Tropical Smoothie Cafe, a leading fast casual cafe concept known for its better-for-you food and smoothies with a tropical twist, announced it reported positive comp sales of 4 percent in 2016, resulting in comp sales exceeding 26 percent over the last three years. The award-winning food and smoothie franchise also signed franchise agreements to develop more than 160 new cafes across the U.S. and closed out the year with 86 new restaurant openings, expanding the brand’s presence in cities nationwide including Charleston, Albuquerque, Dallas, and Houston.
“We’re thrilled that our unwavering commitment to providing consumers with the high-quality, better-for-you products they crave has continually translated to strong results year after year. From the opening of our 500th restaurant to a surge in franchise development, 2016 was an outstanding year that positioned the Tropical Smoothie Cafe brand for tremendous success this year and beyond,” says Mike Rotondo, CEO of Tropical Smoothie Cafe. “Over the past several years, more and more entrepreneurs nationwide have recognized our business model’s immense potential for success and fueled the growth of our franchise network, and we know that we’re just getting started. As we head into our company’s 20th anniversary year, we look forward to building on this success and seeing what the future brings for Tropical Smoothie Cafe.”
This year, the food and smoothie franchise plans to open 100 restaurants nationwide and 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 $198,050 and $478,550. The healthier fast food franchise currently boasts an average unit volume (AUV) of more than $634,000—the highest in the company's 20-year history—with the top 50 percent reporting an AUV of more than $806,000.
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.
“Tropical Smoothie Cafe continues to greatly exceed our expectations, but I believe we’ve just scratched the surface of its potential,” says Scott Pressly, co-founder and managing partner of BIP Capital. “The brand has tremendous opportunity for growth as it works in all types of consumer markets, from major metropolitan areas to secondary markets and small towns.”