Why this Multi-Unit Franchisee Champions Cleaner Blending InitiativeAuthor: Smoothie King
Scott Kilburn worked in various corporate roles with Yum Brands for 33 years, but he eventually decided he wanted to be a business owner himself. As a frequent customer of Smoothie King, he was drawn to the concept and opened his first store in Allen, Texas in 2011.
With his extensive experience with restaurant franchises, Scott has grown from the new kid on the block to an established franchisee in a short amount of time. He currently owns seven stores, with one more slated to open this year. Meanwhile, he has two more locations in development with opening dates before May of 2019. He also serves on the Smoothie King Franchise Advisory Council, Operations Committee and the Dallas Marketing Fund Board of Directors.
“I’m part of the brand, and I’m helping the brand grow,” said Scott.
Since he joined the brand, he has seen how it has grown and continued to embrace its mission of providing Smoothies With A Purpose®.
And more recently, Smoothie King’s Cleaner Blending Initiative helps to provide an even stronger competitive advantage for the smoothie bar franchise, and Scott has fully embraced the new initiative in his locations.
Smoothies with a Purpose
When Scott opened his first store, there weren’t many Smoothie King locations in the Dallas area. It took him some time to educate his community about the brand; however, he found that once people understood the concept, product and mission, Smoothie King became part of their daily routine.
Scott said that this became even easier after Smoothie King updated the brand purpose and direction in 2013.
“It’s easy to make a smoothie – everybody out there does it,” said Scott. “But we’ve done a good job of defining why we’re different than any other smoothie by creating purposes for our smoothies that help people understand how they can incorporate smoothies into their daily routines.”
The purpose behind Smoothie King’s smoothies helps the brand differentiate its products from others available on the market.
Cleaner Blending Differentiates Smoothie King
With a consistent focus on innovation, Smoothie King has taken Smoothies With A Purpose a step further with its Cleaner Blending Initiative. Cleaner Blending eliminates artificial flavors, artificial colors, artificial preservatives and GMO fruits and veggies, as well as added sugar from many of our Purpose Blends, in an effort to provide more better-for-you options for guests.
“What excites me about the Cleaner Blending Initiative is that it’s not easy to do,” said Scott. “It’s fairly difficult, but if you can educate the public about how any particular smoothie can be blended with quality ingredients and a purpose in mind, then our smoothies can become a part of what they do – whether they’re trying to manage their weight or stay fit, all as part of a sensible diet and regular exercise routine. I just don’t see any other brand out there that’s doing that.”
Smoothie King’s Cleaner Blending initiative is another step in furthering the brand’s mission to inspire people to live a healthy and active lifestyle.
Certified Smoothie Consultants
When Scott first started as a franchisee, team members were simply putting fruit and protein in a blender and mixing it up – there wasn’t really a purpose for it. Back then, the guest typically drove the interaction, so there wasn’t really any need on the part of team members to educate the guest on what they were – or should be – buying.
Scott believes that with Cleaner Blending and the updated menu with purposes for each blend, his team members need to be well-informed– they need to be knowledgeable to be able to help find the perfect smoothie for each guest’s unique goals.
Because of that, Scott requires anyone who takes orders from guests in his stores to be what Scott calls a “certified smoothie consultant,” which means they have gone through additional training to understand the background of each smoothie. While this is not required for Smoothie King franchisees, Scott has found that implementing this standard has improved the guest experience because the team members taking their orders are knowledgeable about the product and can answer any questions guest may have.
Scott’s certified smoothie consultants have helped his stores create a culture where guests are excited about Cleaner Blending and start asking about what is in their smoothies.
“We try to tell every guest one positive thing about they smoothie they’re ordering,” said Scott. “So for example, if they order Angel Food, which is the most popular item on the menu, we might say something like, ‘Did you know that the Angel Food Slim doesn’t have any added sugar now?’”
This helps guests understand how Smoothie King can help them work toward their goals and gets members of the community interested in Smoothie King’s commitment to better-for-you smoothies made with quality ingredients.
By embracing Cleaner Blending, Scott and his team members have been able to delight guests and help members of the community work to achieve their purpose.
If you’re interested in joining a brand with a purpose, download the Smoothie King franchise kit today.