PASADENA, CA--(Marketwired - Dec 6, 2016) - Wetzel's Pretzels, the innovator in the fresh-baked pretzel category, recently recognized its top franchise partners for their efforts and dedication in growing the Wetzel's Pretzels brand through innovation and exemplary operations. These franchisees and specific awards included:
- Innovators of the Year -- Chuck and Martha Garcera, who helped to create Pizza Bitz, which have become one of the most successful product launches in company history, becoming a permanent menu item and a top-10 item for Wetzel's Pretzels. The Garceras conceptualized the idea, and after a successful test in early 2015, Pizza Bitz rolled out nationally this past year, with guests lining up nationwide for a taste of Wetzel's Pretzels newest delicious offering.
- Multi-Unit Operator of the Year -- Sai Hossain, the largest Wetzel's Pretzel's franchisee with 36 locations across California. Along with his continued Wetzel's expansion, Sai makes frequent donations to charities both local and abroad, including sponsoring children's education in his home country of Bangladesh.
- Franchisee of the Year -- Steve Liebsohn, who has taken an out-of-the-box approach to expanding Wetzel's brand recognition and sales. Years ago, he saw a tremendous opportunity with sports arenas. In 2010, he negotiated a deal with US Airways Center (now Talking Stick Resort Arena), where the NBA's Phoenix Suns play their home games. Sales have grown year over year at that location, and Steve continues the trailblazing Wetzel's path across sports stadiums, signing on to have Wetzel's locations in both the Gila River Arena center (NHL's Arizona Coyotes) and Chase Field (MLB's Arizona Diamondbacks).
Along with operators who have gone above and beyond to strengthen the brand, Wetzel's also recognized multiple store managers who have assisted in the growth of individual units, many of whom have been with the brand for more than a decade.
"We're thrilled with the performance of top franchise partners like Steve, Sai and the Garceras," said Bill Phelps, Wetzel's co-founder and CEO. "In recent years, we've focused our growth with multi-unit operators and we are seeing results in store growth, innovative new product ideas, and exciting real estate opportunities, like professional sport stadiums. Our goal is to continue to support the initiatives of these great multi-unit operators and work with more like them to open in new territories across the United States."
Wetzel's Pretzels currently operates more than 300 company-owned and franchise locations in 28 states and six countries. For more information, visit www.wetzels.com, and follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @ wetzelpretzels for fresh-twisted treats.
About Wetzel's Pretzels
Armed with a vision and a tasty recipe for soft pretzel perfection, Bill Phelps and Rick Wetzel opened the first Wetzel's Pretzels bakery in Redondo Beach, Calif., in 1994. Long lines of hungry customers soon formed, attracted by mouth-watering soft pretzels that were hand-rolled, baked fresh and served hot from the oven. As word spread about these golden-on-the-outside pretzels, the company added additional offerings to its menu. Today, Wetzel's Pretzels has grown to more than 300 fresh bakeries across the United States and around the world, including premier locations at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. Every Wetzel's Pretzels bakery adheres to the original vision of its founders; that each super-premium pretzel will be crafted from fresh dough and baked in-store consistently throughout the day, to ensure a delicious offering for each consumer, regardless of when the craving for a pretzel strikes. For additional information on Wetzel's Pretzels or franchise opportunities, please visit the website, call (626) 432-6900, "Like" them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter and Instagram.