Leading fast casual cafe closes 20th anniversary year with more than 180 franchise agreements and 104 new openings
Tropical Smoothie Cafe, the leading fast casual cafe concept known for its better-for-you food and smoothies with a tropical twist, announced today franchise and foodservice veteran Emily Harrington has signed her second multi-unit franchise agreement with the company in less than a year to develop eight more cafes throughout Florida. Harrington currently has four locations open in Tampa with her fifth slated to open in January 2018. Development plans for the additional eight cafes are currently underway, which are slated to open over the next several years throughout Pasco County. Tropical Smoothie Cafe has experienced a surge in franchise development recently, with Harrington’s two multi-unit deals contributing to the more than 180 agreements signed in 2017 alone.
“As our 20th anniversary year comes to an end, we have several accomplishments to celebrate, such as surpassing our goal of opening 100 locations in 2017 and signing a record number of franchise agreements in a year. It’s because of our passionate and committed franchisees like Emily Harrington that Tropical Smoothie Cafe has accelerated development and rapidly grown its footprint nationwide,” said Mike Rotondo, CEO of Tropical Smoothie Cafe. “Since joining the company last year, Emily’s industry expertise has been a driving force in our efforts to further expand in the brand’s founding state of Florida and we’re proud to have her as a partner in our franchisee network.”
Harrington signed her first franchise agreement with Tropical Smoothie Cafe last year for four new units and the purchase of two existing cafes in Tampa. With her most recent eight-unit deal, she now has a total of 12 in development with the first location slated to open on Fowler Avenue in Hillsborough County in early 2018. Harrington’s ultimate goal is to own at least 50 Tropical Smoothie Cafe’s throughout Florida. A U.S. Army veteran and seasoned multi-unit operator, Harrington’s experience has led her to franchising success, previously owning 42 Hardee’s restaurants prior to joining Tropical Smoothie Cafe.
“I come from an extensive background in the franchise and foodservice industry, which gave me a unique edge when researching brands to invest in. Through my own experience, I know what it takes for a concept to be successful and it was obvious to me that Tropical Smoothie Cafe possessed those qualities. Its better-for-you food and smoothie lineup is impressive in and of itself, but after signing my first agreement, working with the company’s seasoned leadership team and further familiarizing myself with the business model, I knew that this brand was a standout in the industry,” said Harrington. “Now armed with the knowledge and expertise of operating two successful cafe’s in Tampa, I’m proud to expand my portfolio and continue growing this incredible brand’s presence throughout Florida and beyond.”
The food and smoothie franchise currently has franchise opportunities across the U.S. in markets such as Indianapolis, Kansas City, Houston, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh and Columbus among others. Fueled by its ongoing product innovation and consistent positive comp sales, Tropical Smoothie Cafe has experienced a surge of franchise development throughout the state that reinforces the brand’s role as a leader in the fast casual segment. 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 $222,770 and $525,400. The better-for-you food franchise currently boasts an average unit volume (AUV) of more than $662,000 — the highest in the company’s 20-year history — with the top 50 percent reporting an AUV of more than $846,000.
Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2017, Tropical Smoothie Cafe is a fast-casual restaurant concept inspiring healthier lifestyles across the country, with more than 600 locations nationwide. With snack and meal options for any time of day, Tropical Smoothie Cafe serves better-for-you smoothies, salads, wraps, sandwiches, and flatbreads. Upgraded app technology and enhanced mobile ordering capabilities further elevate the digital and dine-in cafe experience and emphasize the brand’s focus on convenience. The rapidly growing franchise has received numerous accolades including being ranked on Entrepreneur’s 2017 Franchise 500, 2016 Fast Casual Top 100 Movers and Shakers, Franchise Times’ Top 200+ and Nation’s Restaurant News’ 2016 Top 200.