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Last Update: Saturday September 18, 2021

Key Idea: Create A Franchise With Systems

Start with a great product, and follow with well-defined training and procedures in place to develop a franchise organization.

Key Question:


Define and codify processes.

Q: What does a franchisee expect from a franchisor?

Systems and training. The whole point of selling a franchise is to offer first a great product then a turn-key plan for success based upon an already existing track record.

If every detail is not spelled out, the franchisee is short-changed and the franchisor does not have consistency of brand across all locations.

Anne is a teacher and so is every great business owner we know. Growth is all about extending yourself and your ideas through systematic teaching. The two-week start-up training new franchisee owners receive is just the beginning. Every day is a learning day at Auntie Anne's

Think about it

What do I need to teach others in my organization? What needs to be learned? Who could teach us?

Clip from: Auntie Annes Pretzels

Anne Beiler says that everyone is teachable and lovable.

Gap, Pennsylvania:   An angel investor stood by her while bank after bank turned her down because the purpose of this business was to make money then give it away.

Meet Anne Beiler, founder f Auntie Anne's Pretzels.  Anne's generous spirit is infused throughout this company and it is their secret ingredient.  Anne has proven that her franchisees want to run a business built on love. While most franchise companies have to market to find new owners, Anne has to turn away hundreds who want to buy into her concept. Products topped with her love of people make Anne Beiler a leadership example to follow.

In 1988 Anne Beiler turned a mistake into a new product. Today, Auntie Anne's Hand-Rolled Soft Pretzels are baked fresh in over 800 locations and are the perfect high carbohydrate, low-fat, back-to-the-basics snack so many people crave. Customers will part with over $500 million a year to enjoy this hot treat.

So now, we travel out to Gap in Pennsylvania's Amish Country; it is a simpler place. And though it may be an unlikely place to be running a fast-growing business, maybe there are lessons here for all of us in these hostile times.  This business is based on love and on giving. This is the American Dream. It has come alive for all the right reasons.

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Auntie Anne's Inc.

Anne Beiler, Founder

160-A Route 41
Gap, PA 17527

Visit our web site:

Office: 717-435-1610

Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1988

Create A Franchise With Systems

HATTIE: Why did you all decide that the franchise format or model was the way to grow?
 JONAS: That's interesting. We originally started out with a licensing agreement with a handful of people early in our business experience. Soon we realized that we are becoming a franchise, or whether we realized it or not, and as we looked into where this was taking us, we realized we're a full-fledged franchise and need to conform to those guidelines, and it was very good to do that.

ANNE: It's a great way to do business, because you don't need a lot of capital up front. You get a franchise fee, so for us, it was just enough money to keep going each time we sold a franchise. Well, you know, it's easy to dream, and I thought at one point, wow, I can do this, and I can teach anybody how to make a pretzel or run a store. And so my husband set off on this little journey, and we did seven stores in 1989. Well, believe it or not, seven stores, it doesn't sound like a lot, but we were running ourselves ragged. And I began to realize that to dream is one thing, but to actually bring that dream into fruition takes an awful lot of hard work, perseverance, patience, discipline, all the things that don't come easy for most of us.

HATTIE: Do you write in your training manual, 'Smile, be nice, give the customer what they want'?

ANNE: Yes, yes, because I think if you put people first, then your profits will follow.

HATTIE (Voiceover): Every franchisee attends a two week course at Auntie Anne's national training center in Gap, Pennsylvania.

Unidentified Woman #3: What are we going to do?

Group: Sell more pretzels and have more fun.

HATTIE: What is a nice CPA like you doing in a place like this rolling pretzels?

BOB BURNESS: I'm having fun. I just wanted a change in my life and wanted to do something different, and I kind of got hooked on this, just by the product.

HATTIE: Did you get hooked personally eating the product?

BOB: Yes.

HATTIE: And you said, 'Oh, my gosh, these are so fabulous.'

BOB: I was actually on business out in Los Angeles and I was flying back into Philadelphia, and they routed me through Pittsburgh Airport, and I was changing planes to come back in, and I was hungry, and I had a pretzel, and I was absolutely amazed at it. That was in September, and then two months later, I was doing Christmas shopping in Macy's back where I lived in Yardley, Pennsylvania, at the Quaker Bridge Mall and I was getting rung up, and a gal behind the register said she couldn't wait to get off break to go get a pretzel, and I said, 'What are you talking about?'

HATTIE: What kind of pretzel?

BOB: 'There's this new pretzel place out in the mall and you've got to go check it out,' and so I went out into the mall. There was an Auntie Anne's store and there was a line, and that's how I was introduced to it.

HATTIE: So your CPA kicked in in your brain and you said I'm counting all these customers and I'm counting all these pretzels.

BOB: Well, it's definitely an economically viable business, that's for sure. It's simple. And franchising works because of the structure. You know, 90 percent of small businesses really tend to fail in the first five years; whereas the statistic, I think, over 90 percent of all franchises succeed, and that's because of the control, the structure and the procedures that are put into place. You know what your costs are. You know where all your labor factors should be.


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