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Potbelly notes gains from ‘digital kitchen’ rollout

Potbelly Corp. added a dozen far more outlets to its Potbelly Digital Kitchen rollout in the initially quarter and expects to have the functions-improving platform in 100 restaurants by year’s conclude, executives reported Thursday.

The Chicago-dependent sandwich brand, which introduced earning for the to start with quarter finished March 26, claimed the electronic kitchen area expenditure has smoothed operations, particularly for the 39% of its orders that are put digitally.

Bob Wright, Potbelly CEO and president, explained on the call that the brand ongoing “to see the advancements in our associate ordeals, driven by their capability to a lot more effortlessly tackle a expanding electronic business coming as a result of our second generation line and enhancements in our buyer experiences, pushed by orders completely ready on time, precision and foods-high-quality scores.”

The PDK, as the electronic kitchen area is called, was “able to capture labor performance with these improvements and lastly the electronic inline get getting purpose of PDK is unlocking additional throughput the place we previously had potential constraints for the duration of peak periods,” Wright said.

Wright said the PDK platform together with electronic buying tablets that workers can use to go deeper into lines of buyers throughout higher-ability several hours when traces variety at some retailers.

“We’re really happy with what that signifies for those PDK retailers that are — I is not going to say superior volume — capability-constrained,” Wright described. “You can have a mid-volume shop which is bought a major amount of money of lunch business enterprise or certain times of the week exactly where supper is pretty strong and that that inline purchase taker option is serving to us a fantastic deal.”

Both the worker and shopper activities in the Potbelly Electronic Kitchen area dining establishments are also improved, Wright included.

Not only are they enjoying a substantially easier time of handling all that digital enterprise,” he stated, “the method feeds all those orders to our associates in the suitable order. And it is good more than enough to know that a very substantial order demands to get fed to them sooner than a compact buy, even if they equally need to have to be delivered at the identical time. … It is also giving us the chance to give our customers a minor much more clarity if you can find a substantial amount of money of digital company heading through the back again line.”

Wright said the corporation is using electronic channels to market special objects, this kind of as electronic-only meatball subs in the first quarter, to its app end users and loyalty club users.

“We stay keenly concentrated on meals and marketing innovation to additional expand these advertising efforts in the coming quarters,” he reported.

Steve Cirulis, Potbelly’s chief financial officer, reported 2nd-quarter regular weekly unit volumes had been envisioned in the selection of $25,250 to $25,750 and exact-retail store income were anticipated among 10% to 12%.

For the initially quarter ended March 26, Potbelly noted a web loss of $1.3 million, or 5 cents a share, down from a decline of $7.9 million, or 28 cents a share, in the identical period of time a yr back. Revenues amplified 20% to $118.3 million in the quarter from $98.2 million in the prior-12 months quarter.

Potbelly posted a 1st-quarter enhance in exact same-store product sales of 22.2%, “driven by strength in website traffic and electronic marketing, as perfectly as continued momentum in central small business district (CBD) and airport outlets,” the enterprise claimed.  Common weekly device volumes in the quarter had been $23,881.

As of March 26, Potbelly had 426 eating places, which includes 373 organization-owned and 53 franchised models. The enterprise was launched in 1977.

In March, Potbelly mentioned it had refranchised eight New York City places to eat to United A single Team as aspect of a development offer that phone calls for 13 new units around the up coming eight yrs.

Wright mentioned the manufacturer has a prolonged-phrase objective of refranchising 25% of its enterprise-owned models.

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