Potbelly Sandwich Shop announced that it opened a new franchise location in Charlotte, North Carolina, at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Officially opened to the public on November 15, 2019, the shop is conveniently located in the DE Concourse across from Gate D1. The brand now has five locations in North Carolina and 12 airport shops nationwide.

“I’m thrilled to add a Potbelly location to the Charlotte airport – one of the nation’s busiest travel centers. Now, millions of domestic and international travelers can experience our tasty sandwiches,” says Frank Johnson, owner of the location and three other restaurants in the Charlotte airport. “The brand’s proven success in non-traditional environments made it an attractive opportunity as we sought to expand our fast-casual restaurant portfolio of well-known, segment-leading restaurant concepts.”

Johnson is the founder and chief executive officer of Denard Enterprises, Inc., which is a solely minority-owned restaurant franchise company that develops and operates food and beverage concessions exclusively in airports throughout the southeastern region of the United States. Well suited for franchise ownership with Potbelly, Johnson has 15 years of restaurant operations experience.

“Frank is a great fit to expand our non-traditional footprint, as well as our presence in Charlotte,” adds Peter Ortiz, Vice President of Franchise Development for Potbelly. “Owning and operating some of the nation’s leading restaurant brands, Frank and his team have a deep understanding of how to run successful airport food and beverage operations.”

Potbelly is a proven concept in the non-traditional segment. In fact, the brand has a presence in a dozen airports and on or near 28 university campuses nationwide. Its multiple design and floor plan options make it an attractive opportunity for non-traditional development.

In addition to its new Charlotte airport location, Potbelly is expanding the brand in North Carolina through franchising in the Triangle region, along with the eastern section of the state and down into South Carolina. A recently signed franchise deal includes 13 new shops for cities such as Fayetteville, Wilmington and Myrtle Beach. Potbelly continues to be an attractive franchise investment because of its reputation for having delicious food and a warm, neighborhood atmosphere, thriving in traditional and non-traditional environments alike.  

“As we prioritize franchise expansion as a company in 2020, non-traditional growth is a linchpin in our strategy,” says Ortiz. “Experienced multi-brand operators like Denard Enterprises are exactly the caliber of franchisee groups we’re seeking to grow our brand within airports, campuses, hospitals and other venues.”

As Potbelly expands with skilled franchisees such as Johnson, the brand is awarding franchise opportunities to qualified multi-unit groups who are looking to add another potent concept to their portfolios. Currently, there are more than 440 corporate and franchise Potbelly shops in the United States.

Fast Casual, Franchising, News, Potbelly