Backed by the support of a strong consumer base and dedicated franchisees, Smoothie King is looking like a pretty sweet business opportunity these days.
Through 2015, the New Orleans-area-based franchise has completed 62 franchise agreements for the year, with 32 happening in the third quarter—that’s an average of more than two new agreements per week. Chad Tramuta, franchise development manager for Smoothie King, attributed much of the brand’s current success to having all the key components aligning.
“We had a good second quarter, and the previous two years same store sales performance have been strong, too,” he said. “We have a great consumer base, great franchisees, an eye on the right real estate play, and wonderful branding and marketing initiatives. All of this has led to franchise recognition. We’re hitting on all the right targets—it’s a very exciting time for us as an organization.”
Traditionally, the brand has focused development opportunities in the southeast, but as it continues to grow, a large emphasis of their growth efforts is on establishing a presence in new territories. Smoothie King already has strong development plans underway in Arizona and Nevada, and additional markets being targeted include New Jersey, Indiana and Chicago.
As the nutritional fruit-based beverage franchise eyes new development opportunities, they are targeting potential owners who have strategic growth plans and the means to be an ambassador for the brand in order to keep the momentum going.
“As of the first of this year, the franchise partnerships we’ve entered into show strong signs of meeting our needs of strategic growth and the means to build the brand in a new market,” said Steve Shields, franchise development manager for Smoothie King. “We want them to plant the flag and grow in the area.”
“In addition to new markets, we’re also proposing new Smoothie King locations in nontraditional areas like hospitals, athletic arenas and universities,” Tramuta said.
As 2015 comes to a close, Smoothie King will have opened between 80 and 90 locations in the U.S. and internationally. The healthy meal alternative intends to be at 1,000 locations by the end of 2017.
According to Tramuta, their goals will only be realized by incorporating franchisees with drive and a passion for the brand and its benefits.
“People are gravitating to our healthy lifestyle product because we can differentiate the product and our brand from other QSR concepts,” he said. “We pursue franchisees who want to help others achieve their goals. We provide strong support for development and low startup costs.”