With two smoothie franchises open and one in development, Liz Szabo has quickly adjusted to life as a Smoothie King owner.
Before joining the Smoothie King brand, Liz Szabo was a practicing lawyer. She received her J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh Law School, after previously studying English, Psychology and Gender & Women’s Studies at Washington and Jefferson University.
“I’ve always been fascinated by people and what motivates them – part of what drew me to the psychology and legal fields,” said Liz. “And I think that’s what drew me to business ownership as well. I love interacting with people, and I knew I would enjoy making sure they have the best experience possible at my restaurants.”
An Appealing Opportunity with Smoothie King
Liz decided the best avenue for business ownership was through franchising. She wanted an opportunity that already had an established, solid product line, as well as widespread brand recognition and credibility. She was researching different opportunities to bring smoothie franchises to the Pittsburgh area when she came across Smoothie King.
“For me, the biggest differentiator was the quality of the brand and product,” said Liz. “I loved how Smoothie King was a southern brand, and the company had that ‘southern hospitality’ element to it. I also just really liked the product and the uniqueness of it – you can’t replicate those smoothies at home – you can only really get them at a Smoothie King.”
She set her sights on development within the Pittsburgh area when her busy lifestyle called for a quick, easy and nutritious on-the-go snack – which she was never able to find in her area.
“I quickly noticed a void within the market because I kept looking for smoothies or another easy meal replacement, and there really weren’t any available in the area,” said Liz. “I was looking for a career change at the time and realized that could be a great opportunity. I kept thinking, ‘Why is no one else doing this yet?’ So, I decided to do some research and see what would be feasible for me.”
Success with Site Selection with Multiple Smoothie Franchises
Liz went to a Discovery Day in Louisiana and felt the brand was an immediate fit. She opened her first Smoothie King in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania soon after, in April 2016.
“The area was and continues to be rapidly developing, so I knew I had to act quickly,” said Liz. “Pittsburgh is also fairly congested with commercial real estate, so finding the right location was critical.”
Liz made sure to capitalize on the drive-thru aspect of her Smoothie King and the easily transportable nature of the smoothies. She found a strategic site for her location that made it visible to commuters stuck in traffic – offering them an enticing on-the-go snack or meal option.
Photo credit: Community Health Magazine
After just six months in business, Liz opened her second Smoothie King in Wexford, Pennsylvania in October 2016. Liz has plans to open a third in the Pittsburgh area and just recently began her term on the Franchise Advisory Council (FAC) in September.
“I’m looking forward to what the future has in store,” said Liz. “Especially with the FAC, I’m excited to continue supporting and advocating for the brand, and help others find success within the space. I’ve really enjoyed working for myself and my business at the local level, so I am definitely eager to start helping others do the same.”
Want to become part of our growing brand? Learn more about becoming a Smoothie King franchisee here and download our Franchise Kit.