Florida-Based, Multiple-Store Owner Led 2015 in Guest Satisfaction, Sales, and More
At the Biennial franchisee conference for Tropical Smoothie Café, many franchisees and partners were recognized for their efforts. Only one, however, was named National Franchisee of the Year – Nick Crouch of QSR Management Group in Jacksonville, Florida. Now in his fourth year with the fast-casual restaurant brand, Crouch has been in the restaurant industry since he was 16 years old. The philosophy behind his award-winning year was simple: a strong brand model and consistent execution paves the way for success.
“Tropical Smoothie Café gives you much more than simple brand recognition,” said Crouch about his win. “They provide innovative systems, easy-to-duplicate operations, and smart strategies for building a great team. If you take advantage of all the company offers, success becomes very achievable.” Brand leadership, market leadership, traffic, and profitability were among the considerations in selecting this year’s Franchisee of the Year recipient.
Currently, Crouch owns eight Tropical Smoothie Café locations in both Florida and Georgia. Of these, his St. Augustine store had more than $800,000 in sales for 2015, and his Jacksonville location generated more than $1.1 million in sales for the same year. The same two stores were in the Top six in the nation for overall guest satisfaction as determined by Service Management Group (SMG), the global leaders in customer experience management. Crouch is also known for being a brand leader in his area and among those most eager to test new business development programs and technologies.
Even though his business achievements for the year are indeed impressive, it is Crouch’s reputation within his community that deserves special recognition. His employees all describe the young, vibrant owner as a “people-first” kind of leader. Jason Roberts, the Senior Franchise Business Consultant for the Jacksonville, Florida area, recalls an instance when Crouch went above and beyond for his team. “I was in a café with Nick when one of his employees called and said their car had broken down in a bad part of town. Nick realized our work could wait and he immediately went to pick up that employee.”
That “Making People #1” approach can also be seen in Crouch’s many charitable efforts in and around Jacksonville. He is consistently among the top franchisees in terms of donations to Camp Sunshine, the spotlight charity partner for Tropical Smoothie Café, and he donates to various local golf tournaments and events where he further promotes the brand. Perhaps most meaningful, however is Crouch’s reputation for employing those with disabilities. One such employee said that working with Crouch at Tropical Smoothie Café has changed her life. And yet, it’s all business as usual for this energetic up-and-comer.
“Franchisees like Nick Crouch are what it’s all about,” said Mike Rotondo, CEO for Tropical Smoothie Café. “Enthusiastic, activated, engaged business owners are inspiring to everyone in our network. His successes are roadmaps that others can follow and his energy for the brand is what drives us to continue to innovate for him and other like-minded franchisees. We salute his accomplishments that have earned him the 2015 National Franchisee of the Year award.”
Founded in 1997, Tropical Smoothie Café is a fast-casual restaurant concept inspiring healthy lifestyles across the country, with over 500 locations nationwide. With snack and meal options for any time of day, Tropical Smoothie Café serves smoothies, salads, wraps, sandwiches, and flatbreads. The rapidly growing franchise has received numerous accolades including being ranked in Entrepreneur’s 2015 Franchise 500, Nation’s Restaurant News’ 2015 Top 200, number five in the 2016 Fast Casual Top 100 Movers and Shakers, and CEO Mike Rotondo in 2016 Fast Casual Top 25 Executives. Tropical Smoothie Café is seeking qualified franchisees to expand throughout the United States in markets such as Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Charlotte, Philadelphia and Columbus, Ohio, among others. For more information, visit www.TropicalSmoothieFranchise.com.