By Kristy Koehler, December 3 2019—
Wetzel’s Pretzels will be MacHall’s newest food vendor.
Replacing La Taqueria in the small food stall tucked away next to the Students’ Union’s MacEwan Conference and Event Centre, the popular California-based franchise is scheduled to open at the end of January.
Wetzel’s Pretzels will also serve hot-dogs and their pretzel offerings include a variety of sweet and savoury options.
Other outlets also competed for the space, but Omer Mansoor, SU vice president operations and finance, says Wetzel’s Pretzels was the best fit — literally.
“We decided on Wetzel’s Pretzels because one of the biggest challenges with La Taqueria is that the tenant space is actually quite small,” said Mansoor. “It’s around 300 square feet, whereas the average tenant size is around 500 square feet in MacHall. It already restricts what kind of tenant can go in the space because of food prep requirements.”
La Taqueria was both owned and operated by the SU, but Mansoor doesn’t see revenue declining by allowing an outside company to lease the space. The SU will collect rent from Wetzel’s Pretzels, without the added financial burden of staffing and operating the outlet.
“With La Taqueria we were preparing all the food in the Den and it was essentially being brought up into the tenant space,” said Mansoor. “We hope to increase our profit margins and reinvest that back into student programming.”
Prior to La Taqueria’s tenure, Smoke’s Poutinerie leased the location, shutting down in the spring of 2015. Mansoor says not only is the small space an issue, but the location can be a challenge as it’s hidden away.
Mansoor says one way to ensure that tenants succeed in the space is to ensure the items being served are unique to MacHall. He thinks pretzels are a unique offering.