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Founding Chairman

Bryant Keil

Potbelly Founding Chairman

In 1996, fueled by a powerful combination of intense taste buds and the desire to spread the love of the growing Potbelly fans, proven entrepreneur, Bryant Keil, acquired Potbelly Sandwich Works, a unique and wonderful neighborhood sandwich joint located on Chicago's Lincoln Avenue. Since 1996, Potbelly has grown from the one shop on Lincoln Avenue, to include over 400 shops.

In 2001, Crain's Chicago Business tapped Bryant Keil as one of its "40 under 40" young business leaders. He was named the 2003 Illinois Restaurateur of the Year by the Illinois Restaurant Association. Bryant was the 2007 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award recipient. INC Magazine listed Potbelly as one of our nation's 500 fastest growing companies and Crain's listed Potbelly as the 8th fastest growing company in Chicago. In 2008, Bryant was also named a Henry Crown Fellow, a part of the Aspen Institute. Among his other accomplishments are his involvement in investment and entrepreneurial ventures, primarily focused in the hospitality industry.

Bryant's entrepreneurial spirit and belief that every neighborhood deserves a Potbelly Sandwich Shop lives on in Potbelly's culture today, and in Potbelly's vision to bring a shop to neighborhoods across the country and internationally.