How to Start a Pretzel Business (2024) – Complete Guide

Have you ever thought about starting a business in the growing food/snacks industry? Launching a pretzel venture could be the right opportunity.

Whether you’re planning to open a small pretzel stand in a local area or want to expand to a larger operation by setting up an online delivery facility, food truck, or restaurant.

Then this venture has good potential for profitability, however, to succeed in this industry, requires funds, knowledge of making delicious pretzels, a target market, and well-planning.

According to research by The Brainy Insights the Global pretzel market size was valued at USD 7.24 billion in 2023 and also the market is growing stage.

pretzel market growth

With a 3.06% CAGR growth rate (2024-2033), the market growth is projected to reach USD 9.79 billion by the end of 2033, which presents a potential business opportunity.

Google Trends data indicates that over the past 12 months, pretzel searches have shown stable growth. The market for pretzels exhibits consistent demand throughout the year, unlike seasonal food products. This means you can potentially sell pretzels year-round.

pretzel google search trend

In this guide, we’ll discuss the steps involved in starting a pretzel business, from basic understanding to market research, business planning, setup process, marketing, branding, etc.

Just follow along and read until the end.

So let’s begin.

How do you start a Pretzel business?

pretzel business

Step 1: Research and understand the market

For creating an ideal customer base, it is important to note the pinpoint is ideal demographics, with the right target market.

Before you get started and get into the pretzel business, market research is a vital step to analyze your customers, competitors, and demand.

Requires proper research to determine who will enjoy your delicious pretzel and be willing to pay for it. Research not only helps you to fill the market gap but also a path for future growth.

When research, should focus on the following:

  • Current market trends
  • Industry saturation
  • Demographics demand
  • Consumer preferences
  • Growth potential

Depending on specific pretzel type (gourmet, organic, filled), and needs (convenient, portable, lower-fat alternatives, classic lover, flavors) your target customers are busy snackers, health-conscious eaters, and everyone who is looking for a good snack.

As per a research report by Statista, the United States Snyders of Hanover was the best pretzel-selling brand (2023), with US $633 in sales.

Also some other brands such as Private Label, Dots Homestyle, Snack Factory, Utz, etc.

Your priorities should be understanding your target market and developing a great recipe.

Step 3: Decide a business idea

Pretzel bar:

You can offer a DIY pretzel experience to your customer, where they can choose their pretzel shape, toppings, dips, and even watch them being made.

It is a good idea to serve pretzels with ample seating for customers to enjoy.


  • Display cases for pretzels
  • Stations for toppings and dips
  • Ingredients: dough, toppings, dips
  • Staff for customer service

Pretzel carts:

Set up a mobile pretzel cart to sell at events, farmers’ markets, or targeting high-traffic areas.


  • Mobile cart with wheels
  • Insulated containers
  • Portable heat source
  • Display area for showcasing pretzel
  • Specific local licenses and permits

Interactive Kiosk:

Another idea is, to create a self-serve pretzel kiosk where customers can order, customize, and pay for their pretzels with minimal interaction.


  • Self-service kiosk with touch screen or buttons (for payments)
  • Payment processing (credit cards, debit cards, mobile payments)
  • Pretzel dispensing system
  • Automated dispensing systems for toppings and dips
  • Location with high-traffic and easy access

Online delivery:

It is a good idea if you want to sell pretzels online from home or in a commercial kitchen. You can integrate your service with food delivery platforms (DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats, etc.

Pretzel franchise:

Franchising or using an established company brand name can be a proven business model.

However, it’s important to thoroughly research the company’s reputation, reviews, and franchise fees (if applicable) before you start.

Franchises require a higher initial investment compared to starting your own business.


  • Brand recognition
  • Proven business model
  • Training and support
  • Supplier Network

Consider: Franchise fees, restrictions, competition, and brand repuration.

Popular pretzel franchises: Wetzel’s Pretzels, Philly Pretzel Factory, Pretzelmaker.

For example: Wetzel’s Pretzel’s is a good brand for franchising, they mention terms, requirements, investment, and related information on their official website.

You can explore for a detailed overview.

Step 3: Develop a business plan

Once your market research is done, next think about developing a well-crafted plan for your business, and create a detailed outline, that is helpful when starting.

Having a written plan will provide road-maps to work better on the ground, it little bit like homework, but don’t worry, just write the actionable steps in that plan.

Here are some points that you can add to the plan:

  • Target demographic
  • Cost and expenses
  • Competitive analysis
  • Ideal location
  • Financial projection
  • Legal license and permits
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Hiring staff and chef
  • Strategies for growth

With a good plan, you can make sure that your business brings a solid return on investment, and also properly analyze the essential factors.

Step 4: Develop a menu and recipe

Pretzels are a delicious snack and a great food product, loved by people in many countries because of their crispy texture and variety of flavors.

Menu and pricing are absolutely important for pretzel business success, they will play a major role in attracting customers, and standing out your business from the competition.

While food quality, taste, hygiene, and packaging are essential, a well-crafted menu and pricing strategy can make or break your business.

Importance of menu and pricing:

  • Attract customers: A clear and enticing menu with competitive prices, that will grab the attention of customers to try your pretzels.
  • Stand out from the crowd: If you offer a variety of menu options, pretzel flavors, combos, or dips can set you apart.
  • Maximize profit: By setting up the right pricing, you can maximize your profit margin.

Pretzel options (for a simple menu plan):

  • Classic pretzels: Salted, unsalted, or everything bagel topped.
  • Flavored pretzels: Cinnamon sugar, parmesan garlic, or jalapeno cheddar.
  • Filled pretzels: Cheese, chocolate, or pepperoni.
  • Pretzel bites: Perfect for dipping.
  • Drinks: Offer beverages to complement the pretzels.

Research your local market, competitor pricing, and your product costs to finalize your menu and pricing strategy.

Step 5: Consider a Location

Location plays a vital role in business success, sales, and profit, however, competition and rental costs may be high in a central location potential location.

So, you need to choose a spot strategically, considering – the high foot traffic area, accessibility, cost for rent, storefront attraction from the target market, etc.

Furthermore, it is advisable to visit the site to analyze those factors. If there is high demand for pretzels but limited competition, this presents a good opportunity to open a shop.

Location factorsDescription
Foot trafficAnalyze the volume of foot traffic in the targeted area.
CompetitionIdentify your competitors in this area.
Rental costConsider the location demand and rental costs.
Zoning permitsIf needed any specific zoning permits, must be followed.
Parking facilitiesCheck parking spaces and a good environment.
FacilityTransportation, electricity, water, internet,
DemographicsAnalyze different age groups for selling (office staff, workers, school students, residential persons, or young adults).
Spot locatedNear- Schools, colleges, shopping malls, offices, transportation hubs, tourist destinations, entertainment districts etc.

Plan the shop layout:

Plan for the shop layout focusing on both functionality and aesthetics, the layout may be different for the pretzel bar, Mobile cart, and Kiosk.

  • Pretzel Bar: Open kitchen (optional), ordering station, serving area, seating area. Warm inviting decor, pretzel theme (subtle), display cases (optional), and menu boards.
  • Pretzel Cart: Compact layout, display area, serving counter, storage compartments. Eye-catching decor, menu display, clean and appealing.
  • Interactive Kiosk: User-friendly kiosk, payment system, pretzel dispensing, ingredient dispensing (optional). Modern and sleek decor, interactive visuals, and clear instructions.

Step 6: Comply with all regulations

Legal requirements for pretzel business vary by location (city, state, country), and depend on local regulations, however, when applying research is important to understand the needs.

Complete all the necessary paperwork to run your business legally, normally including business registration, license, and permits.

Create a business structure:

When starting a pretzel business, establish a solid business structure. Common options include sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited liability company (LLC).

Each has advantages and considerations around taxation, liability, and growth potential.

Research and set up the best entity, that fits a strong foundation for long-term success.

Obtain license and permits:

Business RegistrationLegally register your pretzel business
Food Service PermitEnsure compliance with food safety regulations
Seller’s PermitCollect sales tax on pretzel sales
Business LicenseComply with local regulations and zoning ordinances
Employer Identification Number (EIN)Obtain if hiring employees
Additional PermitsFire safety, signage, or music permits may be required

Get guidance from legal experts to comply with the legal regulations of your local and state. You can meet your legal advisor/attorney to understand the legalities and documentation.

  • Food and drink handler certificate
  • Health Inspection certificate
  • Fire certificate
  • Certificate of incorporation
  • Kitchen insurance
  • Building permit
  • Employment agreement
  • Business and liability insurance

Read blog posts and explore state govt websites for specific legal requirements, Small Business Administration (SBA), is the best online source to learn the legal essentials.

Step 7: Purchase Equipment

To start a pretzel shop or restaurant, some essential supplies, ingredients, equipment, and shop equipment will be required, which you can buy both online and offline.

First of all prepare a list of all the ingredients needed to make pretzels, the cooking equipment, furniture, tables, chairs, and packaging materials.


  • Pretzel Dough:
    • Flour
    • Yeast
    • Salt
    • Water
    • Optional: Sugar, malt powder, baking soda (for lye bath)
  • Toppings: (Depending on your menu)
    • Salts (sea salt, kosher salt)
    • Spices (cinnamon sugar, garlic powder, etc.)
    • Cheeses (grated cheddar, parmesan, etc.)
    • Oils and Fats (butter, olive oil)
    • Sweeteners (honey, chocolate sauce)


  • For Pretzel Making:
    • Dough mixer (optional)
    • Mixing bowls (various sizes)
    • Rolling pin
    • Baking sheets
    • Parchment paper (optional, but reduces cleanup)
    • Large pot (for boiling pretzels)
    • Slotted spoon
  • For Baking:
    • Commercial oven
    • Oven mitts
    • Cooling racks
  • Shop Supplies:
    • Storage containers for ingredients
    • Cleaning supplies and sanitizers
    • Utensils (spatulas, whisks, spoons)

Shop furnishings and equipment:

  • Tables and chairs
  • Display cases or stands
  • Cash register or Point-of-Sale (POS) system
  • Trash cans and recycling bins

Packaging materials:

  • Bags (paper or plastic, -follow local regulations)
  • Boxes (for larger orders or specific pretzel styles)
  • Labels (important for branding)

Other supplies you need:

  • Fire safety equipment
  • Uniforms for staff
  • Signage

We’ve only listed the general equipment and supplies list, depending on specific needs, your budget, your pretzel concept, and your menu, you can adjust them.

Before purchasing anything careful research, planning, and considerations are important.

Step 8: Branding and Marketing


No matter what type of business you are starting, branding and marketing are a vital part of every venture’s success.

You can also follow some basic and free marketing strategies such as:

  • Social media contests (photo/giveaways)
  • Partner with local businesses (events/promotions)
  • Free samples at events (fairs/markets)
  • Loyalty program (discounts/free pretzels)
  • Email marketing (deals/new creations)
  • Search Engine Optimization (writing blog posts)
  • Free YouTube tutorial (best way to connect with the audience)

To effectively market your pretzels, focus on highlighting the unique flavors, artisanal quality, and convenience your products offer, as well as focus on:

  • High-Quality Food: Delicious pretzels are your foundation.
  • Eye-Catching Packaging: Make your pretzels stand out and travel well.
  • Competitive Pricing: Find the sweet spot between value and profit.
  • Develop a strong brand identity: Logo, website, and social media are key for promotion.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much does it cost to start a pretzel business?

Pretzel business startup costs may vary on the model (bar, cart, kiosk) but can range from low (mobile cart) to moderate (kiosk) to high (franchise + bar). Require Around ~$10,000 (mobile cart) to $500,000+ (franchised pretzel bar), make sure this is just an estimate.

What country is most famous for pretzels?

Germany is the pretzel’s homeland.

What is the biggest pretzel company in the world?

J&J Snack Foods is widely considered the world’s largest provider of soft pretzels.

What is the largest pretzel franchise?

Auntie Anne’s is the largest pretzel franchise in the world.

Wrapping up

Require time, research, planning, dedication, and hard work to become successful in this industry, and there are chances to make a profitable venture.

When you start, do proper market research, follow a solid business plan with the step-by-step process, and don’t hesitate to ask someone who is already in this industry.

Your continuous learning and improvement can make you perfect, which also helps to find success when you open a pretzel shop.

Hopefully, the guide is helpful, if there are any other doubts ask us in the comment section.

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Sidhanta Bhoi, Editorial Manager and founder of our business idea blog is dedicated to uncovering and sharing innovative market trends. His expertise helps entrepreneurs and professionals stay ahead with fresh, impactful business concepts.

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