CHARLOTTE, N.C. - April 22, 2014 // GLOBE NEWSWIRE // - After a string of high-profile restaurant openings and franchise agreements in North Carolina in the past year, Tropical Smoothie Cafe plans to add 15 new locations in Charlotte. The local expansion follows a period of healthy growth for the 365-unit Tropical Smoothie Cafe, which opened 40 restaurants nationwide and increased same-store sales by 6.4 percent last year.
Tropical Smoothie Cafe identified Charlotte as a key growth market after former Carolina Panther Everette Brown, who currently plays for the Dallas Cowboys, opened the city's first location in November 2013. Reasons for expansion in Charlotte include growing consumer demand for healthier food and snack options as well as the success of established locations in nearby South Carolina and Virginia, says Tropical Smoothie Cafe CEO Mike Rotondo.
"Growing our presence in Charlotte is Tropical Smoothie Cafe's No. 1 priority right now," said Rotondo. "Demand for healthier, convenient food is too high here and our restaurants in neighboring markets are too strong for us not to have a larger footprint in Charlotte."
Tropical Smoothie Cafe is currently seeking franchise partners to develop the neighborhoods in and around Charlotte. Other areas in North Carolina to be developed include Fayetteville, Asheville, Boone, Elizabeth City, Hickory and Highpoint.
Last year, Tropical Smoothie Cafe signed a notable franchise agreement with Cary, N.C., resident Sherman Dye to develop 10 locations in Raleigh, the first of which opened April 14 in Cary. Dye, a 32-year veteran of the restaurant industry, spent 28 years with the Burger King Corporation before joining the Tropical Smoothie Cafe system, serving in various roles including franchisee, director of operations and market manager.
"It's a fun and healthy concept that serves some of the best food and real-fruit smoothies I have ever tasted," said Dye. "I love the simplicity of the Tropical Smoothie Cafe business model and that it's a healthier alternative to typical fast food. As a local owner, I can feel good about serving my neighbors healthier food."
Tropical Smoothie Cafe currently has 11 locations open and another 21 franchises signed or under development in North Carolina. The brand, known for its "better-for-you food with a tropical twist," will open 55 restaurants throughout the country this year.
To inquire about franchise opportunities, visit www.tropicalsmoothiefranchise.com. For locations and general information, visit www.tropicalsmoothiecafe.com.
Founded in 1997, Tropical Smoothie Cafe is a fast-casual restaurant concept whose franchise partners inspire healthy lifestyles in communities across the country. Catering to all day-parts, Tropical Smoothie Cafe serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, including smoothies, salads, wraps, sandwiches, flatbreads and more. The fast-growing franchise has 365 locations nationwide and has won numerous awards including: Entrepreneur 2014 Franchise 500; Nation's Restaurant News 2013 Top 200; Tropical Smoothie Cafe is currently awarding franchises throughout the United States. For more information, visit www.TropicalSmoothieFranchise.com.
SOURCE Tropical Smoothie Cafe