Auntie Anne’s is a quick-service restaurant concept selling soft pretzels and related items such as pretzel dogs — similar to pigs in a blanket — and pretzel bites. It has a particularly strong presence in airports and malls.
Anne Beiler opened the first Auntie Anne’s in 1988 at a farmer’s market in Downingtown, Pa., and it had grown through franchising to 100 units by 1992. It was purchased by Focus Brands, a portfolio company of Roark Capital, in 2010.
Heather Neary has been the brand’s president since 2015, and since then focused on growing the brand in places other than traditional suburbs, such as university campuses, urban centers and other areas with high foot traffic.
Neary also launched the Pretzels to the People Program which includes dozens of food trucks used to promote its off-premises capabilities, such as catering.
The chain opened its first drive-thru location, co-branded with sister concept Jamba, in Wylie, Texas in May of 2021.
Segment: Quick Service
Restaurant Segment: LSR Dessert/Snack
Number of U.S. Locations: 1,250
2020 Sales: $586.4 million
Source: Datassential Firefly 500
CEO: Jim Holthouser
Parent Group: Focus Brands