Auntie Anne's

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.

Auntie Anne's Plays Games for Cancer Research

Auntie Anne's franchise partners, crewmembers, and corporate associates are rallying behind Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation in an effort to fight childhood cancer with nationwide efforts that launch this month.

The company will be asking guests to “join in the fight against childhood cancer” via a mobile campaign and a paper lemon icon sale.

Through BFG Interactive, Auntie Anne’s selected SCVNGR to create a location-based social game that guests can play at stores nationwide.

QSR 50 Contenders

Want to know which 15 brands are knocking on the QSR 50's door? Some are old favorites, others are new to the list, but they're all trying their hardest to climb their way into the Top 50 ranks.

51 McAlister’s Deli rank last year: 52

Auntie Anne's, Coca-Cola Team Up for Mobile Ad Campaign

Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, the world’s largest soft pretzel franchise, is partnering with The Coca-Cola Company, Millennial Media, and Sparkfly Inc to pilot a mobile advertising campaign that will offer consumers a mobile deal that can be measured and tracked seamlessly through the point of sale, down to specific consumer purchases at the item level.

Auntie Anne’s Recognizes Hobart as Outstanding Supplier

Pretzel franchisor Auntie Anne’s Inc. recently recognized Hobart as Outstanding Supplier of the Year for its demonstration of superior customer service and product quality. Hobart supplies the HL200 20-quart Legacy Mixer for all of Auntie Anne’s retail locations worldwide. 

With more than 1,200 locations in 46 states and more than 23 countries, Auntie Anne’s rolls more than 97.5 million pretzels a year. 

Moe’s, FOCUS Brands to Explore Nontraditional Venues

Customers line up at the new Moe's Southwest Grill unit at the Angola Travel Plaza in New York.

Move over, Main Street. Moe’s Southwest Grill and sister FOCUS Brands concepts—including Auntie Anne’s, Cinnabon, and Carvel Ice Cream—are taking the path less traveled with a strategic growth plan that involves building units in nontraditional venues like train stations, convenience stores, college campuses, and military bases.

The new locations will give FOCUS Brands concepts access to the masses in ways that traditional real estate settings can’t, says Paul Damico, president of Moe’s Southwest Grill.

Boar's Head Cafe Newest Arrival for Pittsburgh Airport

Airmall USA, an airport concessions developer and operator of the Airmall at Pittsburgh International Airport, has opened the Boar's Head Cafe, a 2,600-plus square foot restaurant located on the Transit Level of the Landside Terminal.

"Boar's Head Cafe is the perfect option for those looking to kick off their travels with a fresh, quick, and healthy bite on the go," says Jay Kruisselbrink, vice president of development for Airmall Pittsburgh. "It is located landside before security, making it accessible to both travelers and those saying goodbye to loved ones at the airport."

Auntie Anne’s Expands its Non-Traditional Venues

Auntie Anne’s has expanded its non-traditional venue lineup to include military bases with the opening of a location at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas.

The new unit, which opened mid-April at Freedom Crossing at Fort Bliss, marks a significant milestone for the iconic soft pretzel company whose growth plan includes considerable focus in the development of locations in supplementary non-traditional venues. 

The new location is independently owned and operated by franchise partner, Milap Maniar. 

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