Finding silver linings in difficult circumstances is oftentimes the key to maintaining your optimism as a business owner.
For Smoothie King franchisee Jamie Joyal, the coronavirus pandemic has forced him to find the small victories amid a challenging year – and the challenges have run the gamut.
From converting a room in his house into an at-home workout space so he could continue living his active lifestyle, to initially being denied a federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan for one of his locations, Jamie has continued to stay positive during a frustrating time.
Throughout the experience, Jamie has maintained the fortitude to do what it takes to keep his businesses moving forward – while also giving back to members of the local community who have put their health and safety on the line to allow others to live a more normal life.
Remaining Focused on Helping People Live a Healthy and Active Lifestyle
Since the pandemic hit, Jamie’s top priorities have been his team members and guests. Eventually securing the PPP loans for his three stores, he was fortunate not to have to cut anyone’s hours or let any of his team go. Having that financial backing has helped him keep the doors open and serve the people of the greater Austin area.
It was early during the pandemic that the Smoothie King corporate team also took steps to help franchisees safely and conveniently provide their guests with their favorite smoothies. In rapid succession, the brand rolled out online ordering, curbside pickup and delivery.
“This was one of the greatest things the corporate team has been able to put into practice,” Jamie said. “I believe this helped save a lot of franchisees.”
On top of the operational upgrades, Smoothie King announced it would donate $1,000,000 worth of smoothies to essential, front-line workers to thank them for their dedication and the sacrifices they’ve made for everyone’s benefit.
Taking Part in the $1,000,000 Smoothie Donation Initiative
At a time when businesses across the country were struggling to remain open, Jamie was quick to see the benefits of the $1,000,000 smoothie donation initiative.
“When we heard about the donation, our attitude was, well, everybody wins,” said Jamie. “We’re giving back to the people on the front lines, helping the community and, in the long run, it’s helping our business.”
Jamie and his team donated nearly 2,400 smoothies during the initiative. Some of the recipients included local hospitals, multiple fire and police departments, private and public schools in the area and employees at the local supermarkets.
“I wanted to make sure the people working at the grocery stores felt our appreciation because they’re the ones putting themselves at risk so the rest of us can get food and supplies like we normally would,” Jamie added.
The donations resulted in organic publicity for Jamie’s Smoothie King stores on social media. For example, the Chief of Police at the Round Rock Police Department, who Jamie knew through a local gym and whose wife is a regular guest, posted a heartfelt thank-you to Jamie and his crew on Facebook.
As a result of the increased notoriety, Jamie saw his catering business increase soon after the donations were made.
Looking Forward to 2021
Like nearly everyone, adapting to life during the pandemic has been the focus for Jamie this year and he continues to set goals to spread the message about Smoothie King further into the health-conscious Austin market.
He’s educating his guests more about Clean Blends and the quality of ingredients that go into the smoothies, as well as how Smoothie King’s products can help them achieve specific health and fitness goals.
Jamie is excited about the continued success he’s seeing with online ordering and delivery. While it’s impossible to know what next year holds, he’s maintaining an optimistic outlook.