Wetzel’s Pretzels recently recognized its top franchise partners for their efforts and dedication in growing the Wetzel’s Pretzels brand through innovation and exemplary operations. These franchisees and specific awards included:
Innovators of the Year—Chuck and Martha Garcera, who helped to create Pizza Bitz, which have become one of the most successful product launches in company history, becoming a permanent menu item and a top-10 item for Wetzel’s Pretzels. The Garcera’s conceptualized the idea, and after a successful test in early 2015, Pizza Bitz rolled out nationally this past year, with guests lining up nationwide for a taste of Wetzel’s Pretzels newest delicious offering.
Multi-Unit Operator of the Year—Sai Hossain, the largest Wetzel’s Pretzel’s franchisee with 36 locations across California. Along with his continued Wetzel’s expansion, Sai makes frequent donations to charities both local and abroad, including sponsoring children’s education in his home country of Bangladesh.
Franchisee of the Year—Steve Liebsohn, who has taken an out-of-the-box approach to expanding Wetzel’s brand recognition and sales. Years ago, he saw a tremendous opportunity with sports arenas. In 2010, he negotiated a deal with US Airways Center (now Talking Stick Resort Arena), where the NBA’s Phoenix Suns play their home games. Sales have grown year over year at that location, and Steve continues the trailblazing Wetzel’s path across sports stadiums, signing on to have Wetzel’s locations in both the Gila River Arena center (NHL’s Arizona Coyotes) and Chase Field (MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks).
Along with operators who have gone above and beyond to strengthen the brand, Wetzel’s also recognized multiple store managers who have assisted in the growth of individual units, many of whom have been with the brand for more than a decade.
“We’re thrilled with the performance of top franchise partners like Steve, Sai and the Garcera’s,” says Bill Phelps, Wetzel’s co-founder and CEO. “In recent years, we’ve focused our growth with multi-unit operators and we are seeing results in store growth, innovative new product ideas, and exciting real estate opportunities, like professional sport stadiums. Our goal is to continue to support the initiatives of these great multi-unit operators and work with more like them to open in new territories across the United States.”
Wetzel’s Pretzels currently operates more than 300 company-owned and franchise locations in 28 states and six countries.