Founded in 1988 by Anne F. Beiler and her husband, Auntie Anne’s is an American franchised chain of pretzel stores. They offer items like pretzels, beverages, and dips. Also, they sell Pretzels & More Homemade Baking Mix, in case you want to make your own pretzels at home.
Auntie Anne’s Pretzels franchise overview
Auntie Anne’s Pretzels is an American franchise that offers fresh baked soft pretzels, related food, lemonade, and other beverages. The franchisor is Auntie Anne’s Franchisor SPV LLC, which is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Focus Brands LLC. The company offers franchises for a single Auntie Anne’s Concession Shop and an Auntie Anne’s Shop. These are:
Co-Branded Shop – that is a full shop where the franchisee makes and sells a variety of Auntie Annes’s products in combination with other items authorized to be marketed under another brand’s franchise system, like Jambe or Cinnabon. The franchisee has to sign a franchise agreement, agree with a co-branded schedule from the other brand, and buy a franchise to operate a co-branded shop.
Concession Shop – that may be a food truck, a concession trailer, or a temporary stand at a farmer’s market where a franchisee makes and sells a variety of Auntie Anne’s products.
Shop – this is where the franchisee makes and sells a full range of Auntie Anne’s items, which may include alcoholic drinks.
In some situations, and depending on the availability, the franchisees may be offered the right to operate and lease a Satellite Retail Unit as an additional selling location where an existing shop is located.
Also, qualified franchisees may be offered the right to operate a Pretzel Bike Unit as an extra selling unit within a one-mile radius of the place where is located the franchisee’s current shop.
In the tables below you will find the estimative costs for investing in an Auntie Anne’s franchise.
Estimated Initial Investment
|Name of Fee||Low||High|
|Initial Franchise Fee||$35,500||$35,500|
|Construction and Build Out Costs||$27,000||$194,000|
|Grand Opening Marketing||$1,000||$5,000|
|Legal and Accounting Fees||$5,000||$10,000|
|Menu Board, Graphics, and Interior Signage||$250||$12,000|
|Misc. Opening Costs/Office Supplies||$13,000||$25,000|
|Training and Support Fees||$0||$3,500|
|Travel and Living Expenses During Training||$1,000||$7,500|
|Additional Funds (3 months)||$15,000||$51,000|
|ESTIMATED TOTAL* (excluding real estate)||$146,050||$523,500|
Training – short presentation
In order to operate an Auntie Anne’s franchise, the franchisee has to undergo training. This training must be attended by a manager, who can be the primary contact or the franchisee, an employee who is involved in business operations, and any other person designated by the franchisor. All of them should be at least 18 years old.
The management training program must be successfully completed by at least one of the required trainees, a minimum of two weeks before the shop opening. All of the initial training program, or parts of it, may be held online or offline at the corporate headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, or at other locations authorized by the franchisor.
Currently, the course consists of 24 to 64 hours of on-the-job training and 48 hours of classroom training.
From time to time, the franchisor may organize training sessions, conferences, teleconferences, conventions, webinars, and programs on any subjects related to the business.
According to the Franchise Agreement, the franchise has the right to produce and sell Auntie Anne’s products at retail only from a certain Auntie Anne’s Shop location accepted by the franchisor. Under these agreements, the franchisee has the right only to sell Auntie Anne’s products at retail from the shop and the franchisor does not offer the franchisee any exclusive territory or other territorial rights.
Restrictions and Obligations
Investors interested only in an absentee management business are not recommended to invest in a shop. The franchisees have to set an appointment with a primary contact who will be responsible for and have the authority to make the decision regarding the shop and its operation. Also, franchisees must have a minimum of one certified manager who is dedicated to the shop. The franchisees are allowed to offer the customers only the products approved in writing by the franchisor. They are not allowed to produce or sell any other products that are not authorized by the franchisor.
Terms of Agreement and Renewal
The initial franchise term is for a period of twenty years. The term will be ten years if the franchisee operates a concession shop.
If the franchisee complies with the renewal requirements, one twenty-year renewal term is also available. There is no option for a renewal term for the franchisees operating a concession shop.
The initial franchise fee for the first two full shops, including the shops owned by affiliates, includes the expenses with the franchisor offering a representative or more to offer assistance and on-site opening training at the full shop, for at least two days when starting operations. The franchisor may also send a representative for at least two days for a concession shop, but this is not a must.
On the other hand, the franchisor does not offer financing for opening inventory, trade fixtures, and other purposes. But it can refer franchisees to financing or leasing companies that are not affiliated with it. However, at this moment, the franchisor does not guarantee a franchisee’s obligation, lease, or note, for any lender, entity, or person.
What the franchisor can do when it comes to financing, is to hire an advisor who will offer franchisees consulting services regarding the securing of financing. Though the franchisor will not be responsible for the services provided by the consultant, and if a franchisee needs a consultant, he must sign a form of agreement with the consultant.
Also, Auntie Anne’s is involved in the Small Business Administration (SBA) Franchise Registry Program. If necessary, the franchisor can change the Franchise Agreement to comply with SBA requirements for franchisees to take part in specific SBA loan programs.