Open Accessibility Menu
Hide

How to Choose High-Growth Markets

Author: Smoothie King
Smoothie King locations

Smoothie King location exteriorSmoothie King uses a tried and true strategy for selecting and growing in new markets – follow the demand and make sure resources can support expansion.

John Gordon, Director of Real Estate for Smoothie King, says the brand relies heavily on local intelligence to help determine demand. For example, the company consults with franchisees in surrounding markets who have in-depth cultural and other insight about the region, which may span across state lines.

Smoothie King uses perimeter states within existing markets to look at new growth. For example, now that the brand is starting to saturate Kansas City, it’s developing in Oklahoma City and looking at jumping into Denver.

“We work with franchisees across the country to understand what the hot markets are,” Gordon said. “Then we strategically seed each of the major markets first. We want to develop the stores as quickly as possible to create brand recognition, while we continue to look for new opportunities in surrounding areas within those cities.”

Assessing Brand Demand

In addition to consulting with on-the-ground franchisees familiar with an area, Smoothie King also studies demographics and psychographics of new markets. That tends to be the easier part of strategically growing, thanks to the brand’s longevity. Being around for 44 years increases the chances of older Americans hearing of Smoothie King.

Millennials, the largest generation alive, are currently Smoothie King’s core guests. However, many older guests who have loved Smoothie King’s products for years remain loyal, helping the brand grow through word of mouth.

Qualities of a Prime Site

While product demand, culture, brand recognition and psychographics/demographics are key factors in choosing growth areas, new markets must also have real estate resources that meet Smoothie King’s criteria for franchisee and brand success.

To effectively meet demand, markets should have real estate available in high traffic areas among a quality mix of retail tenants, including big box stores or other places that generate a lot of traffic. High schools, grocery store-anchored shopping centers, and even malls and hospitals create some form of day part traffic.

These areas should likely be high-profile sites, such as drive-thrus, either in an endcap or a freestanding building. Drive-thrus can add 30 percent to sales, and are therefore in high demand.

Smoothie King location exterior

While retail synergy is important, a strong residential population needs to exist within a short drive time of Smoothie King stores. Locations have to be convenient for moms who want to stop for a snack or meal replacement between driving their children to various activities, or for those who want to grab a smoothie before or after grocery shopping.

“We want a steady morning business with a majority of business coming after 11 a.m.,” Gordon said. “We need strong day parts around lunchtime and 3 p.m., when school lets out. We also want to be viable after 5 p.m. for those either headed to the gym for a pre or post-workout smoothie.”

In the end, he added, “It’s the franchisee’s investment. We want to provide general site selection criteria and guidance for the selection of an acceptable site that hopefully presents growth opportunities for them and for the brand overall.”

To learn more about the franchise opportunity and become part of an expanding brand, download our franchise kit here.

Featured Blogs

  • Smoothie King Sets Sights on Growth in Oklahoma

    As the demand for freshly made smoothies rises, franchisees in cities nationwide are looking to invest in the segment. Oklahoma City and Tulsa are two cities jumping on the smoothie train. In a ...

    Read More
  • In the News: How Smoothie King Has Evolved to Meet Its Guest’s Health Needs

    When Smoothie King was founded in 1973, it was primarily created as a health-focused beverage concept. Over time, the brand added sugar to its products and created a treat destination, but when Wan ...

    Read More
  • How a Former C-Level Executive is Creating a Smoothie Franchising Empire

    A QSR veteran, Smoothie King multi-unit owner Omar Janjua is preparing for the next chapter of his professional life, with plans to build a Smoothie King empire and bring a purposeful product to the ...

    Read More
View All Posts

Become A Franchise Partner

Drop us a line and become a franchise partner.

Interested in franchising internationally?

Learn More
* Indicates required fields
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • This isn't a valid phone number.
    Please enter your phone number.
    You entered an invalid number.
  • Please enter your address.
  • Please enter your city.
  • Please enter your State.
  • Please enter your zip code.
    This isn't a valid zip code.
  • Please enter why do you want to own a Smoothie King.
  • Please enter where would you like to open a Smoothie King.
  • Please enter liquid capital.
  • Please enter your net worth.
  • Please enter details.
See Disclaimer

Your information is being collected so that we may contact you regarding your interest in a Smoothie King franchise. We do not share your information with any outside parties unless you specifically authorize us to do so.