The relationship between franchisor and franchisee is just as important to the success of any franchise as the relationships built between store owner, team members and their guests.
Current franchisees are a key indicator of the success of a product, the franchise system and the nature of the culture they work in. Satisfied franchisees help maintain a positive culture, while ensuring to potential newcomers that the opportunity is a good one.
Smoothie King was recently featured in Franchise Business Review’s Top 40 Food & Beverage Franchises. The publication surveyed over 4,300 franchisees from 100 different food and beverage brands to name this year’s Top 40. The list was created to highlight top brands for franchise satisfaction, after compiling franchisee feedback.
Smoothie King had a 59 percent response rate, with 220 franchisees providing feedback to help land the brand a prestigious spot in the Top 40. Smoothie King ranked highly for general satisfaction, and excelled in several different areas, including competitiveness, respect, long-term growth and franchisees’ enjoyment in operating their business.
Proven Franchise System
More than half of Smoothie King survey respondents were multi-unit franchisees, with over 56 percent owning two or more units or territories. Nearly 75 percent of respondents also said they would consider opening additional units, or were already in the process of acquiring another unit.
A solid franchise system is essential in securing multi-unit owners and improving the opportunity for success of a franchise at the unit, regional and international level. For example, multi-unit Smoothie King owners Yvette and Steve Shields decided to become franchisees after Steve worked for Smoothie King on the franchise development team.
“I always wanted to own my own business. When I was working at the Smoothie King franchise office, I recognized that there was an opportunity that I could get into,” said Steve. “At the time, the founders encouraged the employees to be franchisees, so it’s part of the culture. [My wife and I] spotted an opportunity and went for it.”
Many franchisees started out as Smoothie King guests and fans – including Smoothie King CEO Wan Kim. With a solid product and culture, the transition from guest to passionate business owner is authentic and motivated by belief in the concept.
Solid Core Values
Staying genuine and integral with the brand and products are also cornerstones of Smoothie King’s success. The trust, respect, honesty and ethics of the franchisor were also highly ranked among franchisees. The brand employs this same authenticity in everything from restaurant and product design to community outreach.
Sean Cangelosi owns a 24-hour Smoothie King located in a hospital and says that the integrity of the brand and product help his restaurant remain successful.
“It’s a great product, and it’s something I feel good about giving to people in a hospital,” said Sean. “Doctors, nurses and staff are in a hurry, and the smoothies are a great on-the-go option. People who are sick often use the smoothies as a meal replacement, or just as something to brighten their day.”
Each smoothie serves a different purpose – from a delicious way to take a break to helping guests achieve their weight management goals as part of a sensible diet and regular fitness routine.
Wan Kim recounted a time when Smoothie King’s mission-driven products affected one of his employees directly:
“One of our real estate brokers’ wives went through chemotherapy for 90 days,” he said. “She was losing weight, but she was able to drink Smoothie King smoothies to help supplement her nutritional intake. At the end of the day, this is why we do our business.”
From solid leadership to solid products, operations and training and support, Smoothie King ranked favorably in every area in its franchisee feedback. Of course, the recognition in FBR’s Top 40 is wonderful, but even more than that, Smoothie King management is excited their franchisees feel supported.
If you’re interested in becoming part of an international brand with a purpose, learn more by downloading our Franchise Kit.