Tropical Smoothie Café has been on the grow this year. The fast casual concept negotiated 51 new franchise agreements in the first quarter of this year. The deals represent 51 cafés that will expand the sandwich and smoothie franchise in Atlanta, Detroit, Providence, Miami, Charleston, SC, and Fayetteville, NC. The brand also 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," says Mike Rotondo, CEO of Tropical Smoothie Café. "Clearly, Tropical Smoothie Café 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 Café locations over five years, with two currently open in Greater Raleigh, NC. 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 Café locations for the price of developing just one in the past," says 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 Café, our customers still feel like they get a rich-tasting, high-quality product for a great value."
Tropical Smoothie Café officials say they have plans to exceed 500 stores nationwide and sign franchise agreements for an additional 150 new locations. By 2018, Tropical Smoothie Café plans to have 800 stores open across the U.S.
Interested 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.
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