ATLANTA, July 17, 2017 /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 experienced tremendous success in the first half of 2017 and accelerated its ongoing growth, opening 56 new locations as well as signing 74 franchise agreements. This continued surge in franchise development has helped expand the food and smoothie franchise's footprint in new and existing markets throughout the country, with an overall goal to open at least 100 new restaurants nationwide by the end of the year.
"Tropical Smoothie Cafe has continually evolved over the years, but we've never wavered from our core values and commitment to serving innovative, better-for-you products, like our award-winning Island Green Smoothie. Our 20th anniversary is the perfect opportunity to reflect on how far we've come, going from a small smoothie shop in Tallahassee, Fla. to opening our 600th location this year in Joplin, MO," said Mike Rotondo, CEO of Tropical Smoothie Cafe. "Coupled with our strong franchise development pipeline and new menu offerings including the Watermelon Mojito Smoothie and Caribbean Jerk Wrap, we have no doubt that we'll accelerate this momentum in the second half of the year and continue reinforcing Tropical Smoothie Cafe's position as a fast casual industry leader."
Tropical Smoothie Cafe celebrated a momentous occasion with the opening of its 600th location, marking another landmark achievement for the brand. This impressive growth is fueled by the company's consistent positive comp sales and ongoing product innovation, which includes an expanded array of offerings and top-performing limited time only menu items that reflect the Tropical Smoothie Cafe's expertise and forward-thinking.
Additionally, Tropical Smoothie Cafe also kicked off its 2017 fundraising campaign across 600 locations for community partner Camp Sunshine during the company's annual National Flip Flop Day on June 16. The brand raised nearly $200,000 on the first day alone, and has raised more than $400,000 to date this year. Over the past decade, Tropical Smoothie Cafe has raised over $4.5 million to support Camp Sunshine's mission to provide an authentic camp experience for children with life threatening illnesses and their entire families.
Tropical Smoothie Cafe currently has franchise opportunities across the U.S. in markets such as Indianapolis, Nashville, Houston, Dallas, Cincinnati and Minneapolis, among others. By 2020, Tropical Smoothie Cafe plans to have 1,000 stores open across the U.S. The food and smoothie franchise 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 $220,770 and $525,400. The better-for-you food franchise currently boasts an average unit volume (AUV) of more than $662,000 — the highest in the company's 20-year history — with the top 50 percent reporting an AUV of more than $846,000.
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 11 locations in Georgia.
About Tropical Smoothie Cafe
Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2017, Tropical Smoothie Cafe is a fast-casual restaurant concept inspiring healthier lifestyles across the country, with more than 600 locations nationwide. With snack and meal options for any time of day, Tropical Smoothie Cafe serves better-for-you smoothies, salads, wraps, sandwiches, and flatbreads. The rapidly growing franchise has received numerous accolades including being ranked on Entrepreneur's 2017 Franchise 500, 2016 Fast Casual Top 100 Movers and Shakers, Franchise Times' Top 200+ and Nation's Restaurant News' 2016 Top 200. Tropical Smoothie Cafe is seeking qualified franchisees to expand throughout the United States in markets such as Indianapolis, Nashville, Houston, Dallas, Cincinnati and Minneapolis, 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.
SOURCE Tropical Smoothie Cafe