Franchising World

By Vincent Montanelli, Wetzel’s Pretzels


With a record franchise development pipeline, a growing fleet of food trucks and strategic locations within retail giants like Walmart and Macy’s, the brand is weaving a diverse tapestry of success backed by innovative marketing, advanced corporate support, digital enhancements and flexible store formats. Let’s unravel the knot of achievements that mark Wetzel’s 2023 highlights:

Growth Highlights

Wetzel’s Pretzels expanded into Eastern Canada in 2023, a move made possible by MTY Food Group, Inc.’s recent acquisition of Wetzel’s, leveraging the expertise of its seasoned Canadian development team. Wetzel’s food truck fleet experienced rapid growth, with operators adding multiple trucks to their territories due to the model’s low cost of entry and feasibility. The brand opened its doors to 17 new bakeries by the end of Q2 and will close the year out with approximately 40 new locations. Even further, Wetzel’s is setting out to achieve another enviable milestone — the opening of its 400th location in early 2024.

Twisted by Wetzel’s

Wetzel’s Pretzels thrives on innovation, as made evident by the launch of Twisted by Wetzel’s — a dynamic streetside concept that redefines the pretzel paradigm. Optimized for in-store dining, grab-and-go and online ordering, Twisted by Wetzel’s brings ‘pretzels to the people’ in a whole new venue while expanding menu offerings to increase customer acquisition. The first location in La Habra, California, sent waves of excitement through pretzel enthusiasts, followed by a location in Surprise, Arizona, and Southgate, California.

Technology and Training Initiatives

In a world dominated by digital trends, Wetzel’s Pretzels makes routine improvements to its tech stack. In 2023, Wetzel’s launched a new mobile app, which enabled mobile ordering. The implementation of technology for bakery operations showcases the brand’s commitment to operational excellence. Launching a digital training program with 1Huddle enhances the onboarding experience and strengthens the bonds within its franchise community. Continued adoption of third-party delivery throughout the chain is driving off-premise sales. Wetzel’s began to roll out a new POS system for company wide adoption by 2024, enabling much stronger reporting, faster processing speeds and compatibility with tools like self-ordering kiosks and mobile line-busters.

Menu Collaborations

Entering 2024, Wetzel’s remains committed to pushing the boundaries of flavor. Collaborations with renowned brands like Ghirardelli and Tajín have sparked fan-favorite creations like Frozen Horchata, Choco Churro Bitz, S’mores Bitz and the Guava Mangonada drink, all products of Wetzel’s ability to exceed diverse consumer preferences. Innovations from the Twisted by Wetzel’s menu development are helping create a solid library of innovative products that can be leveraged as LTOs in the years to come.

Access to Equity Program for Franchisees

Wetzel’s Pretzels’ Access to Equity Program makes franchise ownership accessible for women and ethnic minorities. This initiative goes beyond the pretzel business, emphasizing the importance of such opportunities for underrepresented groups. The inclusion in ownership initiative provides a discount on the initial franchise fee for all new women and minority owners, and for select owners who qualify, it may offer additional business education, mentoring, and discounts.


In 2023, Wetzel’s was named to Franchise Business Review’s 2023 Top Food Franchises, FSR’s Most-Beloved Restaurant Brands in America list, Franchise Times’ Top 400 list, Nation’s Restaurant News’ 2023 Creator list, and QSR’s Top 50 Contender list. The company also received a 2023 Franchising@Work Bronze Award from FBR for being the third highest rated franchise company in employee satisfaction measurements. As we anticipate 2024 and approach Wetzel’s 30th anniversary, the brand is strategically positioned for yet another successful year, beginning with the significant opening of its 400th store. In the spirit of Wetzel’s, here’s to the triumphs that await, with pretzels twisting and success rising.



Vincent Montanelli is the COO of Wetzel’s Pretzels. Vincent boasts nearly two decades of executive roles within Wetzel’s Pretzels, and his background includes operational positions at Jamba Juice, Baskin Robbins, and McDonald’s. For more information about IFA franchisor member Wetzel’s Pretzels, please visit