Auntie Anne's

Soft pretzels
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Franchise 500 2023
2023 Franchise 500 Rank
#199 Ranked #390 last year
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Initial investment
$105K - $572K
Units as of 2023
1,985 Increase 3.0% over 3 years

Auntie Anne’s goal in life is to put a hot, golden pretzel in as many hands as possible. In 1988, Auntie Anne Beiler and Jonas Beiler started selling pretzels and lemonade at farmers’ markets in Pennsylvania. The next year, the pair began franchising the idea.

By 1992, the company opened its 100th location. In 2011, Auntie Anne’s partnered with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation to raise money for childhood cancer research. Since then, Auntie Anne’s has added new items to the menu, a mobile app, and catering to the franchise.

There are over 1,000 franchises in the United States to go along with more than 700 international locations.

Why You May Want To Start an Auntie Anne’s Franchise

If you love pretzels and want to share them with others, you could become a franchisee. Any franchisee for Auntie Anne’s generally needs to have a passion for business and be willing to offer top-notch customer service and great hospitality.

Auntie Anne’s prefers franchisees with experience running a restaurant. At a minimum, the company would like franchisees that have business experience. Franchisees also may need people skills, to be connected to the community, and want to give back.

What Might Make an Auntie Anne’s Franchise a Good Choice?

Auntie Anne’s knows that innovation is key to staying ahead of the competition. One thing the company has done is offer multiple venue options. Franchisees can choose to open at an urban street site, a college or university, shopping mall, outlet center, airport, train station, travel plaza, entertainment center, food truck, pop-up store, or commissary location. Another major thing Auntie Anne’s has done is diversify the menu and offer catering. The different venues, menu options, and catering may provide franchisees with varying income streams.

To be part of the Auntie Anne’s team, you should make sure you’re financially ready for an initial investment made up of a franchise fee and other startup costs. In addition, you should be prepared for ongoing fees that will include advertising, royalty, and potential renewal fees. Franchisees will also need to meet the company’s set net worth and liquid capital requirements. 

How To Open an Auntie Anne’s Franchise

As you decide if opening an Auntie Anne’s franchise is the right move for you, make sure you take time to explore the opportunity. Research the brand and your local area to see if an Auntie Anne’s franchise would do well in your community. While competition is healthy, too much of it may not allow for the most possible growth.

Before making any financial commitment or signing an agreement, you must perform your due diligence and establish if this is the right opportunity for you. As part of your due diligence, you may want to speak to existing franchisees and ask the Auntie Anne’s franchising team questions.

If granted a Auntie Anne’s location, franchisees may receive multiple weeks of training in a classroom setting. The training covers everything from the menu to operations standards and more. Franchisees are also given on-the-job training and may receive additional support from a business consultant. Franchisees will also receive help from the marketing team to implement promotions.

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Company Overview

About Auntie Anne's

Industry Food
Related Categories Pretzels, Baked Goods
Founded 1988
Parent Company Focus Brands LLC
Leadership Julie Younglove-Webb, Chief Brand Officer
Corporate Address 5620 Glenridge Dr. N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30342
Social Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram

Business Overview

Franchising Since 1989 (34 years)
# of employees at HQ 63
Where seeking

This company is offering new franchisees throughout the US.

This company is offering new franchisees in the following international regions: Africa, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Middle East, Europe (Eastern), Europe (Western), Central America, Canada, South America, Mexico

# of Units 1,985 (as of 2023)

Information for Franchisees

Here's what you need to know if you're interested in opening a Auntie Anne's franchise.

Financial Requirements & Ongoing Fees

Here's what you can expect to spend to start the business and what ongoing fees the franchisor charges throughout the life of the business.

Initial Franchise Fee Information Circle
$10,500 - $35,500
Initial Investment Information Circle
$104,575 - $572,100
Net Worth Requirement Information Circle
Cash Requirement Information Circle
Veteran Incentives Information Circle
$10,500 off standard franchise fee ($35,500)
Royalty Fee Information Circle
Ad Royalty Fee Information Circle
Term of Agreement Information Circle
20 years
Is franchise term renewable? Yes
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Financing Options

Some franchisors offer in-house financing, while others have relationships with third-party financing sources to which they refer qualified franchisees.

Third Party Financing Auntie Anne's has relationships with third-party sources which offer financing to cover the following: franchise fee, startup costs, equipment, inventory, accounts receivable, payroll

Training & Support Offered

Franchisors offer initial training programs and a variety of ongoing support options to help franchisees run their businesses.

On-The-Job Training 24-64 hours
Classroom Training 48 hours
Ongoing Support
Meetings & Conventions
Toll-Free Line
Grand Opening
Online Support
Security & Safety Procedures
Lease Negotiation
Field Operations
Site Selection
Proprietary Software
Franchisee Intranet Platform
Marketing Support
Ad Templates
Social Media
Website Development
Email Marketing
Loyalty Program/App


Additional details about running this franchise.

Is absentee ownership allowed? No
Can this franchise be run from home/mobile unit? Information Circle
Can this franchise be run part time? Information Circle
# of employees required to run 9-12
Are exclusive territories available? Information Circle
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Franchise 500 Ranking History

Compare where Auntie Anne's landed on this year's Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.

Additional Rankings

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Updated: December 12th, 2022