One of my favorite restaurants to grab lunch from is Potbelly’s Sandwich Shop, otherwise as Potbelly. Since I’m not a fan of the drive-thru, I usually order from inside and then eat from inside my car. Something I’ve noticed the last few times I’ve gone into my local restaurant in New Lenox is the lack of napkins.
I’ve noticed this because after I get my food, I typically grab a few napkins to throw inside my bag. At my local restaurant, the napkin containers used to be on every dine-in table, making them easy to find. A few visits ago, I noticed they were no longer there. When I turned around to see if they were anywhere on the front-counter near the cash register, they were not. I finally found one napkin container, over by the pop machine and somewhat hidden behind the straws and lids.
After noticing this again today, I beg the question. Is the sandwich chain in financial trouble, is that particular location doing poorly, or is the local restaurant manager a cheap skate that hopes to pile up on nickels and dimes as a result of purchasing less napkins?
I did do some Google searches from my car about Potbelly’s overall business, and while reports suggest investors aren’t bullish towards the company’s stock, the restaurant overall doesn’t seem to be in a noticeable bad spot, asides from the fact that the restaurant industry is challenging and sandwich shops have seemingly become a dime a dozen.
While I don’t know for sure what Potbelly’s financial situation is, either at the corporate level or for that individual location, as a consumer, my opinion is that something so ridiculous as to hiding napkins is an awful move as far as optics go. I will at some point have to visit a different location to see if the same stunt is happening there.
On the positive, at least you can still get your own napkins from that particular Potbelly’s. At Subway, you can only get napkins from an employee behind the counter.