NEW ORLEANS, April 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Smoothie King has a lot to celebrate this year. The originator and innovator of the smoothie segment closed 2015 with 78 signed agreements to develop 152 new units. Additionally, the brand saw 86 new locations open in 21 states—24 more store openings than in 2014. Now, with 778 open units and 123 locations slated to open this year, Smoothie King is well on its way to achieving its goal of 1,000 open locations by the end of 2017.
On March 21 and 22, more than 850 Smoothie King corporate team members, partner vendors and franchisees from all over the globe gathered in New Orleans to recognize 2015's accomplishments and milestones, while at the same time, brainstorming fresh ideas to fuel continued growth in the year ahead. Held in the heart of historic downtown New Orleans at the Hyatt Regency, the 2016 Smoothie King Franchise Conference's theme was "People, Passion & Purpose." This year's event focused on the company's initiatives for the future, offered informative breakout sessions and hosted an onsite vendor fair, featuring some of today's best products in the health and wellness industry.
"The ever-expanding Smoothie King franchise system is comprised of an outstanding group of passionate and dedicated franchisees. Every single one of them is pivotal to the company's success," said Smoothie King CEO Wan Kim. "The conference is a chance to take a break from our daily routines to re-energize our system, focus on professional development, and improve operational excellence to increase our bottom line. There's so much positive energy at this event, and franchisees walk away with best practices and new ideas to help boost sales at their Smoothie King locations while supporting our strategy of promoting Smoothies with a Purpose."
At the conference, the leadership team outlined some of Smoothie King's greatest victories in 2015, including acknowledging many top performers for sales successes. President and Chief Operating Officer Tom O'Keefe also explained that Smoothie King recorded a striking 9.8 percent same-store-sales increase in 2015 compared to 2014. For several years, the brand has been recognizing some of its top performers with the King's Club award, which is bestowed upon franchisees whose stores grossed $500,000 or more in annual sales. This year, 184 stores received this honor. In 2010, only 26 franchisees earned this award, showing more than 600% growth in five short years.
In addition to the hard work of its franchisees, the evolution of the brand, including a new logo, new store prototype, streamlined retail, menu optimization and branding of the Smoothie King Center, has played a significant role in helping Smoothie King to achieve such impressive sales growth.
As the brand plans for another prosperous year, Smoothie King is opening locations in new territories, increasing brand presence and gaining market share.
"As the company enters its 43rd year in business, it's clear that Smoothie King wouldn't be where it is today without our strong system of dedicated franchisees. The people, purpose and passion behind Smoothie King are the catalyst for continued success and our 'Smoothies with a Purpose' are leaving a lasting effect on communities across the world. As we wrap up yet another successful conference, we're feeling revitalized and refocused on making the biggest impact possible in more and more lives across the world in the coming years," said Tom O'Keefe, chief operating officer of Smoothie King.
About Smoothie King
Smoothie King Franchises, Inc. is a privately held, New Orleans-area-based franchise company with more than 750 units worldwide. By creating each smoothie with a purpose, Smoothie King makes it simple and pleasurable for guests to achieve their individual health goals. The franchise also offers a number of healthy retail products, including sports beverages, energy bars, vitamin supplements and more.
Smoothie King was founded in 1973 by Steve Kuhnau, whose mission was to help others achieve better health in a tasty way. In 1989, Smoothie King became the first franchised smoothie bar/health food store in the U.S. and currently operates in 33 states, the Caymans, the Republic of Korea, and the Middle East. In 2015, Smoothie King was ranked No. 1 by Entrepreneur magazine in the juice bar category for the 23rd year and No. 92 overall on the 2015 Franchise 500 list. In 2014, Smoothie King partnered with the New Orleans Pelicans to launch the Smoothie King Center, a multi-purpose indoor arena in New Orleans, Louisiana. Visit www.smoothieking.com or www.smoothiekingfranchise.com; engage on Facebook www.facebook.com/SmoothieKing; follow on Twitter at http://twitter.com/smoothieking.
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SOURCE Smoothie King