- Wetzel’s Pretzels has opened its second Twisted by Wetzel’s brand in Surprise, Arizona, the first unit of its streetside concept to be operated by a franchisee, the company said in a press release emailed to Restaurant Dive.
- The chain opened its first company-owned Twisted, which is 1,200 square feet, during the spring in Orange County, California.
- The company feels the concept is ideal for shopping centers in densely populated urban areas, suburbs and college towns, allowing the chain to diversify beyond malls
Wetzel’s Pretzels expects to end the year with two corporate and one franchised bakery, CMO Kim Freer wrote in an email to Restaurant Dive. The company is actively selling territories, with more growth expected from franchisees. Initially, the company is focusing on development in California and Arizona, specifically on sites that are adjacent to colleges and universities and retail centers with large anchor stores, Freer said.
Wetzel’s first Twisted unit has proven popular with customers, Freer said. Its Twistz menu items, which are twisted and braided pretzel dough stuffed with cheese and sprinkled with toppings, have been strong sellers. Those items come in Pizza Bomb, Triple Cheese and Bacon Ranch varieties, Freer said. The menu is based on Wetzel’s signature dough to create items that are stuffed, topped and drizzled to create items that appeal to millennials and Gen Z consumers, the company said.
“Twisted by Wetzel’s builds on the core brand strength, providing an eating experience that’s both fun and convenient,” said Steve Leibsohn, the multi-unit franchisee operating the Surprise location. “Guests will love coming into our bright and energetic interior that showcases our playful persona, plus an open kitchen that highlights our heritage of artisan craftsmanship.
The Surprise, Arizona, location is at 13668 N. Prasada Pkwy in the Prasada Regional Shopping Center.