Tropical Smoothie Cafe, a leading fast casual cafe concept known for its better-for-you food and smoothies with a tropical twist, announced it is aggressively targeting Cleveland for franchise growth. Over the next three years, the sandwich and smoothie franchise aims to open at least 10 locations throughout Greater Cleveland, including Avon, Lakewood, Fairlawn, Euclid, North Olmsted and more. Currently, there are two Tropical Smoothie Cafe locations in the Cleveland area.
Tropical Smoothie Cafe franchise executives, including CEO Mike Rotondo, will host a special event on Tuesday, June 23 from 7 – 9 p.m. for local entrepreneurs to learn about franchise opportunities with the fast casual brand. Attendees will be treated to food and smoothie samples and a tour of the cafe, and have the chance to connect in person with Rotondo, as well as Charles Watson, vice president of franchise development, area developer Craig LeMieux and local franchise owner Gregory Debrow. The event will be held at the Tropical Smoothie Cafe located at Legacy Village Mall, 24389 Cedar Road in Lyndhurst.
"Healthy lifestyles and better-for-you food choices are important to people in Cleveland, and Tropical Smoothie Cafe is just starting to make its mark on the area with two popular locations," said LeMieux. "The region is ripe for development. Cleveland residents are increasingly active and consider themselves in good or excellent health, so our healthy, delicious food and smoothie options fit right into their busy lives."
LeMieux and his wife, Dianne own five locations currently open in Ohio and Michigan, with two under development. As an area developer, he has guided the opening of 30 Tropical Smoothie Cafes, with another 25 in development, since deciding to become a franchise owner.
"My wife and I know what it takes to start a business from scratch, so following a proven system within a franchise model was very appealing to us when we were looking to start the next chapter in our lives," said LeMieux. "The Tropical Smoothie Cafe system works. One thing we love about our cafes is the traffic we see throughout the day - breakfast, lunch, dinner and even evening snacks. While most quick-service franchises do most of their business at lunch, we have as much business after 2 p.m. as we do before."
Candidates should have business experience, preferably in the restaurant industry; $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.
In the first quarter of 2015, Tropical Smoothie Cafe reported a 12.31-percent growth in same-store sales and franchise agreements to open 51 new cafes across the U.S. This year, Tropical Smoothie Cafe plans to exceed 500 stores nationwide and sign franchise agreements for 150 new locations. The brand currently has franchise opportunities across the U.S. in markets such as Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Charlotte, Philadelphia, Boston, Portland and Columbus, Ohio, among others. By 2018, Tropical Smoothie Cafe plans to have 800 stores open across the U.S.