In the most recent episode of Hospitality Hangout, hosts Michael Schatzberg, “The Restaurant Guy,” and Jimmy Frischling, “The Finance Guy,” welcomed Adam Golomb, the Chief Executive Officer of Primanti Bros., as their guest. The podcast delved into the remarkable journey and ongoing success of Primanti Bros., a renowned restaurant known for its iconic sandwiches since 1933. Golomb shared valuable insights, shedding light on the brand’s expansion, virtual brands, technology integration, and his personal experiences.
Primanti Bros., now celebrating its 90th anniversary, began its journey in Pittsburgh back in 1933. Today, the chain has grown significantly, with 41 open restaurants across four states and four more under construction, projecting 45 locations by year-end. Golomb emphasized the brand’s fame, owing to its signature sandwich: a combination of choice meats, coleslaw, French fries, tomato, and provolone cheese, all packed between two fresh-baked Italian bread slices.
When discussing how Primanti Bros. ensures its long-standing brand remains attractive and relevant, Golomb emphasized the importance of staying true to their core identity while expanding the menu to cater to a broader audience. In addition to their renowned sandwiches, the restaurant now offers freshly baked New York-style pizza, spicy wings, salads, and burgers, acknowledging the diverse preferences of their customers. Golomb also highlighted their digital-first approach, utilizing technology to drive the business and adapting rapidly during the pandemic.
During the podcast, Golomb highlighted Primanti Bros. introduction of three virtual brands—18th Street Pizza, Wing Nut, and Get Loaded. These concepts diversify the menu and have become top-selling items alongside the famous sandwiches. The hosts inquired about the performance and demand for these virtual brands, to which Golomb expressed the positive response from consumers. However, he also acknowledged the challenges posed by third-party delivery companies, which often resist including virtual brands on their platforms. Golomb emphasized the need to find solutions that maintain sales and navigate the evolving landscape of the delivery market.
The conversation also touched upon Primanti Bros. limited-time offerings (LTOs), which occur every six to eight weeks. These LTOs introduce new cycles of culinary creations, keeping the menu fresh and exciting. While they previously experimented with monthly LTOs, operational challenges led them to adjust the frequency to ensure smooth supply chain management. Adam Golomb unveiled the current LTO at Primanti Bros., Hot Honey. This unique and enticing offering further exemplifies the brand’s commitment to innovation and delighting their customers with distinct flavors.
Additionally, Golomb shared breaking news during the podcast, announcing Primanti Bros. first-ever amusement park location at Pittsburgh’s renowned Kennywood Park. He expressed the brand’s excitement about the venture, which involves remodeling an existing concession stand to celebrate both Primanti Bros. 90th year and Kennywood Park’s 125th anniversary.
They also spoke about Primanti Bros. strategic use of technology and their commitment to being a digital-first company. Golomb discussed their complex tech stack and the importance of selecting best-in-breed solutions that integrate seamlessly with their existing systems. The goal is to enhance sales, improve guest experiences, and streamline operations. The CEO emphasized their openness to exploring new technologies and evaluating their impact on driving sales and benefiting the team and customers.
Golomb further engaged in the segment of the podcast, where “Two Truths and a Lie” about his past were shared. Schatzberg and Frischling made their guesses, so be sure to tune into this episode to get the answer.
Through this conversation, listeners can gain insights into Primanti Bros. enduring success, innovative strategies, expansion plans, and Golomb’s personal experiences. With their iconic sandwiches, virtual brands, and emphasis on technology integration, Primanti Bros. continues to evolve while staying true to its roots, providing a delightful dining experience for patrons worldwide.