After opening 40 new cafés and awarding 73 franchise agreements last year, Tropical Smoothie Café plans to accelerate growth throughout 2014. The 360-unit food and smoothie brand expects to add 55 franchise locations this year, at the pace of one new restaurant every week.
This year’s rapid expansion is part of Tropical Smoothie Café’s five-year strategy to have 750 franchise restaurants by 2019. Both existing franchisees and new partners are central to the long-term growth plan.
“Tropical Smoothie Café inspires healthy lifestyles that resonate with the growing base of health-conscious consumers and franchisees,” says CEO Mike Rotondo.
In addition to expanding its nationwide footprint, Tropical Smoothie Café increased same-store sales by 6.4 percent, among the best in the restaurant industry in 2013, which helped lift system-wide sales by 14.8 percent.
“Innovative menu offerings and rising consumer demand for better-for-you food played a significant role in the sales growth,” Rotondo says.
Since launching the Island Green smoothie in March of 2013, the company has used 500 pounds of fresh spinach and kale every day to meet consumer demand. In addition, the company introduced Fish Tacos with mango salsa and Spicy Mongolian Steak Noodle Bowls, while also adding new flavor profiles including Hawaiian BBQ and Cranberry Chipotleto the existing lineup of wraps and flatbreads.
Tropical Smoothie Café continues to strengthen its dual focus of flavorful food and freshly prepared smoothies making it an attractive business opportunity for its franchisees. The brand appeals to a broad consumer base seeking better-for-you food options throughout all parts of the day. With system-wide revenue split evenly between food and smoothie purchases, average unit volumes increased to $526,000 in 2013.