Smoothie King may be headquartered in Dallas, but the global smoothie franchise inspiring people to live healthy and active lifestyles with its purpose-driven blends is singing “Sweet Home Chicago” after a wildly successful development year in The Second City.
As a result, the franchise is looking to increase its presence and continue its Chicago expansion in 2021 with qualified franchisee candidates.
“In a lot of ways, Chicago is a perfect fit for Smoothie King,” says CEO Wan Kim. “Being the third-largest city in the United States presents a lot of opportunity, and overall, residents in the area are big on maintaining healthy and active lifestyles. Plus, the diversity of the city aligns with the variance of our menu, and the demographics show a high population of people who want convenient, on-the-go healthy meals. We are very excited about our prospects in Chicago going forward.”
As referenced earlier, Smoothie King experienced notable growth throughout the Chicagoland area in 2020. The franchise nearly doubled its store total in the market, opening eight new stores this year. Smoothie King’s development pipeline also saw considerable movement, accepting deals that will bring more than 20 stores to the market.
The sales data its 13 Chicagoland stores have produced recently also reinforce Smoothie King’s attraction to the market. Since July, year-to-date sales have been up at least 25 percent every month – peaking in August, when year-over-year sales were plus-46 percent. These numbers have to do, in large part, with Smoothie King’s new online-ordering platforms and curbside-pickup options.
Looking ahead, Smoothie King is expecting to open 10-15 stores a year over the next several years. This kind of growth will have a major impact on the local economy, creating approximately 15 jobs per location and anywhere between 150-225 jobs per
“As more and more people prioritize their health and wellness, having a convenient, grab-and-go option like Smoothie King readily available down the block or around the corner is an enticing proposition,” adds Kim. “That coupled with the fact our franchise is constantly innovating – whether operationally or menu-wise – to better meet today’s consumers, there’s never been a better time to invest in our brand.”