Wetzel’s Pretzels has elevated Vincent Montanelli as its brand leader, announcing today he’ll maintain his chief operating officer title, though with a promotion to hold the top position within the company. The promotion comes on the heels of Wetzel’s sale to MTY Food Group, announced in November.
Montanelli has been with Wetzel’s for nearly 20 years, first serving as senior vice president of operations before taking on the COO role. According to a release, he is charged with building on the brand’s momentum and driving store growth through multiple formats, including its new Twisted by Wetzel’s streetside concept and inside retail concepts like Macy’s. Franchise unit growth in 2023 is anticipated to be more than a 50% increase over 2022, which already was a banner year for the company.
Prior to joining Wetzel’s, Montanelli served in roles at Jamba Juice, Baskin-Robbins and McDonald’s. He succeeds Jennifer Schuler, who was appointed CEO in January 2019 and was just the second CEO in the company’s nearly 30-year history.
“I was excited to join the Wetzel’s team nearly 20 years ago, because of its unique combination of serving a fresh, high-quality product, while maintaining simple operations and a proven business model,” Montanelli said in a statement. “In this new role, I look forward to enhancing our guest experience and growing our network in new and innovative ways.”
This news comes as Wetzel’s prepares to open its 400th store and rides a 35% increase in same-store sales throughout the past three years.
Wetzel’s was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in Pasadena, Calif. It is the second-largest franchisor and quick-service chain operating in the snack category, known for its menu of soft-baked pretzels, pretzel dogs, and beverages.
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