Americans are clamoring for convenience and Wetzel’s Pretzels is in the pole position to meet the nation’s insatiable snack cravings by bringing it right to them.
On the road now for two years, the brand’s food truck franchising initiative is on a roll. With nearly 20 trucks already cruising the roadways and hitting all the hot spots in the communities they serve, Wetzel’s Pretzels plans to more than double its franchise fleet this year. And, as demand flourishes for the brand’s flexible formats, multi-unit operators are already cultivating their food truck collections and locking in attractive territories.
“We’ve redefined how we bring ‘Pretzels to the People’ by accelerating the growth of our food truck program,” adds Kim Freer, CMO of Wetzel’s Pretzels. “As consumers prefer convenient snacking options more and more, interest is at an all-time high. The mobile concept provides the opportunity to bring pretzels to our fans wherever they are, whether it be at a local event or simply a tasty treat after a long workday. We look forward to making even more lifelong memories with them.”
An extremely flexible, creative and interactive experience for both customers and franchise owners, Wetzel’s Pretzels’ food trucks expand the brand beyond four walls. It uniquely creates revenue streams for franchisees by bringing snacking directly to consumers within their communities, while also allowing franchisees additional locations to broaden their market reach. Plus, with little to no rent and lower overhead costs than a traditional store, franchise owners can start seeing their return on investment quickly.
“Our food trucks present provide an opportunity to engage fans more frequently,” says Freer. “With a low cost of entry and financing options available, getting rolling with a Wetzel’s food truck is turnkey.”
Wetzel’s Pretzels is leveraging its food truck program’s distinctive ease of entry, cost efficient business model and strong unit economics to extend the entrepreneurial opportunity it presents to a diverse array of individuals. This includes embedding food trucks as one of the many format options available through the company’s Access to Equity program, which is geared to improve inclusivity for women and minorities who are seeking opportunities for entrepreneurship.
In fact, the first Access to Equity candidates to become Wetzel’s franchisees, Marvin Cruz and Alex Salas, are food truck owners together in the Central Dallas market. Marvin, an Army Veteran and a district manager for a global manufacturing company, and Alex, a Medicare specialist with a health insurance company, bring a wealth of leadership experience and financial knowledge to the endeavor. As brother-in-law business partners, they aim to make a quick impression on the Central Dallas market and then expand their food truck fleet as well as add traditional Wetzel’s stores. The entrepreneurial duo was supported by the brand’s Access to Equity program, which works to provide access to capital, education and mentorship.
“We’re thankful to Wetzel’s for its Access to Equity program, providing us a pathway to take control of our futures as business owners with an established brand that has a significant following,” says Cruz. “It’s a fantastic feeling to be the first Wetzel’s franchisees involved in the initiative. Plus, ‘bringing pretzels to the people’ through the food truck showcases the brand as an approachable and accessible option for those looking to own a business and pursue their entrepreneurial goals.”
Wetzel’s Pretzels franchisees benefit from being a part of a nationally recognized brand and its devoted following. With a proven business model that satisfies cravings for handheld snacks on the go, simple operations, a growing consumer base and franchise availability remaining in attractive markets, Wetzel’s can twist and turn into any design or location. Even better, franchisees are backed by an experienced leadership team for individualized support.
Demand for the brand’s mobile units went into overdrive after immensely successful debuts at the Rose Bowl Game, Rose Parade Fan Fest and NASCAR races, attracting new prospective owners to the flexible format’s long lines, low food cost and simple operations. The big yellow beloved truck has even been seen at private celebrity events, showcasing the brand’s well-known status amongst the highest profile individuals. Wetzel’s has been sharing its signature handheld happiness ever since its founding in Pasadena, California in 1994. The brand continues to attract a cult-like following in communities across North America through its cool, SoCal vibes and crave-worthy snacks, which cultivate special moments of pure pretzel bliss between friends, family and colleagues.
With more than 25 years in business, the past few years have been especially momentous for the brand. 2022 was a record high year for Wetzel’s, with 11.3% same-store-sales growth, building upon the nearly 24% increase the year prior, combining for a jaw-dropping 3-year improvement of 35%. Even better, noteworthy sales growth and national brand exposure have skyrocketed franchise interest to an all-time high, creating an unprecedented new store pipeline including the opening of its historic 400th location later this year. This momentum will only carry on in the years ahead with plans in place to expand its growth strategy, discover new real estate opportunities and further establish Wetzel’s as the leader in snacking.