|Tropical Smoothie Café|
|Founded||1993 in Destin, Florida, U.S.|
Number of locations
|Owner||Levine Leichtman Capital Partners|
Number of employees
Tropical Smoothie began as a smoothie shop in 1993 along the panhandle of Florida. Tropical Smoothie Franchise Development Corporation was founded in 1997 in Destin, Florida, and the first franchised store opened in 1998 in Tallahassee, Florida. Tropical Smoothie Cafe is currently headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.
In 1999, they introduced a line of food items including sandwiches and wraps. As more locations opened, the individual Cafes redesigned their store decor to offer a beach house theme with bright white walls, an open kitchen concept, vibrant colors, and tropical artwork.
In 2006, Tropical Smoothie Cafe opened their 200th store in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and in 2011 they opened their 300th store in Fort Myers, Florida. They opened their 400th location in Toledo, Ohio, 500th location in Westland, Michigan, and in 2017 their 600th location in Joplin, Missouri. They opened their 800th location in Arlington Heights, Illinois, in 2019.
The founders and original owners, Eric and Delora Jenrich and David Walker, came from franchise backgrounds and used that knowledge to grow Tropical Smoothie Cafe. As they grew, they recruited others from the food industry.
In 2012, private equity firm Buckhead Investment Partners (BIP) bought a controlling interest in Tropical Smoothie Cafe. Eric Jenrich and David Walker remained on the board of directors, and former Chief Operating Officer Mike Rotondo was promoted to replace Jenrich as chief executive officer in 2012 until his departure in 2018. BIP partner Scott Pressly, who was a financial and strategic adviser to the chain since 2007 served as the chairman until 2020. The brand was acquired by private equity firm Levine Leichtman Capital Partners (LLCP) in September 2020. Charles Watson currently serves as the chief executive officer.
Tropical Smoothie Cafes sales are made up of 50% smoothie sales and 50% food sales system wide.
In May 2013, Tropical Smoothie Cafe began offering a vegan, non-GMO meat substitute called Beyond Meat. Beyond Meat is made of a blend of fava bean protein, pea protein, flours, and fiber. On July 2013, Tropical Smoothie Cafe announced that Beyond Meat would become a permanent fixture on the menu at certain locations.
- "Tropical Smoothie Cafe growth plans". August 27, 2021.[self-published source][dead link]
- "Tropical Smoothie Cafe Franchise History and Leadership Team". Tropical Smoothie Cafe LLC. Retrieved January 18, 2023.
- "Tropical Smoothie Cafe does more than drinks".
- "Tropical Smoothie Cafe outlines growth plans". Nation's Restaurant News. May 3, 2011.
- "LLCP Buys Tropical Smoothie from BIP". peprofessional.com. Retrieved January 18, 2023.
- Negron, Anna (August 15, 2019). "Tropical Smoothie Cafe Named Title Sponsor of Frisco Bowl". ESPN Press Room. Retrieved December 17, 2021.
- "Tropical Smoothie exec upbeat about 2011". Nation's Restaurant News. February 15, 2011.
- mary (May 29, 2013). "Tropical Smoothie Ditches the Meat for Latest Menu Addition". Retrieved June 13, 2018.
- Erin Dostal (July 9, 2013). "Tropical Smoothie Café to add meatless protein to permanent menu". Nation's Restaurant News. Retrieved November 13, 2017.