Potbelly Sandwich Shop announced that franchisees Mohit Kishore and Tulshi Bhakar are opening a location in Durham at 6815 Fayetteville Road. Officially opening to the public on Friday, July 17, the shop is located inside the Renaissance Center, directly across from South Point Mall. The shop will have significant outdoor seating available for up to 26 guests.

The Potbelly Durham location is set to become the brand’s second shop in the Triangle and the seventh in the state of North Carolina. Kishore and Bhakar have another Potbelly franchise location in Morrisville, North Carolina that has been open since 2017. Additionally, the franchise partners plan to open at least two more Potbelly shops in Wake and Durham counties as well as Chapel Hill as part of their multi-unit franchise agreement. Well suited for multi-unit franchise ownership and operations, Kishore has more than 20 years of restaurant industry experience.

“It’s very exciting to open our second Potbelly location in the Triangle,” says Kishore, who resides in nearby Cary. “Our first restaurant has become a huge part of the community. We’re ready to continue serving friends and neighbors our variety of delicious sandwiches, soups, hot breakfast offerings and more from the new Durham location.”

Community involvement is very important to Kishore and Bhakar. At the outset of the coronavirus pandemic, Kishore and Bhakar knew they wanted to give back to their community. They quickly developed a partnership with First United Methodist Church in Cary, which is part of the Western Regional Food Security. Through their existing Potbelly restaurant in Morrisville, they were able to donate dozens of meals a week, reaching hundreds of local families in need. The franchise partners also started a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for Western Regional Food Security.

“Mohit, Tulshi and the entire Potbelly Morrisville team have been incredible. They found us at the beginning of the pandemic and quickly began donating meals. When we recently lost a vendor, they stepped in immediately and provided more meals to families,” adds Stephanie Purdy, director of outreach ministry at the First United Methodist Church. “Their impact and kindness has been felt and have made a big difference to families in the area who need our help now more than ever.”

The Potbelly Durham location will follow CDC guidelines throughout its opening and will be taking extra precautions to ensure the health and safety of its customers and employees. Precautions include requiring employees to wear facemasks and gloves at all times (gloves to be worn at all times by drivers and curbside employees; in-store employees must wash hands and change gloves every 60 minutes while working with cash or anytime they leave their station), regular sanitation of the POS systems and phone screens, cleaning tables after each use (employees to place a note on the table so customers know when a table has been sanitized), new floor decals that show customers how to social distance in line, and plexiglass barriers at the cashier’s station and in line.

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