Amid a sea of sandwich restaurants, Potbelly Sandwich Shop stands out for having one of the more unique brand names in the market. The potbelly stove in the logo and the stores’ interiors are meant to make you feel warm, cozy, and hungry.
If you’re a veteran to the Potbelly sandwich menu or a newcomer wanting a new sandwich haunt, here’s a bellyful of proven tips to keep your tummy and wallet full.
1. Sign up for Potbelly Perks to earn free entrees every $100 you spend.
Once you sign up for Potbelly Sandwich Shop’s rewards program (called Potbelly Perks), you’ll earn 10 points for every $1.00 you spend (excluding gift card purchases, taxes, tips, and delivery fees).
Once you’ve earned 1,000 points (which equals $100 spent), you can redeem them for any sandwich, salad, or Potbelly soup worth up to $10.00 in value — which means you’re getting up to 10% of your spend back!
Your points will expire after 365 days if you haven’t used your Potbelly Perks account.
2. You get a free original sandwich after you place your first order.
It doesn’t take long to notch your first reward with Potbelly Perks. After you create an account and make your first order of at least $3.00, you receive a reward in the app for one free original-size sandwich, which has a value up to $8.79. You have two weeks to redeem that first reward.
3. Receive a free cookie on your birthday through Potbelly Perks.
Oh, and don’t forget to enter your birthday when you sign up for Potbelly Perks, because you get an offer in the app for a free cookie ($1.69 value) on your special day. I love a good birthday freebie!
4. You’ll want to buy Potbelly e-gift cards in multiples of $25.00 to get a 20% discount.
For every $25 you spend on e-gift cards at Potbelly, you’ll receive a 20% discount — $25 cards cost $20, $50 cards cost $40, $75 cards cost $60, and so on. That discount doesn’t apply to any other denomination, however. A $40 gift card is still $40, for example, so you may as well spend $40 on a $50 gift card instead. This deal is only for Potbelly Perks members and only available through the website or on the app.
Discounted Potbelly Sandwich Shop gift cards can be purchased from sites like Raise.com for up to 9.3% off.
5. Get a free cookie when you complete a short survey about your in-store visit.
Hang on to your receipts when you dine in; they’ll earn you a treat.
Follow the instructions on the back of your receipt to take a survey. You’ll enter your unique 20-digit survey number, located in the top half of the receipt.
The survey takes about five minutes to complete, and you get an email with a 12-digit validation code. Write the code down (on the receipt or somewhere else) and bring it in for a free cookie with your next sandwich or salad purchase.
6. Rack up rewards points twice as fast by eating at Potbelly Sandwich Shop on Thursdays.
You can speed up the process of earning rewards points by shopping at Potbelly Sandwich Shop on Thursdays, which are double point days. The restaurant has also offered triple-point days in the past, most recently over Mother’s Day Weekend 2021 and on April Fool’s Day. They announce those details on their social media feeds and on the app.
7. Save up to 20% when you mix and match Potbelly’s Pick-Your-Pair offers.
Potbelly Sandwich Shop lets customers choose two of the following: “skinny” sandwiches (six-inch sandwiches with less meat and bread than the original size), cups of soup and/or half salads. These options are great for saving money on a Potbelly meal.
There are three Pick-Your-Pairs on the Potbelly menu. . .
- Skinny sandwich and cup of soup: Choose any of 17 skinny sandwiches and an 8 oz cup of soup, chili, or macaroni and cheese for $8.29.
- Cup of soup and half salad: Choose one of four half-size salads and an 8 oz cup of soup, chili, or macaroni and cheese for $8.99.
- Skinny sandwich and half salad: Choose any of 17 skinny sandwiches and one of four half-size salads for $9.49.
Depending on your selections, you can earn some pretty substantial savings by ordering a Pick-Your-Pair. Say you wanted the most expensive sandwich on the menu, the Steakhouse Beef. A skinny version of this sandwich costs $5.69 by itself. All cups of soup (including the mac & cheese and chili) cost $3.89, which means you’d spend $9.58. At $8.29, the Pick-Your-Pair saves you $1.28 (or 13.4%).
All half salads on the Potbelly menu cost $6.19, which means every soup-and-salad Pick-Your-Pair selection would cost $10.08 if purchased a la carte — a $1.09 savings (or 10.8%) when you choose the pair.
The most value is found on the skinny sandwich and half salad menu. The aforementioned Steakhouse Beef skinny sandwich and any half salad would cost $11.88 if purchased individually, which means you’ll save $2.39 (or 20.1%) by choosing the combo instead.
8. Add as much lettuce, tomato, hot peppers, pickles, and onions as you want — they’re free to add.
Most sandwich stores let you pile on lots of free and extra toppings, and although Potbelly has a shorter list than their competitors, you can load up on as much lettuce, tomato, hot peppers, pickles, and onions as you like for no additional cost. These premium toppings will cost a bit extra:
- Adding avocado to any sandwich is $0.99 extra on a Skinny, $1.79 on an original, and $2.49 on a BIG.
- Mushrooms are another premium add-on, costing $0.49 on a Skinny, $0.99 on an original, and $1.29 on a BIG.
- Slapping bacon on a sandwich costs $1.19, $1.99, and $2.79 based on size.
Watching your calories? You can ask your server for “thin-cut” bread, which takes about one-third of the bread out in a wedge.
9. Buying a kids’ meal ($4.99) is an affordable way to eat a light lunch on a budget.
When it comes to getting the most bang for your sandwich buck, kids’ meals at Potbelly Sandwich Shop might be your best bet.
You have four four-inch sandwich options to choose from — ham and Swiss, turkey and cheese, PB&J, or grilled cheese — and you get a drink, applesauce, and mini cookie to go with it for just $4.99.
10. Find Potbelly promo codes and contests on social media.
Potbelly Sandwich Shop is active on social media, and they provide a mix of reminders about special rewards days, offers like BOGO free on National Sandwich Day, and new menu announcements. The content on the social feeds is the same stuff they send via email, but it’s another way to stay connected to the eatery and find out about Potbelly deals.
In mid-December 2021, Potbelly upped the ante on their social accounts by offering their followers a chance to win a year of free sandwiches by entering into a game with their Potbelly Perks account information. This promotion was exclusive to the social media accounts.
11. Get 50% more chili for an extra $1.40 when you order a bowl versus a cup.
Potbelly soups, chili, and mac & cheese all have uniform pricing: an 8 oz cup for $3.89 and a 12 oz bowl for $5.29. You’re spending about $0.49/oz when you buy a cup and just over $0.44/oz on a bowl.
Ultimately, you’ll spend about 36% more money to get 50% more food by going with the bigger size, which always sounds like good math to me.
12. Skip Potbelly boxed lunches — you may actually end up paying more for buying in bulk.
If you’ve got a group of six or more to feed, there are some tasty bulk options on the Potbelly catering menu. Those options won’t save you any money, though.
The Basic Belly Box offers your choice of 10 original size sandwiches and a bag of chips for $9.29 apiece, with a minimum order of six required. But here’s the thing — if you were to buy a bag of chips ($1.49) and an original Turkey Breast and Swiss ($7.09) by themselves, you’d only spend $8.58. You actually save money by not getting the value box.
The most “value” you’d get out of one of these Basic Belly Boxes is if you ordered the Mediterranean Veggie, which costs $8.09 a la carte. Still, the $0.29 savings isn’t much to write home about.
There are also Perfect Belly Boxes, which are the same as the Basic Belly Boxes but with a cookie included. Those boxes cost $10.99 each, which offers zero savings, considering a cookie by itself costs $1.69. A Basic Belly Box plus a cookie equals — wait for it — $10.98.
13. Potbelly catering “bundles” are even worse; you’ll pay up to 27.7% more than buying a la carte.
Also on the catering side of Potbelly’s menu are various bundles to feed bigger groups of people. Unfortunately, buying bundles doesn’t save money, either. It’s much more expensive, in fact.
Those catering bundles include:
- Small bundle for 6: Up to three different original-sized sandwiches (a few higher-priced exemptions apply) cut in half, with six chips and six cookies for $51.19. Ordered separately, this package would cost $42.75 — $8.44 less than the bundle (or 16.5% less).
- Large bundle for 10: Up to five different original-sized sandwiches (a few higher-priced exemptions apply) cut in half, with 10 chips and 10 cookies for $87.19. Ordered separately, this package would cost $71.25 — $15.94 less than the bundle (or 18.3% less).
- Box ‘O Sandwiches for 10: Up to five different original-sized sandwiches (a few higher-priced exemptions apply) cut in half for $54.99. Ordered separately, this package would cost $39.75 — $15.24 less than the bundle (or 27.7% less).
- The Potbelly Bundle for 10: Up to five different original-sized sandwiches (a few higher-priced exemptions apply) cut in half, with 10 chips, 10 cookies, a group-sized salad, and a gallon of tea or lemonade for $148.59. Ordered separately, this package would cost $131.93 — $16.66 less than the bundle (or 11.2% less).
14. You’ll pay about 25% more when you order delivery through third-party services like GrubHub.
Potbelly Sandwich Shop offers delivery through third-party services like DoorDash and UberEats. As with all delivery options, however, you’ll pay more than you would in store.
For example, an original-size Potbelly Wreck sandwich costs only $7.89 in store, but if you order through GrubHub or DoorDash, it will set you back $9.89. (It’s even more expensive, $10.09, through Uber Eats).
So you’re spending at least 25.3% more by choosing delivery — and that’s BEFORE you factor in any applicable fees, tips, and delivery charges (in my area it costs $1.99 for GrubHub, $3.00 for DoorDash, and $0.99 for Uber Eats).
These price hikes are reflected across the entire menu on all the delivery platforms.
15. Working at Potbelly Sandwich Shop means a 50% discount on your meals, but only during a shift.
Nothing gets you the full experience of a restaurant like working there, and Potbelly Sandwich Shop provides quite a few benefits and perks for their employees.
Managers at Potbelly receive one free meal while they’re working, while associates get half-price meals ONLY while they’re on the clock. (No discount during time off.)
16. Check with every Potbelly Sandwich Shop you visit to see if they have any local specialties.
Potbelly shops, especially in college towns, often have special (sometimes off-menu) sandwiches that are specific to their town. For example, the location in Champaign, Illinois, has the “Orange and Blue,” which is a chicken sandwich with cheddar and blue cheese. You can’t get it at any other Potbelly location.