Wetzel’s Pretzels and Thirst Expand Iconic Partnership Opening First Ever Dual Branded Drive-Thru Location

August 16, 2022

ST. GEORGE, Utah – Wetzel’s Pretzels (Wetzel’s) is twisting up endless new ways of satisfying snack cravings on-the-go with its fresh-baked buttery goodness. The beloved SoCal brand’s fruitful partnership with Thirst, a beloved Utah-based beverage company, is soaring to new heights, recently opening the duo’s first drive-thru location in popular vacation destination St. George, located at 652 E. St. George Blvd.

Thirst, known for its variety of inventive drinks, originally sought a partnership with Wetzel’s to bring its food and beverage snacking experience to the streets. Debuting their collab with a Wetzel’s and Thirst food truck last year, the snack-happy pair was a smash-hit from day one. After the mobile unit rapidly earned a loyal following, appearing alongside the Rose Parade® and all over Instagram, Thirst founder Ethan Cisneros saw an opportunity to expand the successful partnership through a street-side location to meet guest demand. The duo’s first brick and mortar restaurant offers key menu offerings from both brands, delivering quick bites and sips to travelers and locals alike.

“The pairing of Thirst and Wetzel’s brands together is truly a perfect match. It’s clear both brands share the same mission – to deliver smiles with a variety of fun, fresh, handheld menu items – making for a delightful and rewarding work environment” said Cisneros, who co-founded Thirst with his business partner Sierra McCleve. “Wetzel’s flexible formats provide a great opportunity to design the business around market needs with flexibility and ease of operations, and we knew a drive-thru would match St. George’s high volume of vacationers. With the endless support of the Wetzel’s team, the sky is the limit!”

The drive-thru format is a nod to Wetzel’s flexible format models, showcasing the brand’s ability to adapt to fit within virtually any retail space, big or small. From kiosks to inline stores and now drive-thrus, Wetzel’s is continuing to provide new revenue streams for franchisees that are cost-effective, streamlined and highly profitable.

“Ethan’s enthusiasm for the Wetzel’s and Thirst partnership truly radiates, and it’s been incredible to see the success he's driven from onset. He knows exactly how to engage the community, particularly through social media, and has leveraged those platforms to grow an immense following in the Valley. Expanding to a drive-thru unites the full power of both brands, with a ground-up build that will set the stage for our partnership’s continued growth,” said Jennifer Schuler, CEO of Wetzel’s Pretzels. “Wetzel’s has been beloved by mall goers looking for high-quality snack offerings at grab and go speeds. As we’re built for speed and simplicity, expanding the Wetzel’s concept to drive-thru is a natural brand extension that aligns with our mission to bring pretzels to the people. We’re proud to partner with the Thirst team, giving them a turnkey option to immediately expand their menu and appeal to more dayparts. We’re excited to add St. George as the second drive-thru location in our portfolio and look forward to future expansion of this format.”

A popular tourist destination for nature lovers, St. George is known for its proximity to Zion National Park, Grand Canyon National Park and Snow Canyon State Park. Its endless trails, dunes and red sandstone cliffs make it an ideal location for endless outdoor recreation activities. The Wetzel’s and Thirst drive-thru will serve to refuel hikers, bikers and beyond with convenience and speed after a long day in the sun or snow.

With 28 years in business, Wetzel’s continues to outdo itself, increasing same store sales 24% in 2021 as compared to 2019 and building a robust pipeline of 40 new store openings planned for this year. Beyond conventional locations, Wetzel’s continues to expand its non-traditional presence, including partnerships with big-box retailers like Walmart and Macy’s, convenience stores and mobile food trucks, providing new ways to ‘Bring Pretzels to the People’ and introduce multiple revenue streams for franchisees.

Known for its playful twists on the beloved soft pretzel, Wetzel’s offers a scrumptious blend of both tried-and-true menu items and innovative options. Loyal fans of the brand can savor iconic favorites such as Wetzel’s Original Bitz paired with ice-cold lemonade or opt to satisfy their sweet tooth with buttery, gooey Cin-A-Bitz all baked up fresh at the St. George location.

For additional information about the Wetzel’s franchise opportunity, visit https://www.wetzelsfranchising.com.

About Wetzel’s Pretzels

Providing a fun, fresh take on soft pretzels, Wetzel’s Pretzels was founded in 1994 by Bill Phelps and Rick Wetzel in Pasadena, California. Drawing fans to its mouth-watering, portable snacks that are hand-rolled, baked fresh and served hot from the oven, word quickly spread about the delicious West Coast brand. Today, Wetzel's Pretzels has grown to more than 350 bakeries, including premier locations like Disney Springs® at Walt Disney World® Resort, Downtown Disney® District at Disneyland® Resort and Universal CityWalk,TM continuing to cultivate fanatics around the world with its SoCal vibes and “gram-worthy” snacks. It’s cult-like following includes famous fans like Ben Affleck, Billie Eilish, Jimmy Kimmel, Kim Kardashian, and Cardi B. As the nation’s leading pretzel chain, the franchise has received numerous accolades, most recently being named to Restaurant Business Top 500 and the Culture100 by Franchise Business Review. For additional information about the Wetzel’s franchise opportunity, visit WetzelsFranchising.com.

About Thirst

They are an unlikely pair of co-founders— an early 20s male serial entrepreneur, and a thirty-something mom/small business owner and entrepreneur. While beginning the partnership quite by chance, Ethan Cisneros and Sierra McCleve soon came to share the vision of building experienced-based businesses. Hustle is the name of the game while guiding the company towards a mission of delivering happiness and holding to core values. Going forward, the two plan to grow the company and further develop the brand by spreading happiness to consumers and team members (as well as delicious drinks and treats of course), one experience at a time! Thirst has grown to six locations including the Utah Jazz Arena, Rio Tinto Arena, and the University of Utah campus. To learn more about Thirst, check out @thirstdrinks on Instagram. For additional information about Wetzel’s powered by Thirst, visit the truck’s Instagram feed at @wetzelsthirsttruckutah