Leading Fast Casual Cafe Reports Same-store Sales of 11.25 Percent and Signing of Nearly 200 Franchise Agreements in 2015
Tropical Smoothie Cafe, the leading fast casual cafe concept known for its better-for-you food and smoothies with a tropical twist, announced today its strongest year of growth in the brand’s 19-year history. The award-winning smoothie franchise reported same-store sales of 11.25 percent — its sixth consecutive quarter of double-digit positive comp sales — and signed franchise agreements to develop nearly 200 new cafes across the U.S., including about two dozen locations in Southern California. The brand’s first cafe in California will open this week in Lake Forest.
“Over the last six years, Tropical Smoothie Cafe has experienced incredible growth that’s taken our brand from 200 franchised locations to more than 465, and our average unit volume has grown by 44 percent. Coupled with some of our most successful limited-time menu items to date, such as the Avocolada Smoothie, Super Grain Bowls and Chia Banana Boost Smoothie, traffic and sales were up by 7.8 and 3.5 percent, respectively, over 2014,” said Mike Rotondo, CEO of Tropical Smoothie Cafe. “In 2016, consumers and prospective franchisees can expect even more exciting things from our fast-growing brand, including a more modern store design and testing a new, completely customizable menu.”
This year, the food and smoothie franchise plans to open 100 restaurants nationwide and currently has franchise opportunities across the U.S. in markets such as Miami, Philadelphia, Boston, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Atlanta, Columbus and Charlotte, N.C., among others. By 2018, Tropical Smoothie Cafe plans to have 800 stores open across the U.S.
Tropical Smoothie Cafe is looking to add qualified franchisees to its growing brand. Candidates should have business experience; $125,000 in liquid assets and a minimum net worth of $350,000; 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 $578,000 — the highest in the company’s 19-year history — with the top 50 percent reporting an AUV of $734,000.
Tropical Smoothie Cafe’s aggressive franchise growth is backed by the entrepreneurs at the BIP Franchise Accelerator, a division of venture capital firm BIP Capital, which invested in the brand in 2010. BIP Capital has invested more than $250 million in emerging, high-growth brands across the franchising, software, and technology and consumer products industries. BIP Capital created the BIP Franchise Accelerator to leverage its leadership team’s deep franchise experience to help emerging brands accelerate their growth. In addition to Tropical Smoothie Cafe, the BIP Franchise Accelerator’s portfolio includes Tin Drum Asiacafe, which has grown to 13 locations in Georgia and Florida.
Founded in 1997, Tropical Smoothie Cafe is a fast-casual restaurant concept inspiring healthy lifestyles across the country, with over 465 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 2015 Franchise 500, 2015 Fast Casual Top 100 Movers and Shakers, Franchise Times‘ Top 200+ and Nation’s Restaurant News‘ 2015 Top 200. Tropical Smoothie Cafe is seeking qualified franchisees to expand throughout the United States in markets such as Southern California, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C.