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About 20% of Potbelly Corp.'s 443 units now offer a breakfast menu option, a representative said Monday.

Breakfast at Potbelly? About 20% of units now offer it

Fast-casual sandwich brand says about a fifth of its 443 restaurants offer the menu option

Potbelly Corp., which has put light emphasis on the morning-meal menu, says about 20% of its sandwich shops now offer a breakfast menu, representatives say.

The Chicago-based fast-casual sandwich brand said some locations have offered breakfast consistently, but more locations appear to be promoting it.

“Breakfast is not a new offering for Potbelly," said CEO Bob Wright through a representative on Thursday.. "At Potbelly, we have always had about 20% of our shops offer breakfast items to customers –– these options are available on a shop-by-shop basis.”

Melissa Pumphrey, Potbelly’s director of franchise and brand marketing, via email on Monday after a Dallas restaurant was promoting its three-sandwich lineup, said, While breakfast isn’t a primary focus for Potbelly, approximately 20% of our shops do include breakfast as part of their menu offerings."

Breakfast sandwich service begins at 7 a.m. CST at that Dallas unit, and crew members said it began in the past few weeks.

However, Wright said in a November earnings call that “lunch and dinner is where we win.”

 “It's difficult to see breakfast being in our future anytime in the near future,” he added. “It can be a big distraction. It can be terribly unprofitable if you don't have the right volumes.”

Wright said the company was looking toward digital sales in other dayparts and a post-pandemic return to catering to help increase sales.

For the third quarter ended Sept. 26, Potbelly narrowed its loss to $2.9 million, or 10 cents a share, from a loss of $13.4 million, or 56 cents a share, in the prior-year period. Revenues in the third quarter rose to $101.7 million from $72.7 million in the same period last year.

As of Sept. 26, Potbelly had 443 restaurants, with 397 corporate-owned and 46 franchised.

Update Jan. 7, 2021: This story has been edited to include comments from Bob Wright, Potbelly CEO.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

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