Auntie Anne’s is one of the most recognizable names in the pretzel industry, with over 2,000 stores worldwide. The pretzel shop chain has become an iconic symbol of tasty treats, made fresh and enjoyable for customers of all ages.
For entrepreneurs interested in owning their own businesses and becoming part of this legendary brand, a franchise could be the perfect opportunity. Opening an Auntie Anne’s franchise can provide you with financial stability while also contributing to the growth of the brand.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about opening your own Auntie Anne’s franchise, from the brand’s history to costs and requirements.
About Auntie Anne’s Franchise
Auntie Anne’s is a popular American franchised chain of pretzel shops known for their hand-baked, one-of-a-kind pretzels and refreshing classic lemonade. The world’s largest soft pretzel franchise, Auntie Anne’s, offers an array of delicious snacks that the whole family can enjoy.
From savory to sweet treats, Auntie Anne’s provides something for everyone. They have freshly baked salty classics like Original and Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels, as well as Soft Pretzel Nuggets, Stix, and Pretzel Dogs.
In addition to pretzels, Auntie Anne’s serves warm dips that pair perfectly with snacks like Honey Mustard, Nacho Cheese, or Pizza Sauce. Besides tasty eats, they also provide beverages like fountain drinks and made-to-order frozen lemonades that bring a cool refreshment on hot summer days.
As an Auntie Anne’s franchisee, you’ll have access to the brand’s unique recipes and processes. The chain has achieved its success through a combination of quality products, customer service, and strong branding.
Auntie Anne’s Franchise History
Auntie Anne’s is a global pretzels franchise founded in 1988 by Anne Beiler and her husband, Jonas. The couple started the business with a small stand at a Pennsylvania farmer’s market, selling hand-rolled pretzels and lemonade to raise money for Jonas’ community center project.
As their fan base grew, the couple decided to open up their first store location at Saturday’s Market in Middletown. Thanks to their dedication and commitment to quality products, Auntie Anne’s quickly gained popularity and, just four years later, celebrated the opening of their 100th store in Granite Run Mall in Media, Pennsylvania.
In 1995, Auntie Anne’s took its success globally when it opened its first international store in Jakarta, Indonesia. Since then, Auntie Anne’s has grown to over 2,000 locations located across 30 countries worldwide. The brand has continued to succeed due to its commitment to quality ingredients and recipes passed down through generations of Beiler family members.
In 2010, Auntie Anne’s was acquired by Atlanta-based franchisor Focus Brands Inc., helping them continue on their path of providing high-quality products for customers all around the world.
Franchise Model Table
How Much Does It Cost To Open An Auntie Anne’s Franchise?
Opening an Auntie Anne’s franchise can be a feasible business opportunity for those who have the entrepreneurial spirit and the financial wherewithal. To help you determine whether this is the right path for you, here is a closer look at what opening an Auntie Anne’s franchise entails in terms of cost.
The initial cost to open an Auntie Anne’s franchise will vary significantly depending on the size of your store and other factors.
The total initial investment typically falls between $146,050 and $523,500. This includes an estimated franchise fee which ranges from $10,500 to $35,500. This fee covers your rights to use Auntie Anne’s name, logo, recipes, and processes, as well as training for one or two people for up to two weeks.
In addition to the initial costs listed above, you will also need to pay ongoing fees such as royalties (7%), advertising fees (1-3%), and potential additional expenses like local advertising or renovations if necessary. You will also need to purchase all required equipment, including display cases and ovens that are needed to produce fresh pretzels each day.
Auntie Anne’s Franchise Requirements
In order to become an Auntie Anne’s franchisee, you must meet the financial and operational requirements set forth by the brand.
The most important financial requirement is that potential franchisees have a minimum of $120,000 in liquid capital available to invest in the business. You will also need to be able to provide proof of a net worth of at least $300,000. These requirements are put in place to ensure that potential franchisees have enough resources available to open and operate their store.
Aside from the financial aspect, Auntie Anne’s also has other requirements for prospective franchisees.
The brand prefers applicants with experience in managing, operating, or owning a restaurant or other food service business, as well as those who are community-minded, meaning they understand the importance of involvement with local organizations and charities.
Furthermore, all applicants must be willing to sign a Franchise Agreement that outlines all terms and conditions related to opening and operating an Auntie Anne’s store.
Auntie Anne’s Franchise Training And Support
Auntie Anne’s offers an extensive training program for franchisees looking to open a store. This includes courses at their Head Office in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and in-store training once the store is built. The courses cover all aspects of the business, including operations, marketing, HR, and general business practices.
Auntie Anne’s Head Office has a fully equipped kitchen for hands-on training where franchisees can learn how to make pretzels from scratch. In addition to developing the necessary skills to create Auntie Anne’s signature treats, the program also covers topics related to running day-to-day operations like customer service, food safety protocols, inventory management, and more.
It takes about 72-112 hours for franchisees to complete the course, including 48 hours of classroom instruction and 24–64 hours of on-the-job training. Once franchisees have completed the program, they will receive ongoing support from the head office to help them keep their business running smoothly.
Auntie Anne’s Terms Of Agreement & Renewal
When opening an Auntie Anne’s franchise, you must agree to the terms and conditions outlined in their Franchise Agreement. This agreement includes information about the initial term of the franchise, requirements for renewal, and the fees associated with this.
For an Auntie Anne’s franchise, the initial term is 20 years and is renewable for one additional term of 20 years upon meeting certain requirements. The renewal fee for your franchise is 20% of the then-current franchise fee at that time.
In order to receive a renewal on your Auntie Anne’s franchise, you must meet all of the operating standards and financial obligations outlined in the Franchise Agreement. This includes continuing to use approved Auntie Anne’s recipes, processes, logos, and branding materials.
You must also maintain a satisfactory record in terms of customer service and follow all applicable laws related to food safety regulations.
Auntie Anne’s Franchise Obligations And Restrictions
In addition to the financial and operational requirements, all Auntie Anne’s franchisees must also meet certain obligations. These include maintaining a family-friendly environment in their store, following Auntie Anne’s code of ethics, and providing excellent customer service.
You are not allowed to operate any other food service business from your location or use any ingredients that were not approved by Auntie Anne’s. Furthermore, you must keep up-to-date with any changes to the brand’s operations manual and participate in ongoing training programs as required.
Only the products that the franchisor has authorized in writing may be sold and purchased from Auntie Anne’s approved vendors. Franchisees must also comply with all local, state, and federal laws related to their business operations.
Finally, as an Auntie Anne’s franchisee, you are prohibited from directly competing with another Auntie Anne’s store within a five-mile radius.
Auntie Anne’s Franchise Financial Assistance
Auntie Anne’s does not offer direct or indirect financing to franchisees. However, they may refer you to leasing or financing companies depending on the situation.
Auntie Anne’s also participates in the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Franchise Directory, which is an online directory of SBA-approved franchises that can provide assistance with the financing and development of a franchise business.
In addition, Auntie Anne’s partners with several banks and lending institutions that offer financing options for small business owners looking to open a franchise. These funds are typically used to cover start-up costs such as building construction, equipment purchases, and staffing expenses.
Auntie Anne’s Comparison
|Number of Outlets||2000+||1500+|
Auntie Anne Comparison
|Company||Auntie Anne||Paris Baguette|
|Initial Investment||$143,550 to $503,500||$378,270-$1,638,554|
|Annual Revenue||$500 Million||$1.5 Billion|
Auntie Anne’s has made it easy for prospective franchisees to become part of the family with their comprehensive training programs and ongoing support from the head office.
The costs associated with opening an Auntie Anne’s franchise are relatively low compared to other franchising opportunities, making it a great option for entrepreneurs looking to break into the food service industry. Whether you are just starting out or an experienced business owner, Auntie Anne’s can help you achieve your goals.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does it cost to own an Auntie Anne's franchise?
An Auntie Anne’s Franchise Business Owner earns an average of $67,00 each year.
Auntie Anne's has how many franchises?
There are around 1200 Auntie Anne’s franchised sites in the United States as of the 2021 Franchise Disclosure Document.
Auntie Anne began franchising in what year?
In 1988, the brand began as a market booth at the Downingtown Farmer’s Market in Pennsylvania.
Auntie Anne's is owned by what corporation?
Focus Brands is now the owner of Auntie Anne’s.
Is Auntie Anne's a franchise
Auntie Anne’s is a franchise of pretzel shops.
How much does an Auntie Anne's franchise cost?
Starting an Auntie Anne’s Franchise requires an initial investment of $143,550 to $503,500, with a Franchise Fee of $35,000.
Is Opening An Auntie Anne’s Franchise Worth It?
Yes, for the right entrepreneur, owning an Auntie Anne’s franchise can be a great opportunity. There is potential to make a good living, and the franchise offers comprehensive training, ongoing support from the head office, and access to a proven business model.
How Many Auntie Anne’s Locations Are There?
There are currently more than 2,000 Auntie Anne’s locations across 30 countries worldwide.
Who Owns Auntie Anne’s?
Auntie Anne’s is owned by Atlanta-based franchisor Focus Brands Inc., which also owns Cinnabon, Carvel, and McAlister’s Deli.
Amit Gupta is the founder of DrFranchises – a digital marketing agency that helps brands rank better on Google Maps through local SEO strategies. Amit has over 11 years of experience in digital marketing, SEO, email marketing, and social media marketing. He’s also the owner of multiple franchises and has helped countless brands achieve success online. When he’s not working, Amit can be found playing with his dog.