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Pretzelmaker vs. Auntie Anne’s Franchise

Pretzelmaker and Auntie Anne’s are two of the top hand-rolled pretzel-making franchises around today. Jeffrey Trip opened the first Pretzelmaker back in 1991, and just one year later he had turned his original idea into a thriving franchise.

Pretzelmaker eventually started rapidly expanding, especially so in the West. The menu also became more eclectic, and Pretzelmaker started offering tasty pretzel treats like its parmesan pretzels and cinnamon sugar pretzels. By aligning itself with the growing, multi-billion dollar quick-service restaurant franchise model and delivering on its promise of making the world’s best soft pretzel, Pretzelmaker quickly made a name for itself.

Over the last decade, Pretzelmaker has cracked the Franchise 500’s top 100 franchises and become an integral member of the Global Franchise Group. Today Pretzelmaker has over 300 locations in more than 30 states and is a real mover and shaker in the industry.

Auntie Anne’s has followed a similar trajectory in that the company was started back in 1988 and, like Pretzelmaker, took to franchising the very next year. The franchise started in Pennsylvania and has since changed ownership multiple times. Auntie Anne’s started out selling a whole host of fast-food products—everything from pizza, candy, and chips to (indeed) soft pretzels—until finally finding its voice.

Comparing Pretzel Franchise Opportunities

Auntie Anne’s Franchise Cost

Since it commands over 1000 locations in multiple countries and brings a proven model to bear for its investors, Auntie Anne’s is in a unique selling position. The catch is that Auntie Anne’s may require higher standards in terms of net worth and liquidity requirements.

The franchise does offer flexible options to its investors—e.g., site locations ranging from inline and kiosk setups to food trucks and satellite locations—but all of this comes at a substantial cost to investors. Auntie Anne’s requires investors to have to have nearly $200,000 in liquidity and double that ($400,000 exactly) in net worth.

The total investment has a high end of just over $364,000, and the franchise’s royalty fee is also considered slightly higher than the industry average. Auntie Anne’s offers a reasonable franchise fee of $30,000, which is a one-time fee used to defray the cost to investors for things like training, site location, and support.

Pretzelmaker Franchise Cost

Pretzelmaker, however, has a franchise fee that’s potentially significantly lower than Auntie Anne’s franchise fee of $30,000. You could pay as little as $15,000 for a franchise fee if you decide to invest with Pretzelmaker. The Pretzelmaker franchise also has a much more attractive liquidity minimum for investors just starting out or current franchise owners looking into becoming multi-unit owners. Multi-unit ownership offers benefits, namely greater efficiency when it comes to training, hiring, and marketing your Pretzelmaker franchise location(s). More revenue streams are also possible.

Whether you eventually expand into thriving new territories with Pretzelmaker or remain a single-unit owner, you have options.

Pretzelmaker franchise investors need only have $100,000 in liquidity to be considered, partly because Pretzelmaker is part of the Global Franchise Group and has incredible resources at its disposal. Many current Pretzelmaker franchise owners say that the franchise’s 1.5% marketing fee is well worth it, since it shores up more markets and local customers.

So, Pretzelmaker has a lower net worth requirement, lower liquidity requirement, and a lower high-end initial investment at just over $330,000. Since its early days when it was known as “Mr. Pretzel,” Pretzelmaker has become one of the real all-stars with the Global Franchise Group. Visit our website to learn more about pretzel franchise opportunities.