US-based sandwich chain Potbelly has signed a 40-unit agreement with the Royal Restaurant Group.

As per the agreement, 36 new restaurant locations are planned in Ohio and Florida.

The restaurant company has also agreed to acquire four units in the greater Columbus metropolitan area of Ohio.

Potbelly president and CEO Bob Wright said: “We’re delighted to have Royal Restaurant Group join the Potbelly system and further our growth in several key areas of the US.  

“The Royal Restaurant Group team knows what it takes to successfully develop and operate franchise locations for large-scale restaurant brands and they share our values of leading with respect and integrity while prioritising high-quality and great customer service.

“I have no doubt their expertise will benefit our company and help support our long-term goals.”

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Royal Restaurant Group was established in early 2023 and currently operates 24 Burger King restaurants in greater Jacksonville, Florida.

The group’s co-founders collectively have more than six decades of combined experience in the restaurant, hospitality and multi-unit franchise industries.

Royal Restaurant Group co-founder and CEO Randy Pianin said: “We’ve always been fans of Potbelly and we’re thrilled to be formally working together with the team as we bring the brand to new areas of the country.

“Our first priority at any of our restaurants is to establish a strong foundation centred around quality, taste and value.

“We look forward to serving up Potbelly’s iconic toasted sandwiches, soups and cookies to more diners and continuing the brand’s tradition of providing excellent service and atmosphere in the years ahead.”

Under its Franchise Growth Acceleration initiative, Potbelly has set a target to open 2,000 stores, with at least 85% of those locations being franchised.