5 Things You Didn't Know About Auntie Anne's Pretzels Franchise
Auntie Anne’s is a global food franchise that sells American pretzels and other sweet and savoury dough-based snacks. The business began its life in 1988, when “Auntie” Anne and Jonas Beiler set up a pretzel and lemonade stall at a farmers’ market in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. Passers-by loved their homemade pretzels, and so Auntie Anne’s was launched as a business. By 1992, 100 Auntie Anne’s stores were up and running in the US. 1995 saw the first international outlet, which opened in Indonesia.
In the 21st century, the brand introduced new concepts that remain on the menu to this day; for example, in 2004, ‘pretzel dogs’ – hotdogs baked in pretzel dough – arrived, followed by ‘mini pretzel dogs’ in 2013. In the same year, the brand expanded to incorporate food trucks selling pretzels at amusement parks. The franchise builds on its success by ensuring that it moves with the times. In 2014 it launched its own ‘My Pretzel Perks’ app, which rewards loyal customers.
Today, Auntie Anne’s has more than 1,800 locations across 25 countries worldwide.
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Auntie Anne's Pretzels UK
There are currently 36 Auntie Anne’s branches in the UK. Investors looking to benefit from the established business model will require £18,000 in franchise fees and a minimum total investment of £135,000. Of this, around £40,000 will go towards equipment and £75,000 will be spent on construction fees. All franchisees must also pay an ongoing 8 percent royalty fee.
Auntie Anne’s supports its franchisees in all aspects of the company, providing training in business operations and practices, marketing and HR. Auntie Anne’s will also teach franchisees how to bake the perfect pretzel, before the store opening, and offer ongoing support to ensure that the business lives up to its full potential.
Auntie Anne's Pretzels Jobs
Job vacancies can be found on the Auntie Anne’s website’s careers section. This is where candidates should search and apply for their preferred jobs. Job vacancies are also available with FOCUS brands, the company which owns Auntie Anne’s, as well as various other food franchises, such as Cinnabon and Jamba Juice.
5 Things You Didn’t Know
So, having gone over some basic information regarding Auntie Anne’s, here are five things you might not know about the world-renowned pretzel company:
1. It offers an enormous range of products and has developed a menu that now includes 32 different pastries. Customers can choose from ‘original’ pretzels, twists on the classic, flavoured pretzel nuggets, pretzel dogs, breakfast buns and ‘snack as meal’ products that can be eaten as a lunch or dinner. In addition to this, Auntie Anne’s are developing a new pretzel sandwich concept. The brand is dedicated to improving its food offering, and as a result has expanded its menu to provide innovative items such as cheese-stuffed pretzel nuggets, pretzel pizzas and dough-wrapped chocolate bars.
2. It truly cares about customer satisfaction. Auntie Anne’s ensures that the food it serves is fresh and high in quality. As a result, 90 percent of its ingredients are sourced locally, and all pretzels are handmade on-site, baked ‘on the spot to hit the spot’ and sold within half an hour of being cooked. No pretzels are pre-made or frozen, meaning that Auntie Anne’s is a rare example of a takeaway franchise that offers snacking foods that are freshly made. What’s more, the brand offers to replace any pretzel that the customer doesn’t love, and offers pairing suggestions on its website, with its “Try it with…” feature. Most importantly, Auntie Anne’s provides clear and accurate nutritional and allergy information for each product on its website.
3. It also caters for vegans. Customers who prefer to stick to a vegan diet will have no problem ordering food at Auntie Anne’s. Auntie Anne’s vegan pretzels include the ‘original’, ‘cinnamon sugar’, ‘almond’, ‘raisin’ and ‘jalapeño’. Whilst the standard versions of these pretzels are not vegan, they can be easily adapted if the customer asks them to be made without butter. Vegans can also enjoy the company’s marinara sauce and sweet pretzel dip, and most drinks, including the frozen lemonade and fruit drinks.
4. It gives back to the community. The pretzel chain only came about because Anne Beiler began baking and selling pretzels so that her husband could open a therapy centre to provide free family counselling services for the local community. It just so happened that Anne enjoyed selling pretzels so much she took her market stall one step further, opening her own stores. In 1995, Auntie Anne’s launched the C.A.R.E.S. (Community Action Requires Employee Support) Committee, a non-profit organisation which helps local people. Auntie Anne’s have also established partnerships with hunger relief organisations to reduce the amount of food wasted by the company. As of 2010, more than 11 million Auntie Anne’s products have been donated via the Food Donation Connection. The pretzel franchise also works alongside Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), which supports the mission to find a cure for childhood cancer. So far, over $4 million (over £3 million) have been raised for ALSF by in-store fundraising campaigns, donation boxes, collaborative events and an annual C.A.R.E.S. golf tournament.
5. Interested investors can choose between a range of business models. Options include the standard shop unit, kiosk unit and retail satellite unit. The standard store requires a footprint of 400-500 square feet to ensure space for seating, a gelato cabinet, coffee-making equipment, and breakfast and sandwich foods, as well as the pretzel products. A kiosk unit requires a much smaller footprint of just 100-150 square feet. A retail satellite unit, or SRU, offers a slightly different model, selling products baked at a larger store and transported to the SRU. In the future, investors could also benefit from starting a franchise based from a food truck or mobile container, as Auntie Anne’s is looking into franchising opportunities such as these.
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©
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