JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Aug. 20, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Tropical Smoothie Café, known for its healthy food with a tropical twist, announces plans to grow in the Jacksonville metro area. The rapidly growing food and smoothie franchise currently has nine locations open throughout Jacksonville, and company plans call for three more cafés to be developed over the next 12 months. Target areas for expansion include Orange Park and North Jacksonville.
The development in the Jacksonville area is part of the 345-unit brand's overall growth strategy to open 40 locations throughout the U.S. in 2013. In addition to the increasing consumer demand for healthier food options, a significant factor driving the company's decision to expand in Jacksonville is the strong performance of existing cafés in the market.
For instance, franchisee Jim Mabry, 55, who has more than 20 years of experience in the restaurant industry, recently experienced year-over-year sales increases of 15 percent and 40 percent at his two Jacksonville cafés. Mabry, who has been a Tropical Smoothie Café franchisee for 12 years, operates the two cafés with his wife and son. Additionally, 27-year-old entrepreneur Nick Crouch has aggressive growth plans for the brand based on the strong sales of his three Tropical Smoothie Café locations in the area.
"We've had great success in Jacksonville and the market is primed for growth," said Tropical Smoothie Café CEO Mike Rotondo. "Consumers in Jacksonville are increasingly ditching unhealthy fast-food options in favor of better-for-you alternatives. With fresh wraps, sandwiches and made-to-order smoothies packed with fruits and veggies, Tropical Smoothie Café can fill that need in the local marketplace."
The unrivaled brand positioning of "healthy food with a tropical twist" has catapulted Tropical Smoothie Café to the forefront of the quick-casual segment. By pairing made-to-order smoothies with healthy, innovative menu items, Tropical Smoothie Café appeals to a broad consumer base during all dayparts. With systemwide revenue approximately split between smoothie and food purchases, the two-in-one business model has led to strong sales with average unit volumes in excess of $500,000. In 2013, Nation's Restaurant News recognized Tropical Smoothie Café on its list of "Top 10 Newcomers" and ranked Tropical Smoothie Café number one for growth in U.S. systemwide sales among brands included on its "Second 100" list.
Tropical Smoothie Café is seeking partnerships with local franchisees with general business experience who are active in the community. Restaurant and food industry experience, though preferred, is not required to open a Tropical Smoothie Café, says Rotondo. That's because Tropical Smoothie Café does not use complicated or expensive equipment often found in the fast-casual industry, such as grills, deep fryers or hoods, offering prospective candidates an easy-to-operate business opportunity.
About Tropical Smoothie Café
Established in 1997, Tropical Smoothie Café has taken the smoothie concept to the next level by offering diners a healthy alternative to typical fast food. The concept, which introduced food in 1999, provides consumers with a variety of high-quality real-fruit smoothies, specialty wraps, sandwiches, grilled flatbreads and salads. The company also caters. Tropical Smoothie Café includes menu options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For several consecutive years, Tropical Smoothie Café has been included in Entrepreneur magazine's "Franchise 500" list as well as ranked in the publication's "America's Top Global" franchise category. Tropical Smoothie Café has 345 locations open in the United States, with an additional 60 currently in development. For more information, including franchising opportunities, visit www.tropicalsmoothiecafe.com.
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Source:Tropical Smoothie Cafe, LLC