Online orders have surged during the pandemic. If Potbelly can rope in customers via takeout and learn how to use data it gathers, experts say the turnaround has a shot. The chain must figure out its competitive advantage—a soul search it failed at during its last revamp—and translate that to the online ordering world.
“You put your brand in the bag,” says Doug Roth, founder and president of Chicago-based restaurant consultancy Playground Hospitality. “You need to be able to figure out how to do that.”