Sip Fresh, the California-based startup that has been dazzling customers with delicious, handcrafted, fresh fruit juices, recently made public its plans to expand its franchise footprint in the Western U.S. and across the Sun Belt up into New York.
"Our approach centers around choosing prime spots in top-notch malls, where we can attract foot traffic in a captive setting,” says Sharon Arthofer, CEO and founder of Sip Fresh. Drawing on more than 25 years of experience working to build franchises for Wetzel’s Pretzels—and as their first franchisee—Arthofer knows the power of being located in the right mall locations and has used her industry knowledge to create a unique business concept in the mall space to draw customers to Sip Fresh.
“The beverage industry is booming—you’ve got a million coffee and boba concepts, but Sip Fresh fits right into a special niche that is blowing up right now,” Arthofer says. Sip Fresh stores are visually attractive with large shining barrels displaying juices mixed with fresh fruit, and they are simple to run with “a high margin and a great labor model,” says Arthofer. “Our food and labor numbers are well below 50 percent.”
The brand has put in place a robust support system for franchisees. A key feature is their digital infrastructure to support the franchisee's growth. “We have really taken the time to pick out a best-in-class tech information infrastructure,” says Arthofer. “We’ve also introduced third-party delivery as another distribution outlet for our franchisees to reach customers outside of the mall. We wanted to make sure we have that accessible to the franchisee.”
In order to grow rapidly and support new franchisees, the company has built a very strong leadership team with deep experience working in the retail and beverage industries. New franchisees will be supported by a comprehensive training program and a top-quality learning management system (LMS). “We don't want to spend a lot of money on training, so we have provided a great LMS that the franchisee can utilize every day to train their people effectively and efficiently,” Arthofer says.
Franchisees will be supported by Sip Fresh’s established operations and marketing team from opening and on with a solid program that will handle everything from social media to hands-on marketing. Additionally, the corporate office will share a marketing plan on a quarterly basis.
Although the brand is a mall-based concept, Arthofer shares that its “new take-home pack” has helped drive incremental growth between five and six percent. Customers can now order up to a gallon through the Sip Fresh website, loyalty app, or third-party delivery service.
What sets Sip Fresh apart from other juice and smoothie concepts is its commitment to crafting each beverage with high-quality, fresh fruit in small batches. While 75 percent of its sales are derived from its renowned Fresh Sips, which are fresh fruit juices, the chain also boasts an enticing range of fresh fruit smoothies, specialty drinks, and iced teas.
The brand is looking to collaborate with both experienced as well as the next generation of entrepreneurs. “What we love about bringing these two types of business leaders to a conference table is that we really get a combination between the experienced and those that keep us really relevant in the marketplace today,” says Arthofer. Sip Fresh is particularly interested in franchisees that can own multiple units, build a footprint in their communities, and take over new territory early.
To learn more, visit the Sip Fresh website.
By Dikshant Uprety