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FDD Talk: The Ben’s Soft Pretzels Franchise Opportunity (Financial Performance Analysis, Estimated Costs, and Other Important Stuff You Need to Know)

by Franchise Chatter on April 13, 2016

in FDD Talk 2017: Food Franchises, Franchise Earnings, Pretzel Franchise



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Ben's Soft Pretzels Photo

In this FDD Talk post, you’ll learn the following:

  • Section I – Background information on the Ben’s Soft Pretzels franchise opportunity, including relevant news updates
  • Section II – Estimated initial investment for a Ben’s Soft Pretzels franchise, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2015 FDD
  • Section III – Presentation and analysis of Ben’s Soft Pretzels’ financial performance representations, based on Item 19 of the company’s 2015 FDD, including information on the:
  • actual gross revenue figures, year by year (from the date the stores opened through December 31, 2014), for the five Ben’s Soft Pretzels stores being operated by companies related to the franchisor by common ownership which have been open for at least twelve months as of December 31, 2014
  • 2014 average gross revenues for the three Ben’s Soft Pretzels stores owned by franchisees which have been open for at least twelve months as of December 31, 2014

Section I – Background Information

Ben’s Soft Pretzels got its start in early 2008 when three people came together with an idea. Brian Krider was the local businessman, Scott Jones was the pretzel fanatic, and Ben Miller was the third-generation Amish baker.

Ben and his wife had their own bakery and had just purchased the adjacent soft pretzel business, but discovered they weren’t getting the recipe from it. The two spent many hours coming up with and tweaking their Amish/Dutch dough recipe that resulted in the perfect soft pretzel.

Since its founding in the Concord Mall in Elkhart, IN, and franchising beginning in 2013, more than 50 franchised locations have sprung up across the nation, with another 10 that are company-owned.

Part of the company’s success has come from their relationship to Notre Dame and offering the product at its football games, which helped expose their offering to lots of different people who became loyal fans and customers.

Here’s how Ben’s Soft Pretzels is twisting up the competition in the pretzel industry:

El Primo Locations

Ben’s Soft Pretzels has forged great partnerships with global retail giant Walmart as well as Meijer, another big-box retailer operating largely in the Midwest. Franchisees who locate their stores in these prime real estate locations enjoy the opportunities of high foot-traffic.

Fundraising Opportunities

The chain also supports various local community groups by offering a fundraising option where groups can sell the chain’s take-home pretzel kit so families can enjoy fresh-baked pretzels in the comfort of their homes.

Satisfaction Guaranteed

Ben’s Soft Pretzels offers the Perfect Pretzel Promise. If a customer is not 100% happy with their product, he or she can bring back the uneaten portion and the store will re-make it. And they’ll keep doing that until the customer is 100% happy.

A Beloved Product

The origins of the pretzel are not clear, but many think it originated somewhere around the year 610 A.D. when monks (no one is sure if the monks were Italian, German, or French) would reward children with the baked treat if they had learned their prayers.

The twists for which pretzels are famous might have represented the crossed arms that were at the time the traditional posture for praying. Others note that the three holes in a pretzel can be taken to stand for the Holy Trinity in Christianity.

The Menu

Their original pretzel can be enjoyed with a variety of dipping options, including Vanilla Icing, Caramel Topping, Hot Fudge, Cheddar Cheese, Marinara, Amish Sweet Mustard, Nacho Cheese, Yellow Mustard, Cream Cheese, or Spicy Mustard.

Pretzels can also come as a bake-n-shake option, sporting such flavors as Parmesan Cheese Topping, Cinnamon & Sugar, Sour Cream & Onion, and Garlic Topping.

There are also Pretzel Stix and smaller Buggy Bites. For those wishing a more substantial offering, there’s the Jumbo Pretzel Dog featuring an all-beef frank with cheese wrapped in pretzel dough, and Pretzel Pocket sandwiches.

All pretzels are preservative-free and baked fresh daily on-site.

Section II – Estimated Costs

  • Please click here for detailed estimates of Ben’s Soft Pretzels franchise costs, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2015 FDD.

Section III – Financial Performance Representations (Item 19, 2015 FDD) and Analysis



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