Potbelly Corp. has named Steven Cirulis as chief financial officer and chief strategy officer, the company said Monday.
The Chicago-based sandwich chain said Cirulis had been with Potbelly since December, serving in a strategic planning, finance and analytical consulting role. Cirulis succeeds Tom Fitzgerald, who stepped down in December.
Cirulis, left, will lead the company’s financial and strategy functions, including financial planning and analysis, accounting and financial reporting, tax, treasury, investor relations and enterprise procurement.
“Over the last several months, I’ve seen Steve’s strategic and financial contributions firsthand and believe that he will prove invaluable as we navigate the current environment,” said Alan Johnson, Potbelly CEO and president, in a statement. “Steve has a proven track record of developing and executing growth strategies in the restaurant industry with his extensive time at McDonald’s and Panera, including a focus on off-premise channels. He has also played a key role in the design and implementation of our Project Aurora tests.”
Cirulis has more 20 years of experience in retail, restaurants, digital, consumer product goods, hospitality and entertainment. Most recently, he served as senior vice president for strategic projects at Panera Bread. Previously, he was global vice president for corporate strategy at McDonald’s Corp.
“I spent the last few months engaging with employees and customers to develop a deeper understanding of our business and the challenges we currently face, especially in the current environment,” Cirulis said. “It is clear we have the right strategic framework in place, and that we have a solid and sustainable platform for growth when the normal market environment returns.”
Potbelly Sandwich Shops were among brands that began to offer groceries after states and cities imposed restrictions in March on restaurants to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 29, Potbelly narrowed its net loss to $1.3 million, or six cents a share, from $4.4 million, or 17 cents a share, in the same period last year. Revenues were $101.8 million, down from $102.4 million in the prior-year quarter. Same-store sales in the quarter were nearly flat, with an increase of 0.1% over last year’s period.
Potbelly, founded in 1977, has more than 400 company-owned restaurants and more than 40 franchised units in the United States.
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