Tropical Smoothie Café announced the signing of 51 franchise agreements in the first quarter of 2015. The deals represent 51 cafés that will expand the sandwich and smoothie franchise in markets such as Atlanta, Detroit, Providence, Rhode Island, Miami, Charleston, South Carolina, and Fayetteville, North Carolina. Additionally, the brand reported a 12.31 percent growth in same-store sales over the first quarter of last year.

“We had great momentum heading into 2015 after reporting incredibly strong results last year, including positive comp sales of 11.4 percent and our highest average unit volume of more than $526,000—with the top 50 percent reporting an AUV of $669,000,” says Mike Rotondo, CEO of Tropical Smoothie Café. “Clearly, Tropical Smoothie Café is well-positioned to continue our aggressive growth and reach our goal this year of signing franchise agreements to develop an additional 150 new locations.”

Multiunit franchisees Kathy and Sherman Dye are developing 10 Tropical Smoothie Café locations over five years, with two currently open in greater Raleigh, North Carolina. The former Burger King franchisees were attracted to the brand because of its simple business model and low development costs.

“As trends have moved away from fast food and fried food, and we looked at other concepts, we realized we could develop four or five Tropical Smoothie Café locations for the price of developing just one in the past,” says Sherman Dye, who has spent nearly three decades in the restaurant business. “When you remove things like fryers, broilers and shake machines—which add a lot of complexity to operations and not much to the bottom line—you get a very simple model. But with Tropical Smoothie Café, our customers still feel like they get a rich-tasting, high-quality product for a great value.”

This year, Tropical Smoothie Café plans to exceed 500 stores nationwide and sign franchise agreements for an additional 150 new locations. The brand currently has franchise opportunities across the U.S. in markets such as Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Charlotte, North Carolina, Philadelphia, Boston, Portland, Maine, and Columbus, Ohio, among others. By 2018, Tropical Smoothie Café plans to have 800 stores open across the U.S.

To further fuel development, Tropical Smoothie Café will be exhibiting at the Multi-Unit Franchising Conference April 8–10 at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. Entrepreneurs looking to become a franchise owner are invited to meet with the brand’s franchise development team at Booth #531 to learn more about growth opportunities across the country, especially in San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, Los Angeles, and San Diego, California, as well as in Reno, Nevada.

Candidates should have business experience, preferably in the restaurant industry; $100,000 in liquid assets and a minimum net worth of $300,000; 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 $526,000—the highest in the company’s 17-year history—with the top 50 percent reporting an AUV of $669,000.

Franchising, News, Tropical Smoothie Cafe