Restaurant Development & Design

JUL-AUG 2018

restaurant development + design is a user-driven resource for restaurant professionals charged with building new locations and remodeling existing units.

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1 2 • r e s t a u r a n t d e v e l o p m e n t + d e s i g n • J U L Y / A U G U S T 2 0 1 8 BUZZ who's doing what The first Chinese location of FOCUS Brands' soft pretzel behemoth Auntie Anne's opened in June in Shenzhen. Ad- ditional openings are expected to take place soon in Beijing and Shanghai. The new locations in China will bring a customized approach to the market in order to meet the desires of Chinese consumers, per a company release. The location includes a new store design, an expanded menu and more than 20 different tea offerings. The new location is operated by Chinese franchisee Gaga Group. "China is a key market for Auntie Anne's," says Mike Kehoe, president of international at FOCUS Brands. "We see enormous growth potential in China as we know there is broad appeal for our classic pretzel and new tea offerings." The introduction of Auntie Anne's is only the beginning for FOCUS Brands in China. The company is aggressively pre- paring for the launch of additional portfolio brands, includ- ing Cinnabon. Auntie Anne's has more than 1,800 locations in 48 states and more than 25 countries. Wetzel's Pretzels opened its first Chinese location in Shanghai's Réel Mall in June. The location is the first of three units that are slated to open in 2018 and the launch of a plan to open 50 units in China by 2021. "Wetzel's Pretzels offers a fresh-baked product, served fast. It's a brand that will resonate well with consumers in Shanghai," said Will Zhu, master franchisee for Wetzel's Pretzels in China. "With our first location open and corporate training center built, we're looking forward to getting other locations up and running and expanding the brand." The Pasadena, Calif.-based chain launched in 1994 and today has more than 340 bakeries globally. FOCUS Brands Takes Auntie Anne's to China Wetzel's Pretzels Opens First Location in China

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