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According to the company Franchise Disclosure Document, the total investment necessary to begin operation of an Auntie Anne’s shop ranges from $197,875 to $367,600, including $48,000 to $60,000 depending on the start-up package, and an initial franchise fee of $30,000. To operate an Auntie Anne’s sharing space with a Subway restaurant inside a Wal-Mart, the total investment is between $61,200 and $167,500, including the $18,800 to $31,500 start-up fee and $5,000 initial franchise fee.
By comparison, Kmiec said, the initial investment in a new food truck is about $155,000 for a turnkey operation.
Auntie Anne’s has more than 885 locations in the United States and some 340 internationally. The company’s biggest recruiting tool for new franchisees is the brand itself, Kmiec says. In 2011, it was No. 1 on the Top 30 Food Franchises list by Franchise Business Review.
The company offers a financial incentive for existing franchisees to recommend new potential partners, it also regularly offers webinars to provide information to investors who are interested in the brand, as well as connecting with them through social media.
Kmiec said the company is most interested in attracting franchisees who are passionate about the brand, have previous business experience and are interested in operating single units. The company identifies specific markets on its website that are still ripe for a new franchise.
All franchisees agree to contribute to an advertising fund that is used to create new promotions and marketing materials to support the promotion at each store. The company is very careful about conveying a consistent message, issued at the corporate level, across its franchise system.