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                      Auntie Anne’s                      Julia and Artesa Intro: Within the first four years of opening, Auntie Anne’s had already celebrated the launch of its 100th store opening. The initial success of the company was a strong start to its 1,600 locations today. This mixed with the exceptional customer service, ever expanding locations, and food products suited for just about everybody makes it clear to see why Auntie Anne’s is increasingly popular. Background- Part 1: The history of Auntie Anne’s dates back to 1988 when Anne and Jonas Beiler purchased a stand at a local farmer’s market in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. At the stand they sold homemade, original pretzels and lemonade that can still be found on the menu today. After a year of selling the pretzels at the farmer’s market, the franchise really began when they opened their first store at Saturday’s Market in Middletown, Pennsylvania. Just four years after this in 1992, Auntie Anne’s celebrated their 100th store opening at Run Mall located in Media, Pennsylvania. By 1995, the first mobile location opened at Penn Station in New York City where their tour continues today. In 2003, the franchise released two new products which were original and cinnamon pretzel sticks. These were marketed as “Perfect snack when you’re on the go”. This was followed by the introduction of pretzel dogs in 2004 in which a joint venture was formed with Nathan’s Famous to create the new product. After the success of their company, Anne and Jonas Beiler sold Auntie Anne’s to pursue a future of starting a family counseling center, which was their dream from the beginning. A fresh image and promise to be “Pretzel Perfect” was launched in 2006 to consumers across the country. Two years later, Auntie Anne’s celebrated its 20th birthday with free-fresh baked pretzels. The following year, the 1,000 Auntie Anne’s location opened in Fresno, California. Also in 2009, the Pepperoni Pretzel was added to the menu along with five fruity lemonade mixer flavors. Pretzel Nuggets were the next item to follow, being introduced the the menu in 2010. The franchise also joined the Focus Brands portfolio in 2010 as well as joined the Food Donation Connection (FDC) partnership. FDC’s goal is to end hunger by matching stores with relief organizations. In Auntie Anne’s case, they helped by donating pretzel products that would otherwise go to waste. Another partnership was formed the next year in 2011 with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. The objective Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation is to raise money for childhood cancer research, prevention, and treatment. In 2012, Auntie Anne’s opened their first military base location in El Paso Texas with the intention to “give troops support in the shape of fresh-baked pretzels”. Another produce was added to the menu in 2013, which was the mini pretzel dog. Also in 2013, Auntie Anne’s broke more into the food truck and amusement park business. An exciting new redesign came to the franchise in 2014 including warmer tones, eye-catching messaging, and enhanced equipment. This was the first redesign in the 25 year existence in the company. “My Pretzel Perks” loyalty mobile app was also launched the same year. With the app, every purchase made by patrons goes toward earning points which eventually can be used to get free pretzel products. Finally, in 2015, Auntie Anne’s released cheese stuffed pretzels to their ever expanding menu. Background Part 2: The company Auntie Anne’s started in 1988 with a stand at a local farmer’ market in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. However, the franchise didn’t truly start until 1989 with the first store opening in Middletown, Pennsylvania. Since the establishment in 1988, Auntie Anne’s has since grown tremendously. This includes more than 1,600 locations in 48 different states as well as 28 different countries. The franchise doesn’t stop there as it continuously searches for immediate and upcoming opportunities to expand. They are looking to expand in regions of the U.S such as the northeast, mid-atlantic, midwest, southeast, and west. However there are more specific communities and locations in which they are seeking franchises. Some of these include: Hadley, Massachusetts, Burlington, Vermont (northeast), District Heights, Maryland (mid-atlantic), Duluth, Minnesota, Oshkosh, Wisconsin (midwest), Little Rock, Arkansas, Florida City, Florida (southeast), Tucson, Arizona, Missoula, Montana (west), as well as many other locations across the whole country. Along with this, Auntie Anne’s is also constantly looking for Walmart opportunities in all regions.   Auntie Anne’s is a part of several charitable partnerships and organizations. A couple of them specifically are Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, Food Donation Connection, and C.A.R.E.S. Auntie Anne’s first collaborated with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation in 2011 to help raise funds for childhood cancer. The company raises money for the foundation through annual in-store fundraising, coin donations, local events, and the annual C.A.R.E.S. golf tournament. Over the years of the partnership, Auntie Anne’s has raised more than $3 million for the foundation. Auntie Anne’s first started their partnership with Food Donation Connection (FDC) in 2010 with the objective to reduce world hunger as well as reduce the amount food wasted. What FDC does is matches companies (such as Auntie Anne’s) to relief organizations, such as rescue missions or after school programs, for them to donate their waste products. Since the collaboration in 2010, Auntie Anne’s has donated more than 11.4 million pretzel products that would’ve otherwise gone in the garbage. Another partnership they are part of is the C.A.R.E.S Committee, which stands for Community Action Requires Employee Support. The Committee was founded in 1955 by employees of Auntie Anne’s with the goal to provide in depth community support through both time and financial resources. C.A.R.E.S. and Auntie Anne’s are separate organizations, however, Auntie Anne’s strongly encourages C.A.R.E.S. mission. Costs and Fees: Since Auntie Anne’s is a franchise, certain costs and fees must be paid in order for the business to operate. The first required fee is the franchise fee which was $30,000 when the franchise was granted. This fee includes the costs of training and recruiting workers in order to run the business.  In order to begin the entire business in 1988,  the initial amount investment into the Auntie Anne’s company was $35k- $45k. Now, as a fully operating franchise, about $199,475- $380,100 is invested per franchisee in order to get it up and running. Once the franchisee is running $4,500- $20,000 (or 7% of the gross sales) is paid from the franchisee to the franchisor as the ongoing royalty fee. Each franchisee and the franchisor have a agreement of 20 years where the parent company gives the franchise the right to operate Auntie Anne’s franchise business under the Auntie Anne’s trademarks, at an approved location. This 20 year offer can be renewed if the parent company desires to. This agreement includes individual Auntie Anne’s shops, concession trailers and Co-Brand Locations such as Subway. In order to make the individual franchise shops operate other fees and experiences are required including Leasehold improvement which could cost up to $185,000, insurance which could cost $10,000, Office equipment and supplies which cost around $25,000 and others.Additional Information:Current event article: Auntie Anne’s vision is to “Passionately serve and positively impacts lives, one pretzel and one customer at a time” and that is exactly what happened to LaQuinta Pernell when she bite into one of Auntie Anne’s fresh baked pretzels for the first time. After this, her weekly family shopping trips to Walmart never ended without stopping by Auntie Anne’s and picking up a pretzel. Even now, 14 years later, Auntie Anne’s pretzels are a staple for the Pernell family during shopping trips, or even just simple outings. Now having a daughter of her own, LaQuinta is carrying on the tradition by bringing her 4 year old daughter and her husband to Auntie Anne’s during every trip to the mall. Even after countless times of ordering and indulging herself into one of Auntie Anne’s pretzels, LaQuinta is proud to say that she has never had a poor experience. Because of this, LaQuinta and the rest of the Pernell family want to say “thank you” to Auntie Anne’s for being such a great staple in their lives.  Products sold: Auntie Anne’s is famous for two main products. Those products are fresh baked soft pretzels and lemonade. These two products originated back in the beginning of the Auntie Anne’s company when the whole business was merely a stand at a local farmer’s market. Although these two products are still on the menu, over the years the franchise has expanded by adding more flavors and options including cinnamon sugar, sweet almond, sour cream and onion, pepperoni, raisin, roasted garlic and parmesan and many types of pretzel nuggets. Other available options in stores include pretzel kits which allow the customers to make their own Auntie Anne’s products from the comfort of their home. The types of drinks sold have also expanded over the years to various types of Coca-Cola products, Lemonade Ice Tea, different flavors of Lemonade Mixers and various flavors of Frozen Lemonade Mixers. By doing this, the company has appealed to many more people than their beginning clients. Requirements of managers/owners: In order to sell their famous fresh baked pretzels and lemonade, the requirement for the owner and managers of the Auntie Anne’s business must be met. Managers, which are required to be over the age of 18, must complete all phases of training before the initial opening of the shop. The training includes 41 hours of classroom training, 27 and 67 hours of on the job training, and the covering of a number of aspect such as maintenance procedures, food preparation, marketing and advertising techniques, quality standards, and whatever the franchisor sees appropriate. Managers are also required to have a high school diploma and a friendly personality, great people’s skills and the ability to easily express their ideas while communicating with others. Both managers and owners must also have a great and in depth understanding of the product, the company’s views and goals and what is needed in order to make the business run smoothly. Mission Statements: Over the years the mission statement of Auntie Anne’s has changed, but it has always revolved around one particular mission: to serve others quality products with respect and care. The original mission statement was created at the opening of the business in 1988 which stated, “Go light your world: lead by example, invest in employees, give freely, honor god, and treat all business contacts with respect.” This statement was followed up until the making of the updated mission statement along the same lines which states, “To strengthen and grow our brand by serving the world’s best pretzel products while providing unparalleled customer care.” This statement is still looked to and followed by the entire Auntie Anne’s franchise and has influenced many business moves. The managers and owners must be aware of the goals and reasoning behind the mission statements in order to make superior decisions pertaining to present and future of the franchise. Company Status: After about 29 years of the franchisee opening,  1,700 stores are operating worldwide in 48 states and 25 different countries. Each of these stores bring in an average of $446,749 per year contributing to the total franchisee total profit of $440,000,000. Each of these individual stores have their own workers including cashiers who gets paid $8.40/hr, shift leaders who get paid approximately $9.17/hr, team members who get paid $8.40/hr, and other workers which making operating the business possible. Auntie Anne’s is also a part of a number of FOCUS brands such as Southwest Grill, Cinnabon and Seattle’s Best Coffee which allows the products to be sold in many different locations other than just the individual stores. Conclusion:Auntie Anne’s is an extremely successful company that truly uses its advantages for the greater good. From charitable partnerships to continuous noteworthy customer service, it is clear to see how Auntie Anne’s is and continues to be increasingly popular in not only the United States, but also across the world.Works Cited”Auntie Anne’s Pretzels | Freshly Baked Soft Pretzels.” Auntie Anne’s, 2017, www.auntieannes.com/.”Auntie Anne’s.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 10 Dec. 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auntie_Anne%27s. “Company History | Auntie Anne’s.” Auntie Anne’s Pretzel, www.auntieannes.com/our-story/company-history. “Auntie Anne’s Soft RBMM, rbmm.com/work/auntie-annes/. Pretzel Maker Logo.”  “Auntie Anne’s Partners with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Third Annual Fundraising Campaign.” Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, www.auntieannes.com/our-story/newsroom/media-releases/auntie-annes-continues-commitment-to-the-fight-against-childhood-cancer. “HOME.” Auntie Anne’s Pretzels Franchise Cost & Fee, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels FDD & Franchise Information | FranchiseDirect.com, www.franchisedirect.com/foodfranchises/auntie-annes-pretzels-franchise-07104/ufoc/

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