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百大连锁店 Rank no.141 -新移民致富之路

Top 250 Franchise by Entrepreneur – Rank no.141 – Wetzel’s Pretzels – US


Products & Services: Soft pretzels, lemonade, hot dogs

Number of Locations: 284

Total Investment: $156.3K – 370.64K

Founded: 1994

Began Franchising: 1996

About Wetzel’s Pretzels

Former marketing executives Bill Phelps and Rick Wetzel founded Wetzel’s Pretzels in 1994. The private company began franchising in 1996 and now has units across the United States and internationally. It is based in Pasadena, California, and has co-branding relationships with Cold Stone Creamery, Juice It Up, Swensen’s and others.

Franchise Units

Year U.S. Canadian International Company Owned
2013 257 0 15 12
2012 253 0 20 11
2011 236 21 17 11
2010 227 21 15 10
2009 225 21 15 9
Where Seeking Franchisees: Franchisor is seeking new franchise units worldwide.

Startup Costs, Ongoing Fees and Financing

Total Investment: $156,300 – $370,650
Franchise Fee: $35,000
Ongoing Royalty Fee: 7%
Term of Franchise Agreement: 10 years, renewable
Financial Requirements

Net Worth: $200,000
Liquid Cash Available: $50,000


50% of all franchisees own more than one unit. Number of employees needed to run franchised unit: 5. Absentee ownership of franchise is NOT allowed. (100% of current franchisees are owner/operators).


How This Franchise Supports Franchisees

Training: Available at headquarters: 2 weeks. At franchisee’s location: 4 days.
Ongoing Support: Newsletter, Meetings, Grand opening, Internet, Security/safety procedures, Field operations/evaluations, Purchasing cooperatives
Marketing Support: Co-op advertising, Ad slicks,

Franchise Ranking History

Franchise 500®: #141 (2013), #126 (2012), #134 (2011), #167 (2010), #228 (2009),
Fastest-Growing: #87 (2010),
America’s Top Global: #118 (2013), #104 (2012), #110 (2011), #133 (2010), #175 (2009),
Wetzel’s Pretzels is a Pasadena, California-based chain of fast-food restaurants. The first Wetzel’s Pretzels location opened in 1994 at the South Bay Galleria in Redondo Beach, California. Today, Wetzel’s Pretzels has over 175 locations in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, Philippines, Lebanon, and the Middle East.




  • Pretzels, consisting of several different flavors.
  • Wetzel dogs, hot dogs with pretzel bread for buns.
  • Wetzel Bitz, bite-size pretzel bits sold in a cardboard container.


  • Frozen Lemonade, sold in a variety of flavors.
  • Frozen Granita, a frozen version of the Italian dessert.


Rick Wetzel and Bill Phelps are the chieftains of pretzel empire Wetzel’s Pretzels. In 1994, the two were working in marketing at Nestle USA. On a business trip to Seattle, the colleagues, though not friends at the time, started kicking around the idea of pretzels as a new snack-food business. An eavesdropping stranger told them soft fresh-baked bread pretzels were really tasty. The pair got excited and started mapping out a business plan that night at a bar. They wrestled with finding a name that could be trademarked. Everything Phelps wanted had already been taken. Wetzel, who had been teased in the schoolyard with “Hey Wetzel, you pretzel," kept his mouth shut. A friend who was a marketing consultant finally pointed out the obvious for a name. The chain expanded quickly, and in 1997 Hollywood movie producer John Davis came in with $1 million raised from angel investors. Only after opening a company-owned flagship store at Disneyland in 2001 did the pair realize they had made it. “It was one of the top retailers in all of Downtown Disney per square foot," Phelps said.

Los Angeles private equity firm Levine Leichtman Capital Partners Inc. bought a majority stake in the company in 2007 for an undisclosed amount. Phelps still owns a 20% share, while Wetzel holds a smaller stake.



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