CHICAGO – Potbelly Corporation, the renowned neighborhood sandwich shop, has announced a significant expansion in Maryland through a finalized 27-shop agreement with founder Bryant Keil and his son Hampden. Under the agreement, Mr. Keil has been granted exclusive territory rights in seven Maryland counties, including Washington, Frederick, Montgomery, Prince George, Charles, Calvert, and St. Mary’s. The plan is to develop 15 new Potbelly shops in the next eight years while re-franchising 12 existing restaurant locations.

Potbelly’s President and CEO, Bob Wright, praised Bryant Keil’s leadership and understanding of the Potbelly vision, acknowledging his instrumental role in shaping the brand. Wright expressed confidence in Keil’s ability to accelerate the company’s growth momentum in Maryland and expand Potbelly’s presence in central and southern regions of the state. The agreement aligns with Potbelly’s strategic franchise and growth strategy across the United States to provide more people with access to their delicious food.

Bryant Keil, the original purchaser of Potbelly in 1996, expressed his excitement about the partnership and the opportunity to open and operate additional shops on the East Coast. Keil, who has believed in the strength and growth potential of the Potbelly brand for nearly three decades, emphasized his enthusiasm for working with his son Hampden to develop the market and their family business. Having grown up in Potbelly and possessing significant restaurant experience, Hampden is equally eager to join the system.

Potbelly’s success story began when the company was just a single antique shop in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, where owners served sandwiches to their customers. Under Bryant Keil’s leadership as CEO, Potbelly embraced its distinctive business model, creating shops that offer delectable, crave-able food in a vibrant environment. This approach propelled the company’s expansion to 250 locations by 2008, and today there are over 425 Potbelly shops in cities across the United States.

With a long-term goal of reaching 2,000 shops within the next decade, Potbelly aims for at least 85% of those locations to be franchised. This vision aligns with the company’s Franchise Growth Acceleration Initiative. For those interested in franchise opportunities with Potbelly, more information can be found at their website:

Potbelly’s expansion in southern Maryland marks a significant milestone in the company’s growth strategy. With Bryant Keil at the helm, the iconic sandwich shop is poised to bring its signature delicious food and vibrant atmosphere to more communities, providing residents and visitors with increased access to the Potbelly experience.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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