Potbelly Sandwich Shops has a comical solution for parents who are stressed out after spending endless hours at home with their kids: child-free parking spots where they can eat in peace.
Potbelly is testing the “alone time” parking spots outside Potbelly locations in suburbs near its Chicago headquarters. Parents can order pickup through the app or site, park in one of the designated spots and then call the restaurant to say they’re ready for curbside pickup. A Potbelly staffer will walk the food out to the car. The chain does point out that any children should be left at home “with a trusted adult.”
The idea comes from the chain’s internal creative team. “These tantrum- and algebra-free spots will let parents enjoy some privacy when there’s little left at home,” brand creative director Hassan S. Ali said in a statement.
The marketing approach, which comes days before Mother’s Day and weeks before Father’s Day, acknowledges with a wink the time parents are spending at home with their kids, as COVID-19 has shuttered schools and offices.
“Of course I love my family but my wildest fantasy right now is eating a sandwich in peace and quiet,” Potbelly Chief Marketing Officer Brandon Rhoten said in a statement, as he works from the house he shares with his wife and three kids.
Potbelly joked that if its experiment works it may add another spot designated for teens tired of watching their parents’ awkward TikTok attempts.
“Seriously, there should be an age limit on some apps,” said Lucy Rhoten, the CMO's 12-year-old daughter.