ATLANTA, April 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Tropical Smoothie Café, the leading fast casual café concept known for its better-for-you food and smoothies with a tropical twist, announced today that during the first quarter of 2016 it signed franchise agreements to open 36 restaurants that will expand the sandwich and smoothie franchise into new and existing markets nationwide. Additionally, the brand achieved a 9.5 percent growth in same-store sales over the first quarter of last year.
"Tropical Smoothie Café consistently sees the highest comp sales among its competitors — which include fast casual chains in addition to smoothie concepts. Our brand currently boasts the highest average unit volume in the company's 19-year history, which is a true testament to the quality of our products and our remarkable network of franchisees," said Mike Rotondo, CEO of Tropical Smoothie Café. "Tropical Smoothie Café has incredible growth potential, particularly now as we roll out our new mobile ordering and payment app, as well as a new café management tool, that will drive sales, traffic and profitability. It's a great time to be a part of this brand."
Multi-unit franchisee Glenn Johnson currently has 14 cafes open with six additional cafés in development in Oklahoma and West Texas. The former broker and developer plans to have 25 Tropical Smoothie Café locations by December 2018.
"I'm proud to be part of a brand that has experienced significant growth year after year. Our top-notch leadership team continues to introduce both menu items and technology solutions that drive franchisees' profitability," said Glen Johnson, who joined Tropical Smoothie Café in 2011. "Their steadfast dedication to this franchise concept is the primary reason why I am committed to developing the brand across Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas."
This year, the food and smoothie franchise plans to exceed 550 restaurants nationwide. The brand currently has franchise opportunities across the U.S. in markets such as Miami, Philadelphia, Boston, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Atlanta, Columbus and Charlotte, among others. By 2018, Tropical Smoothie Café plans to have 800 units open across the U.S.
To further fuel development, Tropical Smoothie Café will be exhibiting at the Multi-Unit Franchising Conference April 26-29 at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. Entrepreneurs looking to become a franchise owner are invited to meet with the brand's franchise development team at booth #431 to learn more about growth opportunities across the country.
Tropical Smoothie Café 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 $210,550 and $478,550. The healthy fast food franchise currently boasts an average unit volume (AUV) of more than $634,000 — the highest in the company's 19-year history — with the top 50 percent reporting an AUV of more than $806,000.
Tropical Smoothie Café'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 Café, the BIP Franchise Accelerator's portfolio includes Tin Drum Asian Kitchen, which has grown to 13 locations in Georgia and Florida.
About Tropical Smoothie Café
Founded in 1997, Tropical Smoothie Café is a fast-casual restaurant concept inspiring healthy lifestyles across the country, with over 480 locations nationwide. With snack and meal options for any time of day, Tropical Smoothie Café serves smoothies, salads, tacos, wraps, sandwiches, and flatbreads. The rapidly growing franchise has received numerous accolades including being ranked on Entrepreneur's 2016 Franchise 500, 2015 Fast Casual Top 100 Movers and Shakers, Franchise Times' Top 200+ and Nation's Restaurant News' 2015 Top 200. Tropical Smoothie Café is seeking qualified franchisees to expand throughout the United States in markets such as Miami, Philadelphia, Boston, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Atlanta, Columbus and Charlotte, among others.
About the BIP Franchise Accelerator
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 Café, Tin Drum Asian Kitchen and BIP Franchise Finance. For more information on BIP Franchise Accelerator, visit www.bipfranchiseaccelerator.com.
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SOURCE Tropical Smoothie Cafe