Post Creator: Madyson Watts

How Potbelly’s Sandwiches Are Transforming Fast-Casual Dining

By ICR | Podcast

At a time when everyone is paying more for a lot less, and service is in decline, today’s guest is leaning in to added value, and it’s paying off in spades.

We’re sitting down with Bob Wright, who has been President and CEO of Potbelly Corporation since July of 2020. The stock trades under the symbol PBPB.  Bob has over 30 years of experience in the restaurant industry, most recently serving as Executive Vice President and COO of the Wendy’s Company, where he ran operations for over 6,000 company and franchise restaurants located throughout the US and Canada.

He has a strong record of business transformation throughout his career where he has leveraged brand strengths to revitalize top line sales and profit growth through marketing system-wide service standardization and quality initiatives. In addition to Wendy’s, Bob has served in leadership roles with other restaurant brands, including Charlie’s Philly Steaks, Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, and Domino’s Pizza.


  • Bob’s journey to his role at Potbelly (2:34)
  • Bob gives us a history lesson on Potbelly’s origins (4:01)
  • What makes Potbelly unique among field competition (5:06)
  • Potbelly’s recent menu pivot and the inspiration behind it (6:17)
  • Current plans for franchise development and growth strategy (8:54)
  • Bob explains his outlook on the balance between franchising and company units (11:51)
  • Potbelly’s current projects and goals for 2024 (13:47)
  • Brand digitalization and new tech (14:57)
  • Bob highlights current brand challenges (16:01)
  • How Potbelly manages their margins alongside inflation and labor issues (17:17)
  • Bob describes the menu features bestsellers (19:37)
  • The team at Potbelly and work culture (22:07)
  • Future expansion plans and locations (24:40)
  • Bob’s personal philosophy on leadership (27:50)


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Potbelly Sandwich Works Website

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