Juice and smoothie giant sees great franchise development potential in Chicago, Illinois as part of national expansion strategy.
(RestaurantNews.com) Smoothie King, the pioneer in the increasingly popular juice and smoothie segment, has set major growth goals for 2015. After coming out of a record-breaking year – including posting a 5.64 percent comp sales increase in January – Smoothie King is looking to expand in Chicago as part of a greater growth strategy in Illinois and the Midwest. The Chicago market is already home to some exceptional Smoothie King franchisees spreading the brand’s message of health, nutrition and great-tasting smoothies!
The 700-location franchise is eyeing Chicago due to the market’s expansion potential. With a national growth goal of hitting 105 new deals in 2015, the brand is on course to surpass this benchmark as the Windy City hosts market potential for 100 new locations in the city proper and surrounding Chicagoland suburbs. As an untapped market for the brand, Chicago’s cultural influences in various areas like sports, film, theater, music, comedy and food – along with its 2.7 million residents – make it a unique opportunity for Smoothie King’s continuous development.
“We’ve seen phenomenal national expansion this past year and we’re very excited to be moving into the Chicago market to achieve triple-digit growth,” said Dan Hannah, Vice President of International and Domestic Business Development at Smoothie King. “Our franchisees are the cornerstone of our success, and we look forward to signing qualified business operators to join us in what is sure to be a very thrilling year for Smoothie King. By gaining market share in The Second City, we will be able to establish a strong hub and grow outbound to surrounding states in the future.”
The company expects to hit the 1,000-unit milestone by using a time-tested formula for finding franchisees that are passionate about the brand and about living a healthy and active lifestyle. Wan Kim, CEO of Smoothie King, knows his dual role as franchisor and franchisee has helped to instill confidence among other franchisees in the system, as they know he is in the trenches with them.
“When people believe in the brand, there’s always going to be a fire that drives growth,” Kim said. “Even during tough times, that passion never dies and continues to fuel the business. With Smoothie King, franchisees can build their business and at the same time be proud of the work they are doing, which is a win-win for all.”
By investing in a food scientist to ensure the company’s research and development process continues to stay nimble and adaptable, Smoothie King knows it has the products and strategies in place to continue its industry dominance. Smoothie King is known for using superior products, providing guests around the world with nutritional solutions that live up to the brand’s founding vision to create “Smoothies With a Purpose.”
Now in its 42nd year of operation, Smoothie King is more primed than ever to thrive thanks to an elevated growth strategy and increased focus on finding the right franchisee partners to help implement it. Smoothie King plans to open two locations every week in 2015 and to grow the $567,578 average gross sales (of the top 25 percent of traditional franchised units in 2013) within the $2 billion industry.
“We are primed to close out more markets across the U.S. this year, and that starts with the growth opportunities in Chicago,” said Tom O’Keefe, Smoothie King’s President and COO. “We know that Smoothie King is riding strong momentum right now, and if we find the right franchisees who truly believe in bringing a nutritional solution to their community, they will be our best franchise owners.”