Multi-Unit Operator Glen Johnson Expands Portfolio and Accelerates Company’s Nationwide Growth
Tropical Smoothie Cafe, the leading fast casual cafe concept known for its better-for-you food and smoothies with a tropical twist, announced today it signed a franchise development agreement with Glen Johnson to expand the brand’s presence throughout the state of Texas. Johnson will be opening 20 new cafes, the first of which opened earlier this month in Lubbock, Texas.
“Glen Johnson has been an integral part Tropical Smoothie’s continued success and franchise development since signing his first agreement in 2011. Over the past several years, Glen has become one of our largest operators, fueling our growth and introducing the brand to new markets nationwide,” said Mike Rotondo, CEO of Tropical Smoothie Cafe. “Glen’s passion for and belief in Tropical Smoothie is what we look for in our franchise owners, and we’re eager to see what the future brings as he continues to propel his business and the company forward.”
Glen Johnson, president of Little-Rock based company Rockland Ventures, joined the brand as a multi-unit developer in 2011 and currently has 22 open locations in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas. With deep roots in the industry and a wealth of knowledge and experience, Johnson will continue his mission of providing customers with innovative healthy food and smoothie options as he opens new restaurants throughout Texas.
“I’m incredibly proud to be part of a brand that is not only committed to the customer experience, but also to the success of its franchisees,” said Johnson. “Tropical Smoothie experienced significant franchise growth last year and I’m eager to continue that momentum with the opening of new restaurants across Texas.”
This new agreement in Texas was fueled by Tropical Smoothie Cafe’s accelerated franchise development plans in 2017. On the heels of one of the strongest years in the company’s 20-year history, the award-winning brand successfully propelled its expansion and grew its presence in key markets nationwide, including Charleston, South Carolina; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Dallas, Texas; and Southern California.
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 Indianapolis, Nashville, Houston, Dallas, Cincinnati and Minneapolis, among others. By 2020, Tropical Smoothie Cafe plans to have 1,000 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 $198,050 and $478,550. The healthier fast food franchise currently boasts an average unit volume (AUV) of more than $634,000 — the highest in the company’s 20-year history — with the top 50 percent reporting an AUV of more than $806,000.
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 Asian Kitchen, which has grown to 11 locations in Georgia.
Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2017, Tropical Smoothie Cafe is a fast-casual restaurant concept inspiring healthier lifestyles across the country, with over 540 locations nationwide. With snack and meal options for any time of day, Tropical Smoothie Cafe serves better-for-you smoothies, salads, tacos, wraps, sandwiches, and flatbreads. The rapidly growing franchise has received numerous accolades including being ranked on Entrepreneur’s 2016 Franchise 500, 2016 Fast Casual Top 100 Movers and Shakers, Franchise Times‘ Top 200+ and Nation’s Restaurant News‘ 2016 Top 200. Tropical Smoothie Cafe is seeking qualified franchisees to expand throughout the United States in markets such as Indianapolis, Nashville, Houston, Dallas, Cincinnati and Minneapolis, among others.
The BIP Franchise Accelerator is a division of BIP Capital, an Atlanta-based venture capital firm with over $250 million invested in over 26 companies in emerging, high-growth brands across the franchising, software, 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. The BIP Franchise Accelerator not only provides investment capital, but also uses proven strategies to help companies evolve into mature, thriving brands. From fast casual and QSR concepts to service brands and healthcare and education concepts, the BIP Franchise Accelerator has invested in emerging brands driven by people with an entrepreneurial spirit that have a great growth potential. Its current portfolio includes Tropical Smoothie Cafe, Tin Drum Asian Kitchen and BIP Franchise Finance. For more information on BIP Franchise Accelerator, visit www.bipfranchiseaccelerator.com.