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.
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