Wetzel's Pretzels

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Wetzel’s Pretzels Franchise, LLC
Wetzel’s Pretzels
TypePrivate
IndustryFood and beverage
Pretzel Shop
GenreQuick service
Founded1994; 28 years ago (1994)
South Bay Galleria, Redondo Beach, California, U.S.
FounderRick Wetzel
Bill Phelps
Headquarters,
US
Number of locations
350 (2021)
Key people
Jennifer Schuler, CEO
Products
RevenueUS$17 million (US, 2019)[1]
Owner
  • Independent (1994–2007)
  • Levine Leichtman Capital Partners Inc. (2007–2016)
  • CenterOak Partners LLC (2016-present)
Number of employees
2,000 (2021)
Websitewetzels.com

Wetzel's Pretzels is an American franchise of fast-food restaurants that was founded in 1994 at the South Bay Galleria in Redondo Beach, California. Currently, Wetzel's Pretzels has 300+ locations in 28 states and six other countries worldwide. Its stores can be found in shopping malls, outlet centers, theme parks, select discount retail stores, train stations and airports.[2]

History[edit]

The chain was founded in 1994 at the South Bay Galleria in Redondo Beach, California in 1994 by Rick Wetzel and Bill Phelps. In 1996, Wetzel's began franchising their brand, and now has a co-branding relationship with Cold Stone Creamery, Juice It Up!, Swensen's and more.[3]

In 2019, Bill Phelps, co-founder of Wetzel's Pretzels, stepped down as CEO after 25 years and the role will be assumed by Jennifer Schuler. Phelps will remain a large investor of the company.[4]

Investors[edit]

Los Angeles private equity firm Levine Leichtman Capital Partners Inc. bought a majority stake in the company in 2007 for an undisclosed amount. Phelps still owns a 20% share, while Wetzel holds a smaller stake.[5][6]

In October 2016, Levine Leichtman Capital Partners sold majority stake to Dallas-based private equity firm CenterOak Partners LLC. after holding the majority stake for 9 years.[7]

Locations[edit]

A Wetzel's Pretzels location at Tysons Corner Mall, Tysons Corner, Virginia.

As of 2019, Wetzel's Pretzels has over 350 locations in 28 states and six countries. Its stores are located in shopping malls, outlet centers, theme parks, select discount retail stores, train stations, and airports.[8]

At one point, the Famous Players theatre chain in Canada served Wetzel's Pretzels. These were discontinued when the film exhibitor was sold to Cineplex Galaxy in 2005.

In September of 2021, the company franchised and opened up their first stand-alone Wetzel’s Pretzels located in the heart of Downtown Tempe, Arizona in front of the Arizona State University Tempe Campus.

Products[edit]

Foods[edit]

The majority of Wetzel's Pretzel's menu consists of its namesake, pretzels. They come in several different flavors such as Wetzel's Original (buttered or non-buttered), cinnamon sugar, almond crunch, cinnamon glaze, jalapeño, garlic, and pepperoni.

They also have other pretzel items such as the Wetzel Dog, which is a pretzel wrapped around an all-beef hot dog, with or without cheese. They also have a dog bites and cheesy dog bites. They also sell bite-sized pretzels called Wetzel Bitz that come with either butter and salt or cinnamon and sugar.

Dips for the pretzels and Wetzel dogs are also sold. The current lineup of condiments include cheese, jalapeño cheese, pizza sauce, caramel, sweet glaze and cream cheese.

Beverages[edit]

  • Frozen Lemonade, sold in a variety of flavors.
  • Frozen Granita, a frozen version of the Italian dessert.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "CenterOak Partners Acquires Wetzel's Pretzels". www.businesswire.com. 2016-09-02. Retrieved 2020-04-02.
  2. ^ "CenterOak Partners Acquires Wetzel's Pretzels". www.businesswire.com. 2016-09-02. Retrieved 2020-04-02.
  3. ^ "Wetzel's Pretzels Franchise". The Franchise Mall. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  4. ^ "Wetzel's Pretzels names Jennifer Schuler CEO". Nation's Restaurant News. 2019-01-03. Retrieved 2020-04-02.
  5. ^ "Levine Leichtman Capital Partners Acquires Wetzel's Pretzels". Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  6. ^ "Wetzel's is sold -- to let even more dough roll in". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  7. ^ "CenterOak Partners Acquires Wetzel's Pretzels". www.businesswire.com. September 2, 2016.
  8. ^ Pretzels, Wetzel's (February 20, 2019). "Wetzel's Pretzels Reports 2018 Results and 2019 Outlook". GlobeNewswire News Room.
  9. ^ Wetzel's Pretzels. "Menu". Retrieved 26 June 2018.

External links[edit]