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On opposite sides of the country, Craig Accardo and Linda Read were hearing the same message from other multi-unit franchise owners: If you are looking for an ideal franchise co-brand for your existing locations, you need to check out Planet Smoothie.
Accardo, who owns four locations of a pretzel franchise in the Orlando, Florida, area, added Planet Smoothie to one of his mall stores and saw a quick jump in revenue as he attracted an influx of new customers. Read, who owns 10 business locations in Southern California, added Planet Smoothie to an outlet store location last summer and has already remodeled another location to make room for Planet Smoothie.
In a side-by-side comparison, Planet Smoothie’s smoothies generally have less sugar and fewer calories than competitors -- a big advantage as Americans actively seek out healthier options. The company is led by a team of veteran franchise executives who have helped build other iconic brands, including Mail Boxes Etc.
Accardo heard about the co-brand opportunity from fellow franchisees who had success pairing Planet Smoothie with another brand. He decided to take the plunge in 2013, when a prime location opened up in Seminole Towne Center mall. It was a much more visible location in the mall, but it was also more than twice the square footage of his old kiosk location. He wanted to add a second concept to generate more revenue, hopefully by expanding his customer base. And that's what happened.
"It met my projections and a little more," he says. "It didn't cannibalize sales. It actually helped my sales because we can cater to just about any customer. Average tickets are up, too. Planet Smoothie customers typically spend a little more."
Read, who owns 10 quick-service restaurants near Los Angeles, says she has been impressed by Planet Smoothie, too -- not just because of the revenue it brings in, but also because of the strong operations of the franchisor.
"When there is an opportunity, they move quickly, make fast decisions and make things happen," she says.