With over 2,000 stores worldwide, Auntie Anne’s signature hot, hand-rolled soft pretzels have become a staple treat for shoppers in malls, travelers in airports, and sports fans at stadiums across the globe.
The Pennsylvania-based company has experienced remarkable growth since founder Anne Beiler first started selling pretzels from a farmer’s market stand in 1988.
Now, as it continues to expand through franchising, many entrepreneurs are considering adding one of the popular pretzel shops to their investment portfolios. But exactly how much does it cost to buy into this beloved brand?
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Upfront investment levels of Auntie Anne
According to Auntie Anne’s 2023 Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD), the total investment to open a new full retail pretzel shop ranges from $156,350 to $450,000.
This includes an initial franchise fee of $35,500 as well as expenditures like real estate, equipment, inventory, signage, training, and opening costs. Franchisees pay ongoing royalties equal to 7% of net sales. Required liquid capital is $100,000 minimum.
While substantial, these franchise investment levels are modest compared to larger restaurant chains. And the average unit volumes speak to Auntie Anne’s profit potential.
As of 2019, enclosed mall shops garnered over $550,000 in average annual revenue with almost $90,000 in net operating income. High-performing locations have achieved up to $520,000 in net earnings.
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Affordable franchising options
Even small mall kiosks, concession stands, and co-branded outlets with brands like Jamba or Cinnabon can be run on initial investments between $156,000 and $250,000. These affordable entry points help drive Auntie Anne’s rapid franchise growth as existing owners snap up new territory rights.
As America’s largest mall pretzel chain, Auntie Anne’s fills a unique niche that’s proven remarkably resilient even amid retail disruption. As shopping centers add more food, entertainment, and experiential offerings, Auntie Anne’s convenient pretzel pit stops should continue driving foot traffic.
The brand still sees fertile territory for over 1,000 additional US locations, plus hundreds more internationally.
Tempting franchise investment opportunity
With strong unit economics and corporate backing, Auntie Anne’s time-tested business model offers a tempting franchise opportunity. Their affordable startup costs also court working owners seeking semi-absentee pretzel shops to run alongside existing jobs.
Of course, continued success requires adapting to the times. Auntie Anne’s actively experiments with new pretzel recipes and unexpected flavor combinations attuned to contemporary tastes. Recent additions like pepperoni pizza or garlic cheese show innovative spirit, pushing boundaries in responsible moderation.
They also optimize sustainability, streamlining sourcing and shipping while minimizing waste. To this end, Auntie Anne’s franchisees implement localized supply chains, energy-efficient equipment, and community engagement programs benefiting local partners and causes.