Tropical Smoothie Café announced that two industry veterans have signed multi-unit franchise agreements for development in Texas, which will bring eight new locations to markets throughout Dallas-Fort Worth. Tropical Smoothie Cafe’s accelerated growth in Dallas County emphasizes the brand’s aggressive development efforts in the market and nationwide, having signed more than 140 franchise agreements this year alone for continued expansion across the country.
Industry veteran Steve Milam signed an agreement to develop three Tropical Smoothie Cafe restaurants over the next few years. His first cafe is slated to open in early 2018 in Frisco, located at 5110 Eldorado Parkway. Milam has plans for additional development in the market and is looking to open two more restaurants by 2019. An experienced multi-unit operator, Milam is also a Wingstop franchisee and owns four locations throughout Texas.
Furthering the brands statewide momentum is new franchisee Smit Shah of SP Tropical Investments, LLC, who, along with the company’s chief financial officer, Prachee Patel, will develop five new units throughout Dallas County. Shah is a foodservice industry veteran and has operated both Subway and Bahama Bucks restaurants throughout Texas. From the group’s very first visit to Tropical Smoothie Cafe, they recognized the brand’s vast potential in this growing health-conscious market and plan to open a total of 10 to 15 locations throughout Dallas and Houston over the next five years.
“We believe the potential for success in Dallas is unlimited and we are thrilled to be expanding our presence with partners like Steve Milam and Smit Shah who bring decades of franchising and food service experience to the table,” says Mike Rotondo, CEO of Tropical Smoothie Cafe. “We have no doubt that their diverse and impressive backgrounds will be a valuable resource in driving our momentum and growing our footprint throughout Texas. With nearly 30 additional new locations in the pipeline for the market, we’re excited to tap into the wealth of opportunity that still lies ahead for our brand in the Lone Star State.”
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. Fueled by its ongoing product innovation and consistent positive comp sales, Tropical Smoothie Cafe has experienced a surge of franchise development throughout the state that reinforces the brand’s role as a leader in the fast casual segment. 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 $222,770 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.