit shop development agreement in two Florida markets. This agreement includes 14 shops in Broward County and two shops in Gainesville.
Bob Wright, President and Chief Executive Officer, comments, “We are enthused to begin a partnership with Rami Boaziz and Stellar Hospitality, which we believe will be great stewards of the brand. We look forward to expanding the Potbelly brand in the Florida market with a Shop Development Area Agreement (SDAA) for 16 new shops, following our previous announcements for 20 units in the central Orlando and Tampa areas. This deal increases our market penetration in Florida through franchising and demonstrates additional momentum against our Franchise Growth Acceleration Initiative.”
Rami Boaziz, CEO of Stellar Hospitality says, “I grew to love the Potbelly brand during my time as a Chicago resident and am extremely excited for the opportunity to be a partner with Potbelly and grow its presence in the Florida market.”
Rami Boaziz is a distinguished asset manager with a diverse portfolio both from a geographic and product offering standpoint. Stellar Hospitality’s portfolio of investments contains a multitude of hotel brands, including Marriott and Hyatt Hotels, restaurants, coffee shops - including Starbucks licensed stores, and a golf course in South Florida. Additionally, the corporate entity behind Stellar Hospitality manages a real estate portfolio which includes office buildings, shopping centers, mixed-use development, apartment complexes and self-storage facilities in the Southeast United States.
As part of its Franchise Growth Acceleration Initiative announced in March 2022, Potbelly plans to reach 2,000 units with at least 85% of those being franchised shops over the next 10 years. The brand also plans to refranchise approximately 25% of its company owned shops in conjunction with Shop Development Area Agreements.
Ideal franchise candidates should be able to meet the required financial criteria, have restaurant operations experience, strong entrepreneurial skillsets, focused and driven problem solving and enjoy working with others. Operations can benefit from the sandwich concept’s flexible shop designs, including inline, endcap, drive-thru and non-traditional locations, which are equipped with tech-enabled enhancements to foster in-shop, take-out and delivery dining. These factors, along with a diverse menu and multiple revenue streams stemming from various dayparts, all make Potbelly an attractive franchise restaurant investment.