Tropical Smoothie Cafe, a leading fast casual cafe concept known for its better-for-you food and smoothies with a tropical twist, announced today its 600th location will open on June 23 in Joplin, Missouri. Located at 3025 South Main Street, the newest location marks a landmark achievement for the brand in the midst of its 20th anniversary year and emphasizes the company’s plans to open at least 100 new restaurants nationwide by the end of this year. Fueled by its ongoing product innovation and consistent positive comp sales, Tropical Smoothie Cafe has experienced a surge of franchise development that reinforces the brand’s role as a leader in the fast casual segment.
“Celebrating 20 years of inspiring a healthier lifestyle is something we are very proud to stand behind,” says Mike Rotondo, CEO of Tropical Smoothie Café. “We’re thrilled to be opening our 600th location in Joplin as we expand our footprint and the ability to deliver better-for-you products to new customers nationwide. This milestone achievement would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of our exceptional team and franchisee network.”
The new Joplin location will be owned and operated by existing franchisee and president of RLG Cafe LLC, Robb Good. The cafe will celebrate its opening on June 23 with a ribbon cutting at 10 a.m. as well as a series of giveaways, including Fitbits for the first five customers and ‘Free Smoothies For a Year’ cards for the first 50, and $1.99 smoothies throughout the day. This is the second cafe Good has brought to the city, with the first having opened back in early 2016. As a two-time Ironman Triathlete, Good was impressed with Tropical Smoothie Cafe’s commitment to making better-for-you food accessible and affordable and recognized it was the type of concept the Joplin community was missing.
“I am thrilled to be a part of this milestone for Tropical Smoothie Cafe, a brand that truly embodies its core values in all aspects of its operations,” says Good. “The opening of our first cafe was met with overwhelming enthusiasm from our community, which mirrors the passion from consumers nationwide. The strength of Tropical Smoothie Cafe’s franchise model is a standout in the restaurant industry, as it provides us with all the necessary tools and support we need while allowing us to build a culture unique to our business.”
The food and smoothie franchise currently has franchise opportunities across the U.S. in markets such as Indianapolis, Nashville, Houston, Dallas, Cincinnati and Minneapolis, among others. By 2020, Tropical Smoothie Cafe plans to have 1,000 stores open across the U.S.
Tropical Smoothie Cafe is looking to add qualified franchisees to its growing brand. Candidates should have business experience; $125,000 in liquid assets and a minimum net worth of $350,000; and an initial investment of between $220,770 and $525,400. The better-for-you food franchise currently boasts an average unit volume (AUV) of more than $662,000—the highest in the company's 20-year history—with the top 50 percent reporting an AUV of more than $846,000.
Tropical Smoothie Cafe’s aggressive franchise growth is backed by the entrepreneurs at the BIP Franchise Accelerator, a division of venture capital firm BIP Capital, which invested in the brand in 2010. BIP Capital has invested more than $250 million in emerging, high-growth brands across the franchising, software, and technology and consumer products industries. BIP Capital created the BIP Franchise Accelerator to leverage its leadership team's deep franchise experience to help emerging brands accelerate their growth. In addition to Tropical Smoothie Cafe, the BIP Franchise Accelerator’s portfolio includes Tin Drum Asian Kitchen, which has grown to 11 locations in Georgia.