Potbelly Corporation, the iconic neighborhood sandwich shop, today announced a multi-unit development deal to bring six new shop locations to Orlando, Florida over the next seven years.
Bob Wright, President and Chief Executive Officer comments, “I am thrilled to announce another franchising deal to bring six new shops to the Orlando, Florida area. We are excited to embark on this new relationship with Shari Nasir and Imran Malik of Sugarland Investment Group, LLC (“Sugarland”) to share the love of toasty sandwiches with Central Florida and broaden the Potbelly brand. This deal serves as another important milestone as we progress against our Franchise Growth Acceleration Initiative.”
Shari Nasir, CEO of Sugarland, says, “We are longtime fans and supporters of Potbelly, and we look forward to playing an active role in its growth and expansion across the U.S. We are truly passionate about the brand, its high quality and delicious food and are extremely excited to bring Potbelly into our backyard!”
In addition to a strong corporate operations background, Shari has experience in multi-family housing developments around the Orlando, FL area and is well positioned to leverage her vast local network and real estate development experience as Sugarland embarks on this franchising partnership. Sugarland will hire an operations partner to lead day-to-day shop management and is in the final stages of the selection process.
As part of the 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 corporate shops.
Franchise Candidate Information
A popular national mainstay widely celebrated for its iconic toasty sandwiches and friendly atmosphere, Potbelly thrives in both metropolitan areas like its newly announced Tampa (FL), Champaign-Springfield-Decatur (IL), and Orlando (FL) markets, and suburban markets alike. The brand is aligning with talented owner/operator groups as part of a strategic franchise initiative targeting attractive markets across the country.
To capitalize on momentum and drive sales, the brand is prioritizing marketing tech innovation through an updated website, mobile app and Perks Loyalty program. Similarly, the concept is focused on streamlining the operations in its restaurants through the Potbelly Digital Kitchen initiative. These enhancements include elevating order sorting in a new tech-driven, time efficient manner, facilitating quality, accuracy and speed.
Ideal franchise candidates should be able to meet the required financial criteria, have restaurant operations experience, strong entrepreneurial skillsets, focused and driven problem-solving skills and enjoy working with others. Operators can benefit from the sandwich concept’s flexible store designs including inline, endcap, drive-thru and non-traditional formats, which are equipped with tech-enabled enhancements to foster in-store, take-out and delivery dining. These factors, along with a diverse menu and multiple dayparts, all make Potbelly an attractive franchise restaurant investment.