The drive-thru option not only offered customers a convenient and safe way to pick up their food, it also acted as a safety net for the store in case pandemic-related shutdowns occurred again.
“When we were in the planning phase [of the restaurant] restrictions were already starting to be lifted, but we wanted to be sure if things closed down again we would be fine,” Crystal says.
It’s fair to say the Bowlings and their Auntie Anne’s drive-thru are doing more than fine. Aside from a few non-COVID-related setbacks related to the winter storm that swept through most of Texas, the store opened without a hitch May 17, and has been busy ever since.
“The numbers we projected, we’ve been completely crushing those,” Shawn says. “In a franchise world that’s what you want. We looked at the bottom ten stores and the top ten stores and tried to see what they did for numbers. We took those numbers and based our projections on that, adding a little to the top because of our accessibility. It hasn’t even been close. It’s been fantastic.”
So, what makes the combination of pretzels and smoothies work so well? If you ask Shawn, it comes down to the symbiotic relationship between the brands.
“We wanted to go with two snacks, so when we were discussing it, a lot was made of the energy of the two brands,” Shawn says. “Both brands have a very loyal and a very different following. We really liked the synergy between them. You’ve got the healthier option for the folks who love smoothies and the fruit bowls, and then something a little saltier with the pretzels. You know, the salty and sweet.”