I always thought of Peter as a good businessman. I think I even understood that when I was 17. I'm sure he made a lot of money by selling the business, but I notice his name does not appear in Potbelly's S-1 filing, so I guess he could have made more -- especially with Potbelly shares more than doubling in their first trading day.
If you are a fan of Potbelly in Arizona or Missouri or Pennsylvania or here in New York City, you may be interested to know that the subs (is that what they call them at the chains here in New York -- where "hero" is king? I never paid attention.) taste exactly the way they did in the 1980s. They are obviously far more expensive today than they were then, but they remain a relative bargain, despite being slightly too small to constitute a full meal. I think they also offer larger subs now, and even though that was probably a good idea, it bugs me just because, well, it's different. That said, my favorite sub -- "The Wreck"-- wasn't around in the 80's, so that's a good thing.
A couple of other observations about change and Potbelly that I will attempt to blow out of all proportion to indulge my passion for idiosyncratic social commentary.
First, the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are sweeter than I remember. The thing that was so great about those cookies was that they weren't too sweet, but it's just like a business school graduate who relies on market research rather than gut to make all desserts too sweet. Also, the cookies come in packages that list all the unpronounceable ingredients on them. I suspect they used to be far simpler. If they weren't, I was better off not knowing.Second, when I went into a Potbelly in New York for the first time, I of course had to reminisce with the cashier about my teenage experience. She was friendly -- seemed genuinely excited. But she was a West Indian immigrant in her forties. People like that -- adults with families to take care of -- didn't work at Potbelly in the 1980s. You might argue this woman has a better job today than a person with similar capabilities would have had in the 1980s. I am skeptical. I think summer high-school jobs have become full-time jobs for too many adults.
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