- Wetzel’s Pretzels will open the first units of its new “street side storefront” concept, Twisted by Wetzel’s, in Orange County, California, this spring, the company wrote in an email to Restaurant Dive.
- The 1,200-square-foot prototype is suited for shopping centers in densely populated urban areas, suburbs and college towns, per the email.
- The launch of the new store design coincides with the company’s focus on additional growth avenues, including c-stores units, food trucks, and locations inside large retail stores like Walmart and Macy’s.
The pretzel company, which was acquired by MTY Food Group last year for $207 million, is on its way to reaching 400 units this year. Store diversification will help drive Wetzel’s towards this goal, with new locations to open in c-stores this year. The company plans to open additional Twisted locations in other markets sometime in 2023, and the format is available to franchisees, the company said.
“We’re always looking for growth opportunities for new and existing franchisees to evolve with Wetzel’s,” said Jon Fischer, chief development officer at Wetzel’s. “We’ve shown our ability to adapt to a variety of flexible formats, and the addition of Twisted by Wetzel’s helps us to unlock a powerful new pathway for expansion. Adding storefront locations to our portfolio allows us to bring pretzels to the people.”
The storefront location, which will include the potential for outdoor seating and will service dine-in traffic and online ordering, serves pretzel-based menu items that are intended to appeal to millennial and Gen Z demographics. The menu will have a range of savory and sweet options, as well as a variety of house-made drinks, the company said.
“[Twisted] will have all the Wetzel’s Pretzels classics, but twisting it up into something a little bit more premium, a little bit more meal and a little bit more innovative around flavors, that are going to be Instagrammable,” CEO Jennifer Schuler previously told Restaurant Dive.