Tropical Smoothie Café, the leading fast casual café concept known for its better-for-you food and smoothies with a tropical twist, announced the signing of 77 franchise agreements in the first and second quarters of 2015 as the brand continues its aggressive, nationwide expansion. Additionally, the sandwich and smoothie franchise reported year-to-date same-store sales of more than 12 percent.
“This year is on track to be our most successful in recent company history,” says Mike Rotondo, CEO of Tropical Smoothie Café. “Our balanced mix of smoothies and food continue to drive sales in all dayparts for our franchisees and recent limited-time offers like our Cucumber Mojito Smoothie, Luau Sliders, and Avocolada Smoothie are driving traffic, resulting in strong same-store sales that far outperform our competitors in the smoothie and fast-casual industries. All of this is contributing to our franchise growth as more small business owners want to be part of Tropical Smoothie Café’s success.”
Tropical Smoothie Café has nearly 170 cafés under development and slated to open in the next two years. In the second quarter, the brand opened more than a dozen locations in Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Nevada, among others.
New franchisee Mike Haines worked in sales for 15 years at Microsoft and Facebook before leaving corporate America to become a franchise owner with Tropical Smoothie Café.
“With an established franchise, there’s buying power and organizational expertise I can benefit from that I wouldn’t have on my own. Additionally, developing a brand, investing in the right technology, creating systems and processes, and menu development are expensive, time-consuming objectives that as an independent owner I could never keep up with the way a good franchisor does,” says Haines, who will develop 10 Tropical Smoothie Café locations in the Atlanta metro area over the next five years. “Ultimately, I chose Tropical Smoothie Café because it’s on-trend with shifting consumer preferences toward healthier eating, has strong unit economics and year-over-year comps, and the company is focused on franchisee success and profitability.”
This year, the sandwich and smoothie franchise 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 Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio, Texas; as well as Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco, California, among others. By 2018, Tropical Smoothie Café plans to have 800 stores open across the U.S.
The healthy fast food franchise currently boasts an average unit volume (AUV) of more than $578,000—the highest in the company’s 18-year history—with the top 50 percent reporting an AUV of $734,000.