ATLANTA, June 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Tropical Smoothie Cafe, the leading fast casual cafe concept known for its better-for-you food and smoothies with a tropical twist, announced today it will open its 500th location on June 13 in Westland, Michigan. Located at 35599 Warren Road, the new restaurant marks a significant milestone for the brand and is a reflection of the company's immense growth nationwide since its inception in 1997.
As part of the grand opening celebration, Tropical Smoothie Cafe in Westland will offer 99-cent smoothies with the purchase of a wrap or sandwich and specially priced Chipotle Chicken Club Flatbread for $2.99. Additionally, the first 106 guests in line starting at 10 a.m. will receive raffle tickets to enter to win one of the following prizes: free smoothies for a year, Apple TV, 50" TV and gaming systems. Throughout the day, guests also can enjoy free samples and other giveaways, as well as a live radio remote with WKQI-FM, which will kick off at 11 a.m. The restaurant will also host a ribbon cutting ceremony the day of the grand opening at 4 p.m. attended by the City of Westland Mayor William Wild.
The new Westland cafe marks Tropical Smoothie Cafe's 37th opening in Michigan, with 42 additional restaurants slated to open in Michigan over the next several years, 20 of which will be in the Detroit market. Additionally, the company has been consistently expanding throughout the Midwest and is on target to have more than 100 cafes open in the region in the next few years.
"We are thrilled to celebrate our 500th location, a monumental occasion that signifies the success of our aggressive growth plans. Throughout the country, more and more consumers are embracing healthier lifestyles, and we know our commitment to providing better-for-you options has been a fundamental component to our accelerated momentum and ongoing expansion," said Mike Rotondo, Tropical Smoothie Cafe CEO. "Over the last five years, we've grown from a regional, 200-unit chain to a national, award-winning fast casual brand and I couldn't be more proud of our franchisees and corporate support team for driving this success."
The new restaurant will be owned and operated by Tropical Smoothie Cafe franchisees Salem Najjar and John Abuaita, who plan to open at least six additional locations in the greater Detroit area over the next several years.
"We are thrilled to join forces with such a dynamic brand. Tropical Smoothie Cafe is a much healthier alternative to most of the fast casual restaurants currently in the market, and we are eager to introduce this concept to the Westland community," said Salem Najjar, Tropical Smoothie Cafe franchisee. "In the past several years, Detroit's economy has been on the upswing, and we're thrilled to be expanding into a market with substantial opportunity for economic development. We look forward to continuing to grow throughout the area over the next several years and make it easier for residents to have access to affordable, healthier alternatives."
Tropical Smoothie Cafe reported its strongest year of growth in 2015 with same-stores sales of 11.25 percent and signed franchise agreements to develop 199 new cafes across the U.S. The brand recently reported its seventh consecutive quarter of double-digit positive comp sales. 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 and Columbus, among others. By 2018, Tropical Smoothie Cafe plans to have 800 locations 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 $210,550 and $478,550. The healthier 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 Cafe'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 Cafe, the BIP Franchise Accelerator's portfolio includes Tin Drum Asian Kitchen, which has grown to 13 locations in Georgia and Florida.
For more information about opening your own Tropical Smoothie Cafe franchise, please visit www.tropicalsmoothiefranchise.com.
About Tropical Smoothie Cafe
Founded in 1997, Tropical Smoothie Cafe is a fast-casual restaurant concept inspiring healthier lifestyles across the country, with 500 locations nationwide. With snack and meal options for any time of day, Tropical Smoothie Cafe 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, 2016 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 and Columbus, 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 Cafe, 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