ATLANTA, April 13, 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 it signed franchise agreements to open five new restaurants in Albuquerque, marking the award-winning smoothie franchise's first introduction into the area.
"We're thrilled to continue our expansion throughout the Western United States and to bring Tropical Smoothie Café to Albuquerque, a community with strong growth opportunities and a thriving culture that we're excited to tap into," said Mike Rotondo, Tropical Smoothie Café CEO. "We're continuing to ride the momentum from a strong year of growth in 2015, which has driven interest from potential franchisees across the country in markets such as Houston, California, Knoxville, Alabama and Michigan, among others. It's an exciting time to be a part of Tropical Smoothie Café."
Local entrepreneurs Dusty Veach, Nathan Miller and Jake Miller will own and operate the five new Albuquerque cafes, and plan to expand into the Santa Fe and Farmington areas over the next several years.
"When we made the decision to pursue opportunities in franchising, we considered many different options, but Tropical Smoothie Café completely stood out. The brand has an exceptional proven track record of success because of its superior business model, and we are thrilled to be partnering with a leader in the foodservice industry," said Jake Miller, Tropical Smoothie Café franchisee. "Consumers nationwide have fallen in love with Tropical Smoothie Café's delicious, better-for-you food and smoothies, and we're thrilled to be the first to bring this popular brand to the Albuquerque community."
Tropical Smoothie Café reported its strongest year of growth in 2015, with same-stores sales of 11.25 percent — its sixth consecutive quarter of double-digit positive comp sales — and signed franchise agreements to develop 199 new cafes across the U.S., including about two dozen locations in Southern California. 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 stores open across the U.S.
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 475 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.
SOURCE Tropical Smoothie Cafe