HTeaO, known for its Texas-styled iced tea has signed 93 franchise agreements this year. As one of the “first to market” iced tea franchise concepts, the brand celebrated its 50th grand opening last month and has awarded its 400th franchise license this year.

HTeaO is currently open and operating in Florida, Texas, Kansas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. The following states have signed franchise agreements with sites secured and/or under development: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri and Tennessee.

Co-founders Gary and Kim Hutchens discovered the business potential during the recession of 2008. At the time, the pair owned a burger concept called “Buns Over Texas,” and began introducing their six unique iced tea flavors to their guests under the trade name “Texas Tea”. When the recession hit, they were expecting to see a decline in sales. What they did not expect was the amount of people who came in specifically for iced tea. In the first year of introducing the six flavors of iced tea, sales increased by 15%, which led them to creating an iced tea drive-thru concept called “Texas Tea” in 2009. Seeing the simplicity of the model compared to a full-service quick-service restaurant, and the sales of offering a variety of iced tea flavors, in 2012 they partnered with their son Justin Howe to enhance the model and create a national brand. After collaborating to solve many problems and building a robust infrastructure, they were able to focus on the reimagination and product innovation of the concept. In 2018, after almost a decade of preparation and focus, the HTeaO brand was officially launched in Midland, Texas.

“Tea has been around forever but now it’s at the forefront of the beverage category, as consumers are seeking alternative caffeinated drinks and healthy flavorful options,” says Justin Howe, CEO of HTeaO. “As third-generation restaurant business owners, we’ve built a model that allows the franchisee to deliver on exceptional tea quality with 26 proprietary flavors, and through our very own supply chain.”

The supply chain allows the franchise to offer a sustainable, more cost-effective solution to serve up the main ingredients of water, tea, and sugar. In addition, each location has their own proprietary water plant built into the store.

HTeaO is committed to providing a high-quality product, with all their ingredients fresh and 100% natural. In addition to iced teas, each location offers several healthy grab-and-go snacks, home brew kits, ground and whole bean coffee, apparel and accessories.

“Our efficient model is attracting franchise partners from the food and fitness categories who have joined to diversify their portfolio with our streamlined systems and offering,” says Andrew Hawes, Chief Development Officer. “We have awarded licenses in 13 states with more to follow as demand increases for quality quick-service, specialty beverage options.”

The community-driven organization believes in brewing with a purpose. Every cup can make a difference, and locations frequently host promotions to give back. For the month of October, HTeaO has partnered with the Ryan Palmer Foundation and are allowing guests to ‘Round-up with Ryan’ to support the Ryan Palmer Breast Cancer Initiative.

Beverage, Franchising, Growth, News, HTeaO