The first Potbelly sandwich shop started in the most unlikely location: A family run antique shop in Chicago circa 1977. After the owners decided out their idea to serve sandwiches to store customers, word traveled fast in the community about the toasted sandwiches ultimately becoming one of the most popular lunch spots in the area.
Fast forward to 2018, the sandwich shop franchise has grown to over 400 global locations while maintaining the quirky vibe and quality of the original location. In addition to brick-and-mortar locations, in recent years the now publicly traded company (PBPB on NASDAQ) began utilizing food trucks to introduce the brand to even more customers.
Potbelly has leveraged their food truck in numerous ways since investing in the unit back in 2015. First, the Potbelly food truck kicked off in a big way by going on a nation-wide tour that started in Dallas, Texas. From there the food truck crisscrossed the United States attending a wide variety of festivals, fairs, and summertime events.
While the food truck introduced their toasty sandwiches to a whole bunch of people across America, the food truck also garnered a whole lot of positive PR, including newspaper, television, and social media engagement for the company too. While it might seem a little bit weird, one of the big benefits of food trucks for big brands is that they are essentially driving billboards for companies. These trucks can yield some of the cheapest and most effective advertising a company in addition to generating revenue generator through daily service or catering events.
As you can see in this piece with Oliver Tull host of a morning show on CW33 in Dallas, the company had the opportunity to share all the delicious details of a featured sandwich appropriately named “The Wreck.”
The Wreck, in case you were wondering, is a described as the kitchen sink of sandwiches. Included on this sandwich is turkey, a variety of Italian meats, cheese, peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, and more. Check out the video to watch the entire sandwich building process.
The television piece referenced above that you can watch is nearly two minutes in length. The content of the piece is also overwhelming positive. The cost to advertise on a popular television network in a large metro like Dallas would could easily cost over $20,0000 thousand dollars after considering you’ll need to hire talent, pay for video production, and the steep advertising rates of television. To boot, most people pay less attention or no attention at all during commercials.
The video featured above highlight just one earned media spot in one city. The value of garnering press from a dozen or more cities the return would be much higher and a major opportunity for food brands.
Take the Full Video Tour Below
The Potbelly food truck was built in Elkhart, Indiana. You can view a 1 minute 55 second video tour of the truck below.
The food truck serves a smaller menu of five featured items compared to restaurant locations. The unit also easily adapts to different events by serving breakfast sandwiches and muffins in the A.M.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Potbelly franchise opportunity, click here. The total estimated investment of this franchise opportunity is between $564,050 – $782,700 depending on the location you plan to open.