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Tropical Smoothie Café, the leading fast-casual café known for its better-for-you food and smoothies with a tropical twist, announced its strongest year of growth in the brand’s 19-year history. The award-winning smoothie franchise reported same-store sales of 11.25 percent—its sixth consecutive quarter of double-digit positive comp sales—and signed franchise agreements to develop nearly 200 new cafés across the U.S., including about two dozen locations in Southern California. The brand’s first café in California will open this week in Lake Forest.
“Over the last six years, Tropical Smoothie Café has experienced incredible growth that’s taken our brand from 200 franchised locations to more than 465, and our average unit volume has grown by 44 percent. Coupled with some of our most successful limited-time menu items to date, such as the Avocolada Smoothie, Super Grain Bowls, and Chia Banana Boost Smoothie, traffic, and sales were up by 7.8 and 3.5 percent, respectively, over 2014,” says Mike Rotondo, CEO of Tropical Smoothie Café. “In 2016, consumers and prospective franchisees can expect even more exciting things from our fast-growing brand, including a more modern store design and testing a new, completely customizable menu.”
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 Miami, Philadelphia, Boston, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Atlanta, Columbus, Ohio, and Charlotte, North Carolina, among others. By 2018, Tropical Smoothie Café plans to have 800 stores open across the U.S.
Tropical Smoothie Café 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 $165,940 and $414,685. The healthy fast food franchise currently boasts an average unit volume (AUV) of more than $578,000—the highest in the company’s 19-year history—with the top 50 percent reporting an AUV of $734,000.
Tropical Smoothie Café’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 Café, the BIP Franchise Accelerator’s portfolio includes Tin Drum Asiacafé, which has grown to 13 locations in Georgia and Florida.