October 07, 2011 // Franchising.com // LANCASTER, Pa.– Auntie Anne’s, the franchisor of the world’s largest hand-rolled soft pretzel chain, projects to open 120 stores in 2011, of which over 60 will be in the United States. The franchise is also positioned to hit its 23rd year of positive total system sales growth.
Auntie Anne’s locations can be found in malls, outlet centers, and “non-traditional venues” including colleges and universities and transportation sites such as airports, train stations, and travel plazas. In the last year, the company opened nine locations in “non-traditional” venues with 13 more under development.
The company is currently seeking aspiring entrepreneurs who want to serve up fresh, hand-rolled gourmet pretzels as a rewarding business venture for new locations in Arizona, California, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, Ohio, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. Key countries targeted for international expansion include Russia, India, Brazil, Turkey, South Africa, Vietnam, China, and Japan, home to the highest grossing Auntie Anne’s in the world.
“Whether it’s someone over the age of 50 who is looking to supplement their retirement with one Auntie Anne’s location, an individual who wants the security of being his/her own boss, or a restaurateur aiming to expand his or her portfolio with a dozen stores, we are committed to finding franchise partners who share our community-oriented values,” said Melé Sarmiento, Director of Franchise Sales and Development for Auntie Anne’s.
Auntie Anne’s credits consistent franchise growth, despite two consecutive years of decreases in consumer spending (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics), to its commitment to serving high-quality products, ageless brand appeal, and collaboration with franchise partners. The active franchise leadership council structure is involved in business decisions ranging from new menu development strategies and equipment options to store operational procedures and marketing initiatives. A training program launched earlier this year also leveraged internal expertise by having six Auntie Anne’s crewmembers from around the United States compete against each other in a reality TV training video series intended to educate peers about delivering memorable guest experiences.
By placing an emphasis on working collaboratively with franchise partners and providing ongoing support from the start-up phase to daily operations, Auntie Anne’s continues to attract entrepreneurs from all walks of life to invest in the business model.
Assistance from the corporate support team consists of one corporate employee for every three franchise partners in the system. Moreover, 97 percent of Auntie Anne’s franchise partners would recommend the franchise opportunity to another entrepreneur according to the Franchise Research Institute.
In November 2010, Auntie Anne’s was acquired by FOCUS Brands Inc.®, the franchisor and operator of over 2,200 Carvel®, Cinnabon®, Schlotzsky’s®, Moe’s Southwest Grill® and Seattle’s Best Coffee® locations. For more information about the Auntie Anne’s franchise opportunity and to view franchise partner testimonials, please visit www.auntieannesfranchising.com.
An award-winning franchise system, Auntie Anne's is consistently ranked number one in the category of hand-rolled soft pretzels by Entrepreneur's Franchise 500, has received the World-Class Franchise® honor (the most prestigious award in franchising) for the past five years, and high rankings from Franchise Business Review's 2009, 2010, 2011 Franchisee Satisfaction Awards. Auntie Anne’s is best known for mixing, twisting, and baking pretzels to golden brown perfection in full view of guests. Auntie Anne’s Pretzels are available in a variety of flavors including Original, Cinnamon Sugar, Almond, Garlic, Pepperoni, and Sour Cream and Onion. Pretzel Stix and Nuggets offer a more portable option for pretzel lovers on the go, and the Pretzel Dog is a popular lunch item. Auntie Anne’s Inc. is headquartered at 48-50 West Chestnut Street in Lancaster, Pa. 17603.
For more information, visit www.auntieannes.com, www.facebook.com/auntieannespretzels, www.twitter.com/auntieannes or www.youtube.com/auntieannespretzels.