Tropical Smoothie Café, known for its better-for-you food and smoothies with a tropical twist, has opened its 400th location in Toledo, Ohio, a milestone that underscores the franchise’s rapid growth and solidifies the brand as a leader in the fast-casual industry.
Tropical Smoothie Café has opened 40 new locations thus far this year and expects to open 70 by year’s end, an average of more than one per week. The expansion has been fueled by the company’s strong same-store sales increases year over year, which has attracted new and existing franchisees to develop cafés nationwide. Last year, same-store sales grew 6.4 percent, and Tropical Smoothie Café expects to surpass 10 percent same-store sales growth by the end of 2014.
“Our 400th opening marks Tropical Smoothie Café’s transition from an emerging brand to a leader in the fast-casual industry,” says Tropical Smoothie Café CEO Mike Rotondo. “We’ve successfully carved a niche as the brand that offers innovative, unique flavor profiles and convenient better-for-you options that resonate with consumers.”
Tropical Smoothie Café plans to open 100 cafés in 2015 and have 800 locations open by 2018. A franchisee-financing program launched this year is a key component of the growth plan. Through the program, Tropical Smoothie Café will provide up to $20 million in loans to help existing franchisees open new locations. Major markets targeted for development in 2015 include Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Charlotte, Birmingham, Philadelphia, and Seattle.
Tropical Smoothie Café attributes the steady sales growth to menu innovation that appeals to the growing base of health-conscious consumers. Recent successes include the Island Green, Tropical Smoothie Café’s best-selling spinach and kale smoothie, as well as the recent addition of the UnBEETable Berry smoothie, made with fresh whole beets. The inclusion of additional food options, such as tacos and noodle bowls, has aided the franchise in consistently boosting foot traffic and driving sales.