Pretzelmaker is a chain of independently owned and operated franchised stores that specialize in hand-rolled pretzels, smoothies and cold beverages. It is a franchise brand in the portfolio of Global Franchise Group. It has more than 280 locations in the U.S. and internationally.

Company typeSubsidiary
Pretzel Time
Founded1991; 33 years ago (1991)
FounderJeffery Tripp
Number of locations
280 (2019)
Area served
Saudi Arabia
United States
Key people
Christopher Dull (CEO)
ProductsSoft pretzels, smoothies, soft drinks
ParentFAT Brands


Former Pretzelmaker logo

Founder Jeffery Tripp opened the first Pretzelmaker store in 1991. He changed the name of the company to Pretzelmaker for nationwide franchising purposes. Charles L. Smith was the founding President of Pretzelmaker, Corporation with Bruce W. Stratford, Legal Council and CFO. J. Kelly Hansen and Stephen A. Thorpe ran the day-to-day operations as co-founders and VP of Sales and VP of Operations respectively. The brand quickly grew to more than 100 franchises sold, with 40 stores operating by 1995 when it was bought by a group of investors that helped make Pretzelmaker a mall mainstay, particularly in the West Coast.[1] Don Cox, Marc Geman, Tony Joseph and Dale Fowler bought the company in 1995 with a small group of investors. In the next 36 months this group took the company from 11 opened stores to 288. Director of Operations Tony Joseph and his operation team were the driving force opening 7 locations a month. Mr. Joseph trained all franchisees US wide, Canada, South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore. In 1998 Pretzelmaker was voted the fastest growing food Franchise in the US according to Restaurant News and Entrepreneur Magazine. Dale Fowler was the Sr. Vice President of Marketing. Mr. Fowler put Pretzelmaker on the map with Media articles from the top newspapers and magazines from all over the US. Don Cox was the President until he was relieved of his duties in 1998. Marc Geman was the CEO until the company was sold in 1999.

Pretzel Time logo

The first Pretzel Time store opened in Trumbull, Connecticut.[2] The company was originally incorporated as Mr. Pretzel Inc. in 1991, but quickly changed its name to Pretzel Time by the time it became a popularly franchised mall-based store in the Northeast.[3]

In 1999, Mrs. Fields Famous Brands purchased Pretzelmaker.[4] Later it sold the brands to NexCen in 2007 in a combined transaction total of $29.7 million.[2] In 1996, Mrs. Fields had acquired the now-defunct Hot Sam which it merged with Pretzelmaker in 2005.

Global Franchise Group (GFG) purchased NexCen Franchise Management in 2010, and merged Pretzel Time and Pretzelmaker into one brand as Pretzelmaker. Pretzelmaker today is the second largest retailer of freshly baked, hand rolled and twisted pretzels.

On June 28, 2021, Global Franchise Group announced that it would be acquired by FAT Brands, owners of Fatburger and Johnny Rockets.[5] The acquisition was completed on July 22.[6]



Pretzelmaker's line of pretzels includes 10 flavors, and a variety of dipping sauces are provided. It is the innovator of the Pretzel Dog and Pretzel Bites.


  1. ^ "New River Valley Mall". Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust. Archived from the original on 20 July 2008. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  2. ^ a b "NexCen Brands Acquires Pretzel Time® and Pretzelmaker® Franchise Concepts" (Press release). NexCen Brands. 7 August 2007. Archived from the original on 20 April 2008. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  3. ^ "Mrs. Fields' Original Cookies, Inc, Form S-4/A". Securities and Exchange Commission. September 8, 1999. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  4. ^ "Mrs. Fields acquires Pretzelmaker in latest buying spree". BNET. 7 December 1998. Archived from the original on 8 March 2010. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  5. ^ Inc, FAT Brands (28 June 2021). "FAT Brands Inc. Agrees to Acquire Global Franchise Group for $442.5 million". GlobeNewswire News Room. Retrieved 1 September 2021. {{cite news}}: |last1= has generic name (help)
  6. ^ Inc., FAT Brands (22 July 2021). "FAT Brands Completes Acquisition of Global Franchise Group". GlobeNewswire News Room. Retrieved 1 September 2021. {{cite news}}: |last1= has generic name (help)