Project Management 

Potbelly Centralized Catering Kitchen

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From Concept to Implementation

Project lead for Chicago-based Potbelly Sandwich Works (300-stores) to create, construct and open a centralized catering kitchen in Chicago, servicing 23 store trade areas. Gray Cat was the overall project lead and led the operations, marketing, design, analysis and IT teams to get the project completed.
Working with the Senior Management team at Potbelly, Gray Cat was assigned a dotted-line reporting team within the Potbelly organization to manage all of the steps to developing and constructing a centralized catering kitchen. Included in the dotted-line report team were representatives of:

     - Operations, Marketing, Facilities, IT, Accounting, Financial Analysis, Human Resources, and Training

Gray Cat developed a 23-page, 600-task project plan incorporating all departmental co-dependencies and task time lines. Utilizing a weekly reporting structure, the team methodically worked its way through their respective tasks while identifying conflicting issues and resource allocation. Each milestone was recorded and the project plan was developed to ensure an on-time, on-budget accomplishment. Gray Cat was the functional overall project lead. 

Bob Gregg 

Former Operations Manager, Potbelly Sandwich Works

“John is an “A” player. He brings a great deal of industry knowledge and experience to the equation and utilizes critical thinking and planning skills to organize and unify a team. He understands the importance of nuance in the effect of a project’s outcome and ensures the team is thinking robustly in each process and function. I hope to have the opportunity to work with John in the future and would recommend him highly to anyone looking to kick-start a stalled process, project or program that needs to be taken to the next level in your organization.”  

John Matthews, President & CEO, Gray Cat Enterprises, Inc.

John Matthews is the Founder and President of Gray Cat Enterprises, Inc. a Raleigh, NC-based management consulting company. Gray Cat specializes in strategic project management and consulting for multi-unit operations; interim executive management; and strategic planning. Mr. Matthews has over 30 years of senior-level executive experience in the retail industry, involving three dynamic multi-unit companies. Mr. Matthews experience includes President of Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches; Vice President of Marketing, Merchandising, Corporate Communications, Facilities and Real Estate for Clark Retail Enterprises/White Hen Pantry; and National Marketing Director at Little Caesar's Pizza! Pizza!