Potbelly Sandwich Shop announced a franchise growth plan targeting Oklahoma City – a strategy that will position the lively neighborhood hangout to ingrain itself locally for the long-term with communities in all corners of the market.

Amid increased franchise investor interest, Potbelly plans to enter the Oklahoma City market this year and is currently accepting franchisee inquiries. The region has been pinpointed for expansion because of its strong mix of attractive residential and growing business communities, where the Potbelly experience will be appreciated as a mealtime hangout spot for great food, friends, eclectic décor, and live, local music.

“Preserving the core of the Potbelly experience through its growth is our top priority – making certain that each new market develops a Potbelly fan base that calls their local shop their own. As has always been the case, each new shop will be a direct reflection of the community in which it is situated,” says Mike Walters, head of franchise development for Potbelly Sandwich Shop. “We carefully select Potbelly franchisees to insure they share a passion for community and our vision to offer an environment unlike any other.”

The Potbelly franchise initiative focuses on awarding the opportunity to highly qualified multi-unit operators that have extensive experience and the desire to carry on Potbelly’s tradition as a neighborhood sandwich shop and community ally. Multiple new shops are planned for the Oklahoma City area. Potbelly is also targeting franchise growth into Tulsa, Norman, and Stillwater. Outside of Oklahoma, select areas throughout Arkansas, Nebraska, and Iowa are key franchise growth regions.

Drawing a passionate, loyal fan following to its shops, Potbelly currently owns and operates more than 300 shops across the U.S. and has 20-plus franchise shops domestically and internationally. Before the end of 2014, Potbelly Sandwich Shop projects opening eight new franchised shops.

Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, Growth, News, Pizza, Sandwiches, Potbelly