Leading Fast Casual Cafe’s Strong 2014 Growth Attracts Single- and Multi-Unit Franchisees from across U.S.
Tropical Smoothie Cafe, the leading fast casual cafe concept known for its better-for-you food and smoothies with a tropical twist, announced today the signing of 51 franchise agreements in the first quarter of 2015. The deals represent 51 cafes that will expand the sandwich and smoothie franchise in markets such as Atlanta, Detroit, Providence, Miami, Charleston, S.C., and Fayetteville, N.C. 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,” said Mike Rotondo, CEO of Tropical Smoothie Cafe. “Clearly, Tropical Smoothie Cafe 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.”
Multi-unit franchisees Kathy and Sherman Dye are developing 10 Tropical Smoothie Cafe locations over five years, with two currently open in Greater Raleigh, N.C. 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 Cafe locations for the price of developing just one in the past,” said 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 Cafe, our customers still feel like they get a rich-tasting, high-quality product for a great value.”
This year, Tropical Smoothie Cafe 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, Philadelphia, Boston, Portland and Columbus, Ohio, among others. By 2018, Tropical Smoothie Cafe plans to have 800 stores open across the U.S.
To further fuel development, Tropical Smoothie Cafe 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, Calif., as well as in Reno, Nev.
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.
Founded in 1997, Tropical Smoothie Cafe is a fast-casual restaurant concept inspiring healthy lifestyles across the country, with over 420 locations nationwide. With snack and meal options for any time of day, Tropical Smoothie Cafe serves smoothies, salads, tacos, wraps, sandwiches, and flatbreads. The rapidly growing franchise has received numerous accolades including being ranked on Entrepreneur‘s 2014 Franchise 500 and Nation’s Restaurant News‘ 2013 Top 200. Tropical Smoothie Cafe is seeking qualified franchisees to expand throughout the United States in markets such as Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Charlotte and Columbus, Ohio, among others.