Emerging Franchises Doing Awesome Things in Franchising: Philly Pretzel Factory
Emerging Franchises Doing Awesome Things in Franchising: Philly Pretzel Factory

Taking a Brand From Street Vendor to National Sensation Through Inventive Marketing

When the founder of Philly Pretzel Factory started selling pretzels on a street corner at the age of 11, Dan DiZio already had dreams of turning his small business into something bigger. Now, 25 years later, this vision has turned into a budding franchise concept that’s aiming to close the year with 200 locations in more than 20 states, with locations in airports, zoos, amusement parks and even Walmarts.

Philly Pretzel Factory has been zeroing in on Midwestern development, starting in Ohio and since expanding into Indiana, Missouri and Illinois. This is part of the brand’s Western growth initiative that’s designed to truly make the Philly Pretzel craze a nationwide sensation.

“Customer response for us has been really good in the Midwest,” according to Philly Pretzel Factory’s marketing manager Adam Terranova. “People aren’t used to getting fresh baked pretzels in that part of the country. By continuing our expansion, we’re bringing something unique to the table.”

Aside from this strategic growth strategy, Philly Pretzel Factory’s unique marketing campaigns have also attributed to the brand’s success. Social media marketing has been on the rise for years, and Philly Pretzel Factory has been at the forefront, with a number of creative campaigns including the "Tim Tebow Pretzel" that's viral status became a huge social win for the brand. Philly Pretzel Factory is cleverly finding new ways to engage with consumers.

“Tapping into newsworthy events has helped us increase interaction and awareness of our brand,” said Terranova. “By engaging with our fans in a fun way, we ultimately boost loyalty, which is incredibly important as we look to expand into new markets nationwide.”

The marketing team has also managed to hone in on top sellers and create spinoffs of these products to boost sales. A couple of initiatives they’ve launched recently include a Buffalo Dip, based on the success of the Buffalo Chicken Sausage LTO, and Mini Pretzel Dogs, based off of one of their top sellers: the Pretzel Dog.

“We’ve employed a number of new marketing tactics that keep our menu innovative and fresh,” said Terranova. “We launched our Mini Pretzels in mid-September and we’re also expanding our catering menu to give people more of what they like, which is ultimately our party trays. Our catering orders reach their peak between Christmas Eve and the Super Bowl. By launching this party tray now, we know we have a better opportunity to increase our sales during our busiest time of year.”

Philly Pretzel Factory has also added specialty items to their menu over the years, like the Pretzel Cheesesteak and Pepperoni Pizza Melts, to stick with the convenience aspect of their brand image while increasing their menu offerings. They now hope to cater to a new audience with the potential launch of breakfast sandwiches.

“We’re in the early test stages right now to expand our sales with breakfast,” said Terranova. “We have really strong sales from the mid-morning rush through the dinner hour, but we’re missing out in markets where breakfast could add a huge boost. We’re excited about the opportunity to cater to a new audience, and are eager to see what happens in the near future.”

Innovation and passion have helped fuel Philly Pretzel Factory's success since founding – and it’s the brand’s creative marketing initiatives that are continuing to drive growth and consumer engagement as Philly Pretzel Factory looks to become a household name.