Potbelly Franchise vs. Penn Station Franchise: How They Compare

Many multi-unit operators are continually evaluating new brands to add to their portfolio, and sandwich franchises are a popular business investment option. In the same way no sandwich is built the same, sandwich franchise opportunities aren’t either. When deciding which franchise to invest, the options can seem overwhelming, but as you’ve conducted your due diligence research, you‘ve probably seen two popular brands: Penn Station East Coast Subs and Potbelly Sandwich Works. A franchise comparison may help you decide which franchise might be a good choice for you.. Let’s look at t both  to see how they compare.

The Brands’ Beginnings

Penn Station East Coast Subs offers a menu focused on hot grilled subs, fresh-cut fries, fresh-baked chocolate chunk cookies, and fresh-squeezed lemonade. Customers can enjoy a high-quality, quick-service dining experience or opt for the convenience of online ordering for delivery.  Penn Station typically experiences a significant dinner daypart in addition to lunch. Penn Station is renowned for its premium meats and cheeses, signature Philly-style and Italian sandwiches, and its famous fresh-cut fries.

Founded in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1985, Penn Station has expanded to more than 300 locations, providing its delicious offerings to a wide range of customers across various regions.

Potbelly Sandwich Works started in Chicago and has grown to over 400 stores since 1977. Potbelly markets itself as a neighborhood sandwich shop with a fun environment.

Investment Costs and Financial Considerations

For any investment, it’s important to consider the financial costs. When you purchase a franchise, your investment allows you to use a brand’s name, logo, and processes. There are a few common costs you will need to be prepared to pay as a franchisee of any brand:

  • Initial franchise fee
  • Royalty fees
  • Marketing and advertising fees
  • Startup costs (including as site development and construction)

Many of these costs can be found in the brand’s Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). This document provides an outline of a franchise’s fee structure, costs, and financial records. FDDs are required by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

When comparing Potbelly and Penn Station, it’s wise to look at the investment costs. The total estimated initial investment for a Potbelly franchise restaurant (non-drive-thru) ranges from $594,950 to $899,700, excluding real estate lease or acquisition costs according to their website as of early 2024. An investment in a Penn Station location, according to Penn Station’s 2023 FDD, can range from $366,693 to $820,026.

It is always important to do your own research and compare all costs for your financial situation as you evaluate franchises. In franchising. there are several ways to structure the funding for your investment, including:

  • SBA loans
  • Traditional bank loans
  • Partnerships with other investors

Training and Support

One of the best parts of being a franchisee is the training and support that comes along with it. You know you have a team behind you when you partner with a franchise.

Penn Station offers a robust training program and ongoing support, focusing on operational excellence and customer satisfaction. Franchisees receive comprehensive training at our headquarters that includes hours of classroom and hands’-on training in the restaurant. Our team also supports our franchisees with:

  • Site selection
  • Restaurant design and construction support
  • Financial reporting
  • Marketing
  • Operations and training
  • IT and online ordering

According to Franchise Gator, the Potbelly franchise provides a training program that covers store operations, marketing, financial management, and more.

Franchise with Penn Station East Coast Subs

As you consider sandwich franchise opportunities, remember that the right franchise is about more than just the numbers—it’s about aligning with a brand that shares your values and visionfor the long term. Potbelly and Penn Station both may offer compelling opportunities, but your decision may depend on your personal goals, financial capacity, and the market where you would like to develop. If you’re drawn to a brand with quality products, robust franchisee support, and a community and charity focus, Penn Station East Coast Subs  could be a perfect fit for you. Ready to get started on your path to opening your own sandwich franchise? To learn more about franchise opportunities with Penn Station East Coast Subs, request information.

The information presented in this blog is not intended as an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy, a franchise. Franchise opportunities with Penn Station East Coast Subs are only available in certain states. This website and the information contained herein do not constitute the offering of a franchise in any state or jurisdiction where such an offer or solicitation would be prohibited by law or regulation.

 California, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin regulate the offer and sale of franchises. If you are a resident of one of these states, are receiving this information in one of these states, or intend to operate a franchise in any of these states, we will not offer you a franchise unless and until we have complied with all applicable pre-sale registration and/or disclosure requirements in your jurisdiction. 

 Any franchise offer can only be made through a Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) registered in the applicable state. The FDD will include detailed information regarding the franchisor and the franchise opportunity.

 Penn Station, Inc. 1226 US 50, Milford, OH 45150.  Penn-Station.com



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