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Passionate about pretzels

Passionate about pretzels

Auntie Anne’s, the world’s largest soft pretzel chain, is searching for franchisees to share in their success

Auntie Anne’s are seriously passionate about pretzels. Handcrafted on site, freshly baked and sold within 30 minutes, they guarantee their pretzels are something to be remembered.

When ‘Auntie’ Anne baked her first pretzels over 30 years ago in 1988 at a Pennsylvanian farmer’s market, she wanted to create a great product and give people an amazing experience. After some experimentation, she created something far better than ‘great’ and customers kept coming back for “the best pretzel they had ever tasted”.

Fast forward to 2019, and Auntie Anne’s is now a global brand with over 1800 stores worldwide in more than 25 countries including Thailand, China, Russia, Egypt and UAE. In the UK and Ireland, they currently have 38 franchised stores with one corporate store.

This year they have already opened two new sites in Solihull and Fulham, plus reopened their Hammersmith site after moving to a more prime location. They expect to open another 5 this year in locations including Dublin, central London, Sheffield and Bristol.

From hot dogs to pretzel pizzas

Whilst they are best known for their delicious soft pretzels, they have evolved from the classic original and cinnamon pretzels from 30 years ago (although these are still best sellers!), and now have a huge range of products. As everything is made by hand at each store from the original pretzel mix, they can make an extensive variety of products to cater for a wide range of customers, at any time of the day. All come freshly baked with a 30 minute shelf life to guarantee freshness.

And it’s not just about the pretzel! Their pretzel hot dogs are very popular - delicious tasty hot dogs wrapped in a golden pretzel – yum! Nuggets are a perfectly bite-sized and portable tasty snack - which can be either sweet, original or stuffed with cheese or a mini hot dog. The pretzel-based breakfast buns are made from their pretzel dough and filled with various combinations of breakfast sausages, bacon and eggs - a great way to start the day and super popular at travel hub locations. Pretzel pizzas are shaped like a pizza, but using pretzel dough as the base, to give the pizza a delicious sweetness, complementing the savoury toppings wonderfully. And that’s just to name but a few! They also have an array of limited-timeonly products which are launched for specific campaigns to keep the menu new and exciting. For example, Mini Smores Bites will be released in October – pretzel bites filled with melted chocolate and marshmallows.

Drinks to accompany their pretzels are also a major focus for Auntie Anne’s. Their cold drinks include their famous homemade lemonade, dutch ice and in some stores milkshakes. This summer they are relaunching their flavoured lemonade range – Lemonade Mixers – in three great flavours, blueberry, passionfruit and strawberry. Some sites also have a range of hot drinks and the bestever gelato.

Expansion in the UK

Stores are classically located within shopping centres, either in shop units or mid-mall kiosks. However, they are now looking at high street shop units for more café style stores, travel hubs, mobile units, outdoor schemes and shopping parks. “As long as we have the power and space to make our products, we truly believe customers all around the country will be queuing to buy them, wherever they may be, and we need excellent franchisees to grow with us on this journey”. Says Victoria Gale, Marketing and Franchise Recruitment Manager.

Your success is our success

“We want franchisees who have the passion to turn perfect pretzels into a successful business and our team will be there to support you every step of the way”, says Victoria. “From your initial meetings with us, to finding a location using our London-based property agents, we will find the perfect store for you and negotiate the best deal with the landlord. From there we will guide you through the various steps to make sure you feel happy with the process at all times.

You will go through our training programme which consists of two weeks at our Head Office in Buckinghamshire, including a week of operations training in our purpose built training kitchen. We will help with recruiting your first team of employees and planning your Grand Opening event. During your training and recruitment stages, our experienced shopfitters will be building and fitting your very own store. Finally, you will have another week of training in store with your newly recruited team of employees. Once the store is open, we will be there to ensure everything is going to plan and that you are hitting your financial targets, this, after all, is a partnership - your success is our success.

“We’re looking for franchisees from all over the UK (especially Scotland and the North East currently) and Ireland. A new kiosk start-up cost is around £145,000 with a shop unit around £180,000 (dependant on the size and state of the unit). From this we advise about 30% - 40% of your own cash, with the rest raised through leasing and bank loans. We will put you in touch with our trusted franchise finance broker who will be able to guide you through the finance process.” If this franchise sounds like everything you have been searching for, contact Victoria Gale, Franchise Recruitment Manager for more information on the brand and the opportunity: franchising@

At a glance Auntie Anne’s

Established: 1988
Number of franchised units: 38
Location of outlets: 39 in UK and Ireland
Investment Range: £145,000 - £180,000
Minimum capital required: £40,000
Contact: Victoria Gale,

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