A franchise development manager for Smoothie King, Tramuta is dedicated to his brand’s healthful mission.
1851 kicked off Young Ones to Watch month by introducing you to Chad Tramuta, 36, a franchise development manager at Smoothie King. In the first part of our interview, we discussed his start in the franchising world and his growth with the Smoothie King brand.
Today we continue our interview with a special focus on the company he calls home, as well as how the brand is benefitting from a more health-conscious consumer base.
Why is Smoothie King seeing such significant growth and success? What is it about the brand’s products that appeal to people?
There are several contributing factors leading to our growth and success, including new ownership and a highly qualified executive team in place leading the way. We are now at five years of consecutive same-store sales increases. This is huge, as I am only aware of a handful of brands that can make the same statement.
Our new product launches, such as vegetable, yogurt, dark chocolate and vegan smoothies, have all been incredibly successful, and we have more launches on the horizon. The simplicity of our business model, with low cost of goods and low labor percentages, allows our franchisees to spend more time focusing on their business. Our franchisees also benefit from a branding perspective, such as our partnership with the NBA and the Smoothie King Center, which is home to the New Orleans Pelicans.
What is it about Smoothie King’s franchise system specifically that makes it a hit with franchisees?
We provide a healthy, affordable and convenient alternative to fast food. Our franchisees take pride in knowing they are providing products and services to help inspire their guests to live a healthy and active lifestyle.
A great example of this was a recent testimonial I received from one of our franchisees, who previously was a successful multi-unit franchisee with a pizza franchise. His main reason for selling his pizza locations and investing with Smoothie King was the fact that he was tired of feeling like he was contributing to America’s obesity problem. He wanted to invest his time and money into a brand that he could be proud of and sleep at night knowing his businesses were helping people to live a healthier lifestyle.
Do you think the health food/drink marketplace is likely to grow over time?
Yes, as America deals with higher levels of diabetes, obesity and other health-related issues. The ability to find healthy food options, especially quick healthy food options, is increasing in popularity. This is less of a trend and more a lifestyle. It is here to stay.
Smoothie King is constantly working on perfecting its products. Does the brand have any plans for product expansion in the future, or will it always be smoothies first and foremost?
We are constantly improving and evolving to maintain relevant in the world of health and wellness. As a leader in the smoothie industry, we will always remain loyal to what we do best. With that being said, there are big things on the horizon for Smoothie King.
What are the brand's overall plans for 2015?
We are fully committed to maintaining our status as the industry leader. From a development standpoint, we are on pace to award 90-plus new franchise agreements and open 100-plus new locations in 2015. This all coming on the heels of a successful 2014, where we awarded 79 new franchise agreements accounting for a total of 222 franchise units.