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Robeks Launches With New Health and Wellness Campaign

The smoothie and juice franchise found a clever way to make a super relevant offering to customers without asking much from franchisees.

By Alex Lockie1851 Franchise Editor
SPONSORED 8:20PM 03/15/21

Robeks, the LA-based smoothie and juice franchise with more than 100 locations open and in development across twelve states and the District of Columbia, kicked off the year like many Americans: with a renewed focus on health and wellness. 

But unlike the folks you see trying to figure out the weight machines at the gym every January, Robeks has already figured out how to help franchisees realize maximum gains with minimal effort. 

Mitch Baker, the company’s vice president of marketing, said that the company’s new push towards health and wellness menu items takes “the high road” and avoids fear mongering around COVID-19 or claiming any one menu item there represents a miracle cure or elixir for these times. 

Instead, the company listened to franchisees to figure out how to make its product promotions and limited time offers work for the entire system, while staying engaging for the brand’s loyal customers. 

“Some of the feedback we got from franchisees on our promotions and ltos told us it took quite a bit of effort to roll out a new product, train employees and sell a brand new item,” David Rawnsley, the brand’s CFO said. “We determined that we could make some special promotions an existing product to make less work for the franchisees.”

Rawnsley said the pandemic forced some hard introspection at Robeks HQ, and above all, he decided his company would put franchisees first. From a marketing perspective, that means getting their buy in on special promotions. 

“We continually have our finger on the pulse not just from consumers but listening to franchisees hearing the input they get from customers,” said Baker. “Our franchisees are where the rubber meets the road. That’s input that we don’t take lightly. When we launch something, it has to benefit them.”

So Baker and his team saw the need for health conscious offerings on the market and jumped at the opportunity to back his franchisees by playing to their strengths. 

“We already had products, like our Dr. Robeks smoothie or a lemon ginger shot, that epitomized health and wellness,” said Baker. “So our new campaign highlights the benefits of some of these products. We’re not making any fantastic claims but inviting guests to join the ‘immunity community’ with our products that have always been great for the health conscious consumer.”

While other brands try to market their food as being healthier, or at least less bad for you, Robeks built up a major brand name in wellness over the since its inception in 1996. 

“Our brand is inherently healthy,” said Robert Campos, the brand’s vice president of franchise sales. “The nature of what we do lends itself to that. We use real fruits, real vegetables and make everything to order.” 

For Robeks, pouring advertising dollars into existing wellness items on its franchisee’s menus meant boosting sales of a delicious, relevant product without complicating operations for business owners already trying to navigate pandemic restrictions. 

But that’s not to say Robeks is resting on its laurels. Campos explained why resurfacing old, proven winners on the menu made a ton of sense in the pandemic era. 

“Over the last five to 10 years, people have become way more aware of what they’re putting in their bodys. During the pandemic, this accelerated even more,” said Campos. “From the franchisee side, it’s nice to know you do have the opportunity to offer a product that meets that demand, but more importantly the franchisor can deliver to them all the platforms they need to meet that client.”

The pandemic hasn’t been great for Americans’ eating habits. Pizza and fast food sales have boomed while casual and fine dining have collapsed. After nine months on lockdowns, many are craving something healthy, a shot of life from a green juice or beet red smoothie.

By placing Robeks’ products on four third party delivery apps, the brand’s always healthy options become even more impactful. Now customers can pick between another burger or an acai bowl in the morning, and Robeks has seen tremendous results from that avenue. With sales perking up since July, the brand’s delivery sales have exploded to more than 20% of total sales. If the future of dining is off-premise, Robeks has just cemented its place in that future.  

“We don’t need a large dining room and table service,” said Campos. “Customers can have Robeks delivered to their home or office. We can offer the customers our healthy, great tasting products wherever they are.” 

With a reduction in foot traffic, Robeks has cleverly boosted its visibility by advertising its colorful shakes and smoothies online. For the franchisee, it’s a zero-effort value add of enormous proportions. 

“In the COVID-19 climate, it’s not just the product, but the way the product is accessed,” said Rawnsley. “Mobile ordering, contactless payment, curbside pickup, delivery: They’re all accessible in a way that meets the customer on the platforms they’re already at.”

As for menu innovation, the brand’s leaders teased a big, category-killing shakeup to menus that would put Robeks in a category all its own. While the secret new menu items remain under wraps for now, prospective franchisees can count on Robeks to stay ahead of the curve. 

“Although we’re going to highlight existing products in our health and wellness promotion, we’re also innovators,” said Rawnsley. “Right at this moment we’re working on a new line of menu items that none of our competitors currently offer.” 

For potential investors looking for a franchisee-centric company that listens to operators on the ground to pivot when and where the customer's interest is going, Robeks offers an opportunity to get in on the booming health and wellness industry with a winning brand and a proven concept.