Tropical Smoothie Cafe, a leading national fast-casual cafe franchise known for both its better-for-you smoothies and food with a tropical twist, announced today its stellar first quarter results with a same-store-sales increase of +29.7% during the quarter, including +15.8% in January and February before the rollover sales impact from the pandemic in March of 2020. Increases were largely driven by a very successful limited-time-offer (LTO) spanning 11 weeks of the quarter. Additionally, the brand announced the signing of 95 new franchise agreements with a number of new and existing multi-unit operators, and the opening of 25 new cafes nationwide in Q1.
Tropical Smoothie Cafe launched three limited-time menu items in the quarter. The new Hurricane Smoothie became the brand's third best-selling LTO smoothie in company history, and was featured with two new Cajun Shrimp items, a new protein added to the company's menu. The Cajun Shrimp menu items represented the most successful food introduction in recent history.
"We're thrilled to have hit the ground running in Q1 with strong results across the board," said Charles Watson, CEO of Tropical Smoothie Cafe, LLC. "The incredible demand for select menu items continues to drive strong same-store-sales, and the record number of franchise agreements provides a very healthy pipeline for our future growth. Tropical Smoothie Cafe is on track for another strong year with 130 new cafe openings planned, as we continue to elevate the brand to new heights."
Among the 95 new franchise signings, industry veteran and experienced Hardee's multi-unit franchisee Rob Schmidt signed an agreement to develop 16 locations with Tropical Smoothie Cafe in Mississippi and one in Alabama over the next several years. Schmidt, a five-time Hardee's Franchisee of the Year award winner, currently owns and operates 36 Hardee's locations across multiple states and has more than 25 years of experience in the restaurant industry.
"It's been an incredibly rewarding experience franchising with Hardee's over the past two decades, and I'm very excited to diversify my franchise portfolio with a high-caliber brand like Tropical Smoothie Cafe," said Schmidt. "The first time I visited a Tropical Smoothie Cafe location nearly four years ago, I was immediately impressed with the healthier menu items and found myself craving the brand's smoothies regularly. Once I began looking into the franchising opportunity, I learned about the exceptional culture and how the brand's values of putting people first aligned with mine, and the rest was history.
In addition to Schmidt expanding his portfolio, Tropical Smoothie Cafe also signed multi-unit agreements with an experienced Moe's and Burger King franchisee in New York for eight locations, and an existing franchisee in Texas for an additional 16 locations which will bring the franchisee's cafe count to 30 restaurants.
During the first quarter, Tropical Smoothie Cafe was also recognized with leading industry awards and rankings for its exemplary franchisee support and the strength of the overall franchise opportunity. The brand ranked No. 14 in Entrepreneur magazine's Franchise 500® ranking and was also recognized on the magazine's esteemed Fastest Growing Franchises list. Additionally, Tropical Smoothie Cafe was recognized as a finalist in Franchise Time's annual "Zor Awards," a ranking that highlights the best franchise to buy among 10 categories. The brand was also listed on Franchise Time's Fast & Serious ranking at No. 20 and was included on Franchise Gator's Top 10 Franchises list.
Tropical Smoothie Cafe continues to seek qualified franchisees to join the growing brand and currently has franchise opportunities in markets throughout the U.S. Interested candidates should have business experience, along with a minimum net worth of $350,000, which includes $125,000 in liquid assets. Candidates who meet these preliminary qualifications will need to make an initial investment ranging between $198,500 and $543,500. The franchise currently boasts an average unit volume (AUV) of more than $768,000 — the highest in the company's 24-year-history — with the top 50% reporting an AUV of more than $982,000.
For more information about Tropical Smoothie Cafe, visit www.tropicalsmoothiefranchise.com or call 770-821-1900.
Tropical Smoothie Cafe is a national fast-casual cafe concept inspiring a healthier lifestyle with more than 940 locations nationwide. Serving better-for-you smoothies, wraps, sandwiches, and flatbreads, Tropical Smoothie Cafe also offers upgraded app technology and enhanced mobile ordering capabilities to further elevate the digital and dine-in cafe experience and emphasize the brand's focus on convenience. The rapidly growing franchise has received numerous accolades including rankings in Entrepreneur's Franchise 500, Forbes' Best Franchises and Franchise Times' Fast & Serious list, as well as the Franchise Times' Top 200+ ranking. Notably, the franchise was also recognized on Fast Casual's Top 100 Movers and Shakers, Nation's Restaurant News' Top 200 and Top 10 Fastest Growing Chains, and Restaurant Business' America's Favorite Chains.