- Potbelly has appointed Patrick Walsh as chief people officer and Lynette McKee as SVP of franchising, the company announced Monday. The new appointments are intended to support Potbelly’s efforts to scale its system.
- Bob Wright, CEO and president of Potbelly, said the company views franchise expansion as one of the key pillars of its long-term strategy.
- Since launching a franchising drive in March 2022, Potbelly has added dozens of units to its development track via deals with existing franchisees and its first refranchising agreement.
Potbelly currently has about 425 shops in the U.S., of which 53 are franchised, according to the press release. Last year, the company said it planned to eventually reach 85% franchised units and total 2,000-plus locations in the next 10 years, which would involve a significant combination of expansion and reorganization of its stores. The chain recently announced another deal to add 16 franchised units in Florida.
McKee joins the company after over a decade leading her own franchise consulting firm, according to her LinkedIn profile. Prior to that, McKee worked as chief development officer at Checkers and Rally’s from 2009 to 2011, and as a VP of franchise development for Dunkin’ Brands from 2005 to 2009. Wright said McKee’s experience in franchising would be invaluable to the brand as it pursues franchise development and growth.
Walsh previously worked as head of HR at Oil-Dri Corporation, which mines the materials for and manufactures a variety of sorbent materials. Before his tenure at Oil-Dri, Walsh worked in PepsiCo as a senior director of HR and as director of operations HR and talent acquisition at Pizza Hut.