Auntie Anne's

Auntie Anne’s Twists Its Way Into 25th Country

Auntie Anne’s Pretzels the 1,330-unit franchise made famous by its fresh, hand-rolled treats, entered its 25th country earlier this year after opening a milestone unit in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

The opening signifies the execution of a master franchise agreement with K&H Vietnam Co. to open 30 units in the country over the next eight years.

Auntie Anne’s and Carvel Select Micros POS System

MICROS Systems Inc., a leading provider of information technology solutions for the hospitality and retail industries, is pleased to announce that Carvel Ice Cream, franchisor and operator of over 450 food and beverage outlets worldwide, has selected the MICROS e7 all-in-one point-of-sale (POS) system as its preferred restaurant POS system. In addition, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels has extended its existing MICROS e7 preferred vendor agreement with MICROS for its 1,000 U.S. franchised locations.

Auntie Anne’s ‘Rolls’ Out First Whole Grain Pretzel

Just in time for Heart Health Month (February), Auntie Anne's Pretzels is responding to Americans’ craving for more whole grains by introducing a new hand-rolled soft pretzel to its already deep rotation of gourmet freshly-baked favorites. Today, the 1,325-unit chain will launch the Honey Whole Grain Pretzel at its stores nationwide.  

HMSHost Opens Steak 'n Shake, Cinnabon in San Antonio

Global restaurateur HMSHost and Chef Johnny Hernandez are proud to announce a new joint venture at San Antonio International Airport that will take travelers on a culinary journey.

HMSHost was awarded an eight-year agreement with San Antonio International Airport to operate five new restaurants, with two additional sublease restaurant locations operating under the contract. HMSHost currently operates five existing restaurants at the airport.

Cause and Effect

Everyone in a company has a cause that’s close to his or her heart, but it’s the CEO’s job to select a charitable partner that connects with those who matter most—the customers—while balancing employees’ interests.

Selecting a cause that connects not only with consumers, but also with people within the company, is a critical element of the corporate giving strategy at Arby’s. This led the roast beef chain to develop a relationship with Share Our Strength’s “No Kid Hungry” program, which works to end childhood hunger in America, as part of its Arby’s Foundation.

The Ultimate Staff Reward

Auntie Anne’s takes employee incentives to the extreme.

Participants on Be the Boss compete to win a free Auntie Anne's franchise.
"Be the Boss" participants compete for a free Auntie Anne's franchise.

Any seasoned brand, operator, or human-resources expert will tell you that rewarding your employees can bring about a host of positive results, from improved employee morale to better customer service.

But pretzel chain Auntie Anne’s is taking employee incentives to a new level, awarding one deserving and unsuspecting employee not just a raise or promotion, but a franchise unit of his or her very own.

The Problem with China

Though quick serves have found success in China, operational headaches abound.

A Chinese Fatburger store proves the popularity of American brands in China.
A busy Fatburger store in China proves the high demand for American brands.

Last year, you could find a dozen Auntie Anne’s pretzel stores in China. This year, you won’t find any.

After wading through one of the world’s biggest bureaucracies, all the while facing fierce competition and various cultural barriers, Wen-Szu Lin and his business partner decided to call it quits as Auntie Anne’s mainland China master franchiser.

“Even though we were doing OK, we decided to walk away,” Lin says.

Auntie Anne's Gives Guests a Taste and More

Sampling its fresh-baked pretzels is nothing new for 24-year-old Auntie Anne’s, but the brand is giving its traditional marketing effort a little extra kick this time around.

Every Saturday through November 10, Auntie Anne’s is hosting system-wide Sampling Saturdays. Not only will guests receive free pretzel samples, but they’ll also be given a scratch-off card that offers a chance to win an instant prize, like a free signature pretzel or 21-ounce fountain drink.

No Fan of Soda Ban

Operators wonder whether New York City’s ban on large sugary beverages will take hold in other jurisdictions.

Protesters speak out against Mayor Bloomberg's beverage ban at NYC City Hall.
Members of New Yorkers for Beverage Choices protest Mayor Michael Bloomberg's beverage ban at City Hall in Manhattan.

New York City has been a trendsetter in health regulations the last few years, from its ban on trans fats to its restrictions on sodium. But many in the foodservice industry are hoping that the sugary beverage ban scheduled to take effect in March remains a New York specialty only.