5 Top Business Lessons Learned from Smoothie King Multi-Unit FranchiseesAuthor: Smoothie King
There’s a common thread that binds Smoothie King franchisees together. They are all drawn to our brand because they believe in our mission — to inspire people to live a healthy and active lifestyle — and our vision — to be an integral part of everyone’s health and fitness journey.
While some are first-time owners, others have expanded their franchise portfolio by growing with us. Every franchisee has their own unique experiences as business owners, but they all learn several important lessons that can be applied anywhere.
We spoke with a handful of Smoothie King multi-unit franchisees to uncover some of the most relevant insights they’ve discovered through business ownership and compiled them in a new eBook. Take a look below for a preview:
Lesson #1: Evolve or You’ll Dissolve
Roger Wilder, Multi-Unit Franchisee since 2001
With the Clean Blends initiative, Smoothie King added more whole fruits and veggies to the ingredients used to make smoothies, while removing added sugar from many of the Slim, Fitness and Wellness blends.
“Before, we were using fruit concentrate,” said Roger. “And now, we’ve got whole wild blueberries, raspberries and mango chunks – all natural, 100% fruits.”
In an effort to eliminate the need for added Turbinado, Smoothie King introduced whole dates. There’s also an ever-expanding No-No List of ingredients, including high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, artificial colors, flavors and preservatives, and many more.
“People are resistant to change, but one of the biggest things I’ve learned is that you have to evolve if you’re going to keep up, stay competitive and grow,” he added.
Lesson #2: Leadership: By Example – and By Listening
Alexandra Kavi – Military Veteran and Multi-Unit Franchisee since 2005
As a leader, Alexandra is focused on being a mentor who sets expectations based on what she has learned works while keeping her finger on the pulse of her team to figure out what they need to keep improving.
For example, Alexandra has pushed her team to elevate guests’ experiences, particularly when it comes to helping guests identify the right blend for their specific nutritional or lifestyle needs. Being able to “read” guests is a skill that requires practice.
“To provide a great guest experience, you need to be able to take guest interactions to the next level – and it’s not always easy,” she said. “For instance, if someone who is diabetic comes in looking for recommendations, it makes a huge difference to be able to point them to the ideal smoothie that’s not only going to meet their dietary needs but also be delicious.”
Lesson #3: Build a Management Team You Can Trust, But Stay Tapped In
Yonas Hagos – Military Veteran, Multi-Brand Operator and Multi-Unit Franchisee since 2019
Yonas purchased his first store in 2019 and is looking to own at least 100 Smoothie King stores within five years. He’s a firm believer in the brand, product and business model, which is why he’s confident in an admittedly aggressive growth strategy.
“What I’ve done over the past 10 years is slowly build my back-of-the-house team and become top-heavy with a multi-unit management team, and now I can go and execute,” he said.
Yonas has built a tight-knit management team he can trust to get the job done without him needing to make every single decision. An area manager who worked with Yonas for 6 years at his quick-service coffee franchise locations eventually became his multi-unit manager for his Smoothie King stores. He had groomed her and molded her to assume the role and he has unwavering confidence in her abilities.
“When you grow, you have to forfeit control – that’s why a lot of people don’t grow,” explained Yonas.
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