- Focus Brands will open its first Cinnabon Swirl this year, a co-branded concept with Carvel and Cinnabon, the company announced Wednesday.
- Focus Brands has development agreements in place to open over 50 dual and tri-branded locations this year, and many will include drive-thrus.
- The company, which owns Auntie Anne’s, Carvel, Cinnabon, Jamba, McAlister’s Deli, Moe’s Southwest Grill and Schlotzky’s, has 175-plus dual branded units open and another 65 in various stages of development across the U.S.
Focus has been experimenting with different formats across its system, including dual-branded Auntie Anne’s/Jamba drive-thrus and smaller stores for Schlotzsky’s, and has long operated dual-branded Auntie Anne’s and Cinnabon concepts in malls and non-traditional locations. The company is using dual- and multi-branded concepts to offer new opportunities for franchisees.
The company signed a 14-unit streetside deal — its largest dual-branded agreement to date — with a franchisee in northwest Indiana. The first of these locations, which are co-branded Auntie Anne’s/Cinnabon units, are expected to open in mid-2023, the company wrote in an email to Restaurant Dive.
“Dual branding is the future of our brands, especially on the specialty side of the business,” Brian Krause, chief development officer at Focus Brands, said in a statement. “There will always be a place in malls, but there is an immense amount of growth opportunity in streetside venues, and, by dual branding, there is more opportunity for enhanced revenue.”
The company said its strategy team researched opportunities for co-branded and multi-branded options, including looking closely at financials, operations, development, marketing and competition. It has identified co-branded opportunities for Auntie Anne’s/Cinnabon, Auntie Anne’s/Cinnabon/Carvel, Auntie Anne’s/Jamba and Cinnabon/Carvel. Having more brands in one location has led to larger menus and higher unit-level volume, the company said.
Other restaurant platforms, including Fat Brands, which opened its first tri-branded location last year, and BBQ Holdings have been leaning into multi-branded concepts.