ATLANTA, Jan. 5, 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 first restaurant in Lake Forest, Calif., in mid-January. This is part of the brand's aggressive franchise development plans for the state, which includes future locations in Rancho Cucamonga, Foothill Ranch, Irvine, Mission Viejo, Ladera Ranch, Fountain Valley, Orange and Rancho Santa Margarita. Over the next five years, the food and smoothie franchise will open nearly two dozen cafes throughout Southern California.
"Opening our first cafes in California is a significant milestone for our 19-year-old brand," said Mike Rotondo, CEO of Tropical Smoothie Cafe. "We're thrilled to be working with several franchisees who are committed to bringing Tropical Smoothie Cafe to California and are dedicated to helping us grow. Tropical Smoothie Cafe is a perfect fit for the Californian lifestyle and we're confident these communities will embrace our brand and all that we have to offer. We look forward to continuing our franchise growth throughout the state over the next several years."
Franchisee RanaKaran "R.K." Sidhu is leading the expansion plans in Orange County with the first cafe in Lake Forest located at 23841 El Toro Road, Suite C - E127. The cafe's grand opening event will be held on Jan. 29 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and will offer guests the opportunity to enjoy a complimentary smoothie by participating in the 'Smoothie Selfie' offer. When guests arrive, they will be encouraged to share a 'selfie' of themselves with a smoothie on their favorite social media network and in exchange they will receive a free smoothie.
The cafes in California will feature Tropical Smoothie Cafe's new menu, featuring toasted wraps and flatbreads, bowls, salads, house-made sides, all-day breakfast, a kids menu and, of course, the brand's delicious smoothies. Guests can select from a menu of Superfood Smoothies that feature ingredients such as spinach, kale, acai, pomegranate, ginger and avocado; Supercharged Smoothies like the Chia Banana Boost and Muscle Blaster; and many more. Additionally, Tropical Smoothie Cafe offers a wide variety of supplements like probiotics and whey protein, as well as fresh add-ins like granola, whole grain oats and ginger.
Sidhu recently had become a franchise owner with Tropical Smoothie Cafe. Following medical school, he decided to follow his passion for real estate development and hospitality by joining his family's business developing Hilton and Marriott properties across three states. Last year, Sidhu signed agreements to open 10 Tropical Smoothie Cafe locations in Orange County, as well as 10 in the Greater San Diego area. In February, Sidhu will open his second cafe in Foothill Ranch, followed by a third in Irvine.
"My decision to franchise with Tropical Smoothie Cafe was due in part to my family's 20 years of experience in the industry and also to my lifestyle at the time. I had neglected my health and gained a lot of weight. When my friend introduced me to Tropical Smoothie Cafe, I immediately became an avid fan. With the help of Tropical Smoothie Cafe and regular exercise, the weight began to come off. Within a year, I had lost almost 95 pounds and began to see life in a new light," Sidhu said. "After talking to corporate about franchising opportunities, I spent time looking at the competition in Southern California and talking to customers. I quickly realized no one offered anything close to the variety and quality of Tropical Smoothie Cafe."
This year, the food and smoothie franchise plans to exceed 575 restaurants nationwide and sign 200 franchise agreements. The brand currently has franchise opportunities across the U.S. in markets such as Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C., among others. By 2018, Tropical Smoothie Cafe plans to have 800 stores open across the U.S.
Tropical Smoothie Cafe is looking to add qualified franchisees to its growing brand. Candidates should have business experience; $100,000 in liquid assets and a minimum net worth of $300,000; and an initial investment of between $165,940 and $414,685. The healthy fast food franchise currently boasts an average unit volume (AUV) of more than $578,000 — the highest in the company's 18-year history — with the top 50 percent reporting an AUV of $734,000.
About Tropical Smoothie Cafe
Founded in 1997, Tropical Smoothie Cafe is a fast-casual restaurant concept inspiring healthy lifestyles across the country, with over 465 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 2015 Franchise 500, 2015 Fast Casual Top 100 Movers and Shakers, Franchise Times' Top 200+ and Nation's Restaurant News' 2015 Top 200. Tropical Smoothie Cafe is seeking qualified franchisees to expand throughout the United States in markets such as Southern California, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C.
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SOURCE Tropical Smoothie Cafe