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Tropical Smoothie Café, the fast-casual café concept known for its better-for-you food and smoothies with a tropical twist, announced today its year-end results. The brand celebrated a strong year of growth, including positive comp sales of 11.4 percent and the opening of its 400th location nationwide.
Tropical Smoothie Café opened 55 new stores and expanded the brand to several new markets, including Atlanta, Georgia, and Dallas, Texas. The company also signed franchise development agreements for 101 new locations, up nearly 28 percent over 2013, in new and existing markets. Additionally, the brand’s average unit volume (AUV) surpassed $526,000 — the highest in the company’s 17-year history — with the top 50 percent reporting an AUV of $669,000.
“This past year marked Tropical Smoothie Café’s transition from an emerging fast-casual brand to a true industry leader,” says Mike Rotondo, CEO of Tropical Smoothie Café. “Currently, 65 percent of our new store development comes from existing franchisees, which is a testament to the strength of our business model and the satisfaction of our operators. I’m thrilled with the year we had and am incredibly optimistic we will continue to lead the competition with our unparalleled growth.”
This year, Tropical Smoothie Café plans to exceed 500 stores nationwide and sign franchise agreements for an additional 150 new locations. By 2018, Tropical Smoothie Café plans to have 800 stores open across the U.S.
“With eight consecutive quarters of positive comp sales, Tropical Smoothie Café has experienced growth that has outpaced the fast casual industry. In fact, while others within our segment have grown, no one has seen traffic growth like we have,” Rotondo says.
Tropical Smoothie Café has committed $20 million to franchise expansion through a financing program that provides qualified existing franchise owners with loans to cover 80 percent of store development costs, including franchise fees, equipment, signage and other expenses related to opening. Since the program’s launch in 2014, Tropical Smoothie Café has approved $2.6 million and funded $1.7 million to develop 10 locations.