Dec 11 2017
Meredith Bethune
4 Minutes to read

When ordering food for a large group, you have to factor in everyone’s dietary needs and flavor preferences. Enter Potbelly Sandwich Shop catering. This restaurant chain, with over 400 locations across the country, is beloved for its cozy homemade sandwiches that are toasted fresh to order. They also specialize in tasty soups, delicious salads, and freshly baked cookies, all at a great price.

The origins of Potbelly Sandwich Shop catering go all the way back to 1977 when Peter Hastings first started selling these warm and toasty sandwiches out of his antique shop in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. That’s why you’ll find an antique stove in each location a tribute to the chain’s early beginnings.

Dino Northway, Senior Sales Manager of Strategic Accounts for Potbelly Sandwich Shop, explains how this sandwich chain continues to provide a diverse and healthy array of catering options while still maintaining that friendly neighborhood vibe.

As the Sr. Sales Manager of Strategic Accounts, what does your typical day look like?

I spend my days working on generating leads for catering partnerships for our shops and our sales team. Part of my responsibility is also to manage the relationship between our third-party partnerships like ezCater. As the ezCater account manager, I am the point person between Potbelly Shop Operations and the ezCater team.    

What makes Potbelly Sandwich Shop catering unique?

Potbelly Sandwich Shop has been feeding customers’ smiles for more than 40 years. What makes us unique is the Potbelly experience is the same today as it was when the first shop opened in the Lincoln Park neighborhood in Chicago. We love being a part of the neighborhoods our shops are located in, and each location focuses on serving toasty warm sandwiches, playing good music, and sharing good vibes. 

We love being a part of the neighborhoods our shops are located in Click To Tweet

What is your favorite menu item?

My absolute favorite is the Italian sandwich. It is a combination of capicola, mortadella, pepperoni, salami, and provolone cheese. Just talking about it makes my mouth water!

In your opinion, why has Potbelly Sandwich Shop been so successful?

We’ve been able to stay true to our vision over the years and keep our experience consistent with what our customers have come to know and love. Any Potbelly Sandwich Shop you walk into will provide delicious food and a friendly atmosphere – it’s important to us to make sure we serve good food and feed our customers’ smiles every time they visit.   

What advice do you have for those who order Potbelly Sandwich Shop catering?

Make sure you get a variety of options! When ordering for a group, there are a lot of dietary considerations that you may not be aware of. Ensuring options for sandwiches, salads, soups etc. will make everyone happy. Also – don’t underestimate the power of dessert! It’s the perfect way to finish any meal – no matter what the size group.  

Don’t underestimate the power of dessert! It’s the perfect way to finish any meal Click To Tweet

What advice do you have for caterers looking to get started or grow their business?

Hit the streets in your neighborhood to create and grow relationships. There’s no better way to grow your business than by keeping a pulse on what is important to the neighborhood. 

What’s next for Potbelly Sandwich Shop catering?

We plan to expand our catering kitchen presence in 2018 to meet the growing demand for the business. We currently have catering kitchens in Chicago and Northern Virginia, and look forward to expanding to more neighborhoods next year. 

What do you predict for the catering industry in the next few years?

Catering for large groups is almost a recession-proof industry – the key to surviving is to find ways to add value to your customers. Being flexible to meet dietary restrictions, offering a variety of options and providing a smooth experience is essential to ensuring you’re top of mind for repeat business.

Ready to cater Potbelly sandwiches to your team?

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Meredith Bethune

Written by:

Meredith Bethune

Meredith Bethune is a former cheesemonger turned writer for publications like Travel + Leisure, Saveur, Condé Nast Traveler, CNN, Robb Report, and more. She’s also the former associate editor of Eater D.C. where she reported on Washington’s latest restaurant trends and news. In the name of journalism, she has interviewed an octogenarian tofu maker in Japan, eaten breakfast on the savanna in Kenya, and sipped rare cognac in France.

Posted in: Trends in FoodNeed to Know

Tagged with: Dietary Restrictions, Reviews, Sandwiches