Franchisee Voices: Patric and Michael Siniscalchi of Philly Pretzel Factory
Franchisee Voices: Patric and Michael Siniscalchi of Philly Pretzel Factory

The Siniscalchis are opening the first ever Myrtle Beach Philly Pretzel Factory.

South Carolina is getting its first ever Philly Pretzel Factory this July. New York natives Patric and Michael Siniscalchi are bringing their favorite East Coast treat to Myrtle Beach.

After seeing great success at their 710 Bowling Restaurant and Bar, the father and son duo decided to focus on the lives of others as their main goal with their new business venture.

With each opening, they plan to employ good people who have faced economic hardships and allow them to earn a significant portion of the business’ profit in order to escape poverty. They are working with the local Helping Hands and Family Promise organizations to model a profit sharing program with each opening following their first location, aiming to help women in need make a career for themselves.

Tell us a little bit about your background.

We currently own a business in Myrtle Beach, it’s a bowling alley called 710 Bowling Restaurant and Bar. We were looking for an opportunity to ramp up our community outreach with local charities. As a family, we feel we’ve been extremely fortunate and blessed in this life and that there are many good, hard working people out there who have encountered undeserved misfortune.

We wanted a franchise with a good product that could be run by unskilled labor. The idea was for us to allow people who face difficulties – mainly women – to be shareholders of the store. We briefly considered doing an equity share, but it was too complicated, so we adapted a profit sharing model where the senior and junior operator receives paid salaries. They would earn a share of the profits, which would develop over time. They would get 10 percent of profits – and it keeps growing by year. 60 percent of the profit would be given to these two full time employees, and we’d set aside 10 percent of the profits for emergencies for those that have a hard time getting to work. Regarding the remaining 30 percent, 5 to 10 percent would go to expenses and the difference would go to opening a new store. Over a course of 4 to 5 years, they might have $50,000 to $70,000 in savings and they can go do something with that.

I want them to be able to do almost anything they want with that money. To me, in my simplistic view of the world, poverty in the U.S. is because those affected by poverty can never own anything. This profit sharing model we are launching allows them to own something. Overall, this mission would provide the chance to help individuals help themselves. 

Why did you choose to become a franchisee with Philly Pretzel Factory? How did you learn about the brand?

I have heard a lot of positive things about the product. It had a simple business model, especially the Walmart stores where you get oven-ready pretzels. And in the world of franchises, Philly Pretzel Factory has a relatively low capital requirement. The plan is to invest $100,000 in each store and have the bank finance the business. Philly Pretzel Factory has a simple business to run; there are only two suppliers, and a focused suite of high quality products. The corporate team at Philly Pretzel Factory team has enthusiastically gotten on board with our mission, as well.

My father has 40 years of operations experience; I have 10 years of finance experience. We’re hoping that these people who have had misfortune can over a few years actually walk away with not just money but a resume that will help them pursue their dreams as they venture into new careers.

What were your perceptions of franchising before starting the process? 

Both Mike and I had an idea of what to expect when entering the franchising world because we had looked into some franchises as business opportunities, and I also had a bunch of former managers at franchises operating for me at 710 Bowling Restaurant and Bar. Philly Pretzel Factory is truly a regional brand at this point in time – it is rare for people to be familiar with the brand outside of the Philly area. However, they are making an effort to expand throughout the East Coast, and we thought we could be a great addition to the system.

What’s next for you and your business? Do you have any development/expansion plans with the brand?

Myrtle Beach is a 60-mile stretch so we would like to populate the whole coastline with Philly Pretzel Factory locations. The ceiling for us is 12 stores in this region, and then we will see how things go from there. Currently, our goal is to open three stores in the first year.