10 key steps to becoming an Auntie Anne's franchisee

Auntie Anne's is bringing a product that has been a sensational success in the USA into the UK market to revolutionise how we snack - the hand rolled soft pretzel. Franchising Manager Max Burton provides an overview of how the company supports the launch of its franchisees, from initial interest through to ongoing operation

  1. Come and meet us at one of our stores which is most convenient to you to discuss the franchise offering and try the product - we guarantee one taste will turn you into an Auntie Anne's Pretzel lover forever!

  2. Then fill out an application form to start the process of joining the growing Auntie Anne's franchisee network.

  3. Once you have decided upon your chosen area of the country we will find the most appropriate property available using our specialist commercial agents on your behalf and visit each site with you to decide which property will best suit your Auntie Anne's store. We will then negotiate the lease to get the best deal for you.

  4. Once the property has been agreed our experienced designer will produce a 3D image for you to visualise your store and a full set of plans will be submitted to at least three approved shop fitting teams who will compete to give you the best quote.

  5. We will manage the shop fit for you and procure all required equipment at the best possible price along with small wares and your first food delivery. All prices are pre-agreed with you.

  6. While your shop is being fitted out you will travel to Auntie Anne's Headquarters in Pennsylvania, USA for a two week training course, which teaches you everything you need to know to run an Auntie Anne's store, including: how to roll a pretzel; how to clean all the equipment; staff rotas; introducing and managing staff incentive programmes; and more.

  7. On your return before you open we will assist with training your new employees so that when you open they are ready to run the best snack outlet in the country.

  8. We have a tried and tested launch marketing programme in place to ensure that when you reach your opening day you launch with a bang!

  9. Auntie Anne's will lay out the format for your monthly management accounts so that you can accurately manage your business.

  10. We will provide you with ongoing marketing support along with any training as it is required so that you can run the best Auntie Anne's store in the system!

Your success is our success!

'This product is something new'

'I really enjoy my Auntie Anne's business, in fact I love it!' says Mahasti Poursaleki, who opened her pretzel bar in October 2004. It's a really clean, respectable business and is so easy to run if you know what you're doing. And because I'm my own boss, I can fit running it around spending time with my family.'

Describing her former occupation as a 'full-time housewife', Mahasti first discovered Auntie Anne's pretzels on holiday in the USA, so when her children were all in full-time education and she was looking for a project she called up the UK Master Franchisee. 'My husband got into the pizza business in the early '80s when nobody knew about pizzas, and we have seen it become a national dish,' she reflects. 'Soft pretzels have the same potential pizza had then, a lot of people don't know what they are and expect them to be the hard, salty kind you get in packets. This product is something new and it takes time to educate people about it, but it is fabulous and people really like it here in Cheltenham.

'UK consumers are going towards healthy eating, and the pretzel is low in fat compared to doughnuts. I get a lot of repeat custom and as the pretzel becomes more nationally recognised, I'm sure it is going to go through the roof!'