Potbelly Sandwich Works

  www.potbelly.com
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Potbelly Sandwich Works Reviews

Updated Jul 25, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.9 135 reviews

58% Approve of the CEO

Potbelly Sandwich Works President and CEO Aylwin B. Lewis

Aylwin B. Lewis

(74 ratings)

47% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Company is full of great people with great attitudes(in 9 reviews)

  • Fun work environment, good overall environment with occasional live music(in 9 reviews)


Cons
  • Ironically upper management is theoretically blind to the lack of integrity(in 10 reviews)

  • Extremely low pay with no incentive to work hard because you only see a percentage based pay increase ONCE a year(in 9 reviews)

135 Employee Reviews
in
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Great!

    Store Associate (Former Employee) Bolingbrook, IL

    ProsCompany culture is great, hire from within

    ConsSalary is not great, fight for hours sometimes

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep doing the same thing

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    company lacks foresight.

    Manager (Current Employee)

    Prosinteracting with customers is fun at times, otherwise, their simply is not anything else to write about here as a positive. can't wait to get out of here.

    Conshours- 60/70 hour work weeks as a salaried manager while you are only payed for 40.

    regional management - lacks foresight. continues to ignore impending problems until they are too late to fix.

    if you enjoy sucking up you well be promoted instantly, if you kno how to run a business, you have little chance of advancement

    Advice to Senior Managementquit micromanaging

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Support Center (Corporate Office) Review (not shop level)

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Chicago, IL

    ProsCompany is full of great people with great attitudes. Diversity is welcome. Potbelly values include Accountability, Positive Energy, Coaching, etc. Company seems to want you to succeed...

    ConsInconsistent messages. Company claims to care about its people, but some of the longest-standing employees have seen a move toward a negative direction. Pressure is on to make money. IPO started great and is currently suffering. Company puts all of its resources into the shops without seeming to understand that in order for the shops to succeed, they need a strong base at the Support Center (Corporate Office). Instead of creating proven strategies that develop their people at the office (much as they do for the shops), they rely on direct supervisors for this. Your development is only as good as your direct supervisor. If you fail to succeed or develop due to poor management, in all likelihood, it will not work out long term.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPut more resources into the Support Center. Your base is crumbling. The house of cards will fall without it.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    It started out great.

    Shift Lead (Current Employee) Minneapolis, MN

    ProsThis job started out with a flexible schedule, good hours and a decent starting pay. I moved up fast at first. The people are great and it was a fun atmosphere at first.

    ConsOnce I become a shift lead I started to notice everything wrong with this company. First off my pay hardly went up from as an associate, there were also new hires getting exact same pay as me and veteran shift leads (one who worked as an SL for 2 years) getting the same pay as me. Second I have now worked for potbelly for a year (still not that long) and I have had three general managers, right when the store seems to get used to the new GMs way of running the shop and everything starts getting smooth again potbelly goes "oh hey lets give you a new GM or AM" it really has a great effect on turnover every time we had a GM transition we have lost almost half of our staff. They are lazy on hiring, they are extremely strict on labor, they say they want us "110%" yeah in potbelly talk that's 5 people over a busy peak. That promised 8 minutes through the line will not happen with only five people on a peak at lunch. They have extremely unrealistic goals for us. We just rolled out the new flats and they are harping us like crazy they are making us be so insanely pushing I see it driving customers away. We we can't hit our goal upper management makes snide snarky remarkes in rude emails. Upper management is also never there a DM is supposed to visit regularly ours visits maybe once a month? She comes in takes our GM off the line during a very busy peak and then complains because we aren't staffed then next week we actually staff what we need because she was upset we were understaffed and she complains we are overstaffed and spending to much. They change their kinda every week. There is so much more I could go into but for the sake of your time I'll leave with one last one, the greed. I have never seen a greedier company, we are only closed thanksgiving and Christmas, but if a customer wants catering on either of these holidays you bet we are open. We don't get time and a half or any compensation for working holidays and the scheduling on these days is unfair and you'll never see a DM work a holiday. Everything's about money they have a joke of an employee discount. The customers can get away with murder. I had a customer screaming in front of me and other customers (children where there too) calling me a "c word" because she thought she didn't have cheese on the sandwich. I was nice at first (I get the whole the customers always right) but when she threw that word out I went to my GM and asked if we could kick her out he said we have to let her stay she's "money". What a joke there were children there and she was yelling profanity! They also keep teenagers later than the law allows in my state along with other illegal practices. I would leave this company in a heartbeat if I could afford to and you bet the second I find another job I am gone.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLove your values. Treat your employees how you'd like to be treated. None of us would mind working holidays if we got something extra! Not everything is about money if you are being too pushy about a promotion you may lose money. Yeah the customers important but so are your employees without then you'd have no one to run your shops and with no shops you'd have no customers and no money. Give realistic goals, with the labor budget you give us we can't have great customer service or happy employees I have also been to many shops and have never ever seen a shop consistently hit labor. It's downright impossible.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    An experience I treasure

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Chicago, IL

    ProsI would with wonderful people, the benefits,and the room for growth made it an amazing place to work

    ConsUnrealistic quotas in place that can make work more stressful than it needed to be and not enough communication across teams without corporate chest beating

    Advice to Senior ManagementDo away with quotas and do more to motivate people to achieve whatever goal you have

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
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    Amazing atmosphere and great co-workers!

    Associate (Former Employee) West Lafayette, IN

    ProsFriendly co-workers and customers, flexible hours, community involvement, overall company culture, great manager

    ConsTraining seemed stretched over long time period, first 2 weeks were very frustrating but ended up getting way better

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Cashier

    Cashier (Former Employee)

    ProsI enjoyed meeting new people, seeing new faces everyday. I made a "family" there with amazing people. Some room for growth but not a lot.... you'd have to be there for like 3 years to be making like $12/hour

    ConsLow pay and not enough hours. I personally started out as a cashier with a lot of customer service experience but I still made minimum wage. On top of that you will not get a "full-time" position unless your going to be a manager or an assistant manager but sometimes even they only get pat-time. The hours they would schedule me would always interfere with my school hours and I would tell them multiple times.

    Advice to Senior ManagementYou need to enforce that there is room for growth because I personally didn't feel that way

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    Sideways Solute

    Associate (Current Employee) Southfield, MI

    Pros-Clean and sanitary workplace (I still eat at PB's long after I've resigned)
    -Meetings designed to ensure everyone is on the same page.
    -Cross training and possibilities for promotion.

    Cons-Everything can fall apart without the right management. Luckily, I had great managers...but I've seen other stores throughout my area with less than acceptable store policy implication.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI loved worked at PB and made some lifelong friends there. But the cleanliness, efficiency of operation, customer satisfaction, and various other factors of are all made or broken by the leaders in charge. Be firm and take charge, be fair and assertive...don't get taken advantage of, your employees are your friends OUTSIDE the workplace.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Great company, great values, perfect environment!

    Shift Lead (Former Employee) West Lafayette, IN

    ProsThe culture of the company is very open to consumer and staff input. The work atmosphere is fun and not stressful. It is a very flexible company.

    ConsIt is a restaurant, so there are times where you have to work on the weekends and week nights. The hourly rate could be more competitive and employee benefits could be improved with offering stock options.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Great culture. I love this company...

    Manager (Current Employee) Houston, TX

    ProsThe culture from the top down is what I love about Potbelly. Their mission statement or "Potbelly Advantage" is what drove me to work here - hearing the passion in which we speak of Potbelly makes me want to do my best here. The people are important - from the managers to the associates. I also love our customers - the regulars and the new ones. Telling people about Potbelly and why we have the best sandwiches is a fun part of my job.

    ConsTakes a long time to get things done. The company is very frugal with their money - abnormally so. They ask a lot of their GM's as far as paperwork and administrative work. Sometimes they ask for GM's/ DM's to focus on one thing and then all of a sudden - change the focus to something else abruptly so that it is difficult to accomplish the original goal. The DM's feel a lot of the pressure from upper level management. Also - sometimes the way in ehich they project labor makes it hard to create a schedule for hourly associates that makes them want to work at Potbelly as opposed to competitors.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIt takes money to make money, so don't be afraid to spend it when needed. Give the shops more labor dollars. The managers work very hard.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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