A pair of new-to-Richmond franchise restaurants is vying for a slice of the Innsbrook lunch crowd.
Franchisees of Potbelly Sandwich Works and Pie Five Pizza have signed leases at Colonnades West Shopping Center at West Broad Street and Cox Road with plans to open early next year. The stores will be the first reaches into the Richmond market for both the Chicago-based sandwich shop and the Texas-based pizza joint.
David Duke, a first-time franchise owner, plans to open Potbelly in February or March. He said Innsbrook was the driving force behind his decision to locate at Colonnades West.
“I chose that location opposed to Short Pump because of the high day traffic,” Duke said. “Potbelly thrives on lunch business, and on that side of Broad Street I actually think that’s a halfway decent source of nighttime business, too.”
Potbelly has signed on for about 1,900 square feet and will share a building with Randstad Staffing, Eye Level Learning Center and Super Cuts.
Duke hopes to open four to five other Potbelly locations locally in the next couple of years. The brand charges a $40,000 franchising fee for each location and takes a royalty of between 6 and 7 percent of revenue, Duke said.
Potbelly is coming off of an October IPO, which Duke said would be used by the brand to fuel growth of corporate-owned stores.
“They are only franchising secondary and tertiary markets. Wherever you have, say, an NFL football team, you can bank on that being a corporate market,” he said. “[The IPO] helps us just from a PR perspective. It had a very successful IPO – obviously, in my position, you want that more than the opposite.”
Next to Duke’s venture, Pie Five will take over a 2,200-square-foot storefront in the same building. Jeff and Deborah Percey, who also operate two local Five Guys Burgers and Fries locations, are the area’s first Pie Five franchisees. Jeff Percey said he liked the Pie Five concept because of its customizable menu and quick service environment.
“Fast casual has already proven to be the wave of the future – obviously, Five Guys led the way in burgers, Chipotle leads the way in Mexican,” he said. “I think all the trends in the industry are showing that people really like to customize, so I think it’s in the sweet spot right now. Being pizza, I think it just makes it that much more appealing.”
Pie Five charges a $25,000 franchise fee per location and takes a 6 percent royalty, according to its website. The Perceys have Pie Five franchise rights for the entire Richmond metropolitan area and hope to grow to eight total stores.
The Perceys’ first Five Guys location sits just across Cox Road from Colonnades West.
The Innsbrook area also hosts the Richmond area’s first Zoup! Fresh Soup Company franchise at Parkside Marketplace.
Rent at Colonnades West goes for between $22 and $24 per square foot, said Jim Ashby of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer, who represented Potbelly in the leasing process. The restaurants will be the first eateries in their building at Colonnades West.
“For many years, we had a restriction by a national tenant that excluded us from doing restaurants in that section of the shopping center,” Ashby said. “We’re ecstatic about [the restriction being lifted], because it will help with foot traffic to the center, which will help all the neighboring tenants.”