Ex-Sears CEO Aylwin Lewis has taken a position as CEO of Chicago’s delicious Potbelly Sandwich Works. Reader Tim asks: “Should I be worried that he will destroy this great sandwich chain?” Hmmm. Maybe, but we think Chairman Eddie Lampert is the real source of evil at Sears. And now we’re hungry. [Chicago Tribune]

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  1. Diet-Orange-Soda says:

    Mmm. I love Potbelly. They just opened a third one around here close to my house.

  2. Balisong says:

    I don’t get the big deal with Potbelly. I went there once and they put barely two slices of meat on my sammitch – was like eating just a big piece of bread. Once my co-workers all ordered a big Potbelly lunch and complained of the same thing.

  3. samson says:

    wHY DO good companies start to suck at some point microsft, yho etc?

  4. sir_pantsalot says:

    @Balisong: I love a good sandwich and love to make grat sandwiches at home. I walked into a Potbally once assuming they would have good sandwiches and thought they would be large and warm since they have an oven on their logo. After looking at the menu and the sandwiches that people were eating around me, my wife and I walked out.

  5. Kounji says:

    @BLANDspace: Because the thing that made them great in their hayday becomes less relevant as time goes on and they lack the management structure to adapt.

  6. LoveNoelG says:

    @sir_pantsalot: Cool, those of us who enjoy reasonable food portions don’t have to wait in as long a line!

  7. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @Balisong: Likewise. One of my co-workers raves about the place, so I let her order lunch from there for a meeting. After hearing about their “great sandwiches” I figured I could get by with a half sandwich and no sides, not wanting to stuff myself. But I was disappointed by their meager portions and embarrassed for our clients.

  8. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @LoveNoelG: It’s kind of humiliating to tell clients you’re going to order them “great sandwiches” and have them show up looking like a school lunch.

  9. sir_pantsalot says:

    @LoveNoelG: You will not have to stand behind my wife and I waiting in line to buy one sandwich to split. Aparrently that makes your little world a better place.

    We would have split a large sandwich or if they were small and looked like a quality sandwich each get our own. The sandwiches just looked pathetic with very little meat almost no vegies and a little piece of cheese. I will sell you two slices of wonder bread with a slice of cheese and one of those highly processed round slices of turkey for 1/2 of what Potbelly sells a sandwich for.

  10. farcast says:

    Wow sirpantsalot – You walked away just from looking at the sandwiches? Has anyone actually eaten here? Well I have and it’s really good. Maybe their catering boxes suck, but I’ll stick to normal ordering. The sandwiches are a perfectly good size, and all are $4. Not huge, but a great deal for your money. It makes me scoff at Quiznos $7 stinkers. No meat? I guess no one has tried the wreck, which has like 4 different meats on it. Give it a try – and if this place ever goes public – buy some stock. It will be huge.

  11. veronykah says:

    I don’t understand where all of you had your sandwiches or if you are accustomed to HUGE portions. I had the fortune of eating at a Potbelly in the Midway airport of all places and thought it was fantastic. I don’t remember it being teeny or not having enough of any of the ingredients. It was warm and melty and yummy. One of the ONLY times I’ve had something tasty at the airport!

  12. Diet-Orange-Soda says:

    @farcast: The “Wreck” is all I’ve ever eaten at Potbelly. I always walk away satisfied.

    The (far superior) sandwich shop right next to Potbelly sells a small that’s about 1 1/2 times as big as a Potbelly sandwich. It’s great, but it’s tough to scarf down the whole thing.

  13. Wow. What a step down. Bet that was a big drop in pay.

  14. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @farcast: No sale, sorry. This wasn’t catering… we sent a staffer to pick them up from the restaurant across the highway. Two of the fellows (not me) did actually order the “wreck.” They weren’t large sandwiches by any stretch of the imagination. We get better-built sandwiches when we order a sandwich platter from the local grocery store deli.

    This is, incidentally, the Potbelly location in the upscale Uptown Park center in Houston, with a big-spending clientele. We have enough restaurants in this town that we don’t need to waste our time supporting (let alone buying the stock of) their meager ripoffs. Four dollars, indeed.

  15. NotATool says:

    @Corporate-Shill: I say it was a step UP. Remember, he’s coming from Sears/KMart…

  16. phillylex says:

    I, too, was disappointed by my Pot Belly experience. If I want a toasted sub, I’d rather go to Quiznos, where the selection, among other things, is mucho better.

  17. ohyeahright says:

    When I first tried Potbelly’s about two years ago, I thought they made the greatest sandwiches ever. They aren’t excessively large – just right for one person, and totally delicious like everything else they sell. They’ve since upped the price and it’s not the good deal it used to be.

  18. nedzeppelin says:

    potbelly’s is all right – easy to get sick of it when there’s one next door to the office.
    i always get the wreck on wheat – usually enough meat. you can always order double meat, which i often do, it’s only 50 cents extra.

    i could have sworn the sandwiches were like 2.79 each when i moved here though.. now they’re like 4 something each. i don’t recall there being any steps in between either.

  19. zydeco100 says:

    They’re just the right size, especially when you tack on some chips and one of their ice cream shakes.

    The one I ate at this week just added kid sized sandwiches for $2.79, so they must be tinkering with the menu. Add that to the drive-thru store they just opened near me, and they’re totally gunning for nationwide expansion. Hiring the guys that helped Starbucks expand cross-country doesn’t hurt either…

  20. MayorBee says:

    @speedwell: Wow, that’s the same Potbelly I go to all the time. I work right across the street so I can walk there if I feel like hazarding the traffic on Post Oak. I always get the turkey on wheat and it, along with one of their awesome oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, is always enough to fill me up.

    It’s definitely a better value (to me, at least) than the Cafe Express that’s right there, but they do give more food than Potbelly. I will agree that it’s not a great meal to give to clients. Our office will get the catered boxes sometimes when we’re having an informal meeting amongst ourselves, but Potbelly isn’t suitable for entertaining.

    BTW, nice to talk to a fellow Houstonite.

  21. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @MayorBee: Oh, the chocolate chip cookies… that’s different. (sigh)

    I love the Cafe Express, but getting into there for lunch is almost dangerous. Unlimited roasted garlic FTW.

    I’ll keep an eye out for you when I zip down the street. Walking in Houston… you heretic. …heh

  22. JoeTan says:

    go to a real deli and forget this fast food crap. Arguing over meat quantity is just crazy.

  23. ryan_h says:

    it’s not great, it’s not terrible………. it’s potbellys