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Charles Watson, CEO of Tropical Smoothie Cafe, on the brand's potential for growth.

How Tropical Smoothie Cafe, which is aiming to become a household name, grew comp sales 25.5% in July

CEO Charles Watson credits the brand’s rich pipeline of franchisees

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Charles Watson began as CEO of Tropical Smoothie Cafe in January 2019, and the world has changed wildly in his first year and a half. One thing remains the same: Tropical Smoothie Cafe is gunning to become a household name, with or without a pandemic.

“We make no bones about the fact that we are trying to be a household name,” said Watson.

The Atlanta-based healthful smoothie concept is certainly on the way, having increased comp sales by 25.5% in July – while other brands saw sales drop – and opening new units throughout the pandemic.

That is largely due to having a robust pipeline of franchisees, and being specific about locations. Don’t expect to see a unit on every corner just yet; that doesn’t fit in with Watson’s goals for the next 5 to 10 years.

Right now, he’s focused on what he calls “hospitology,” hospitality enabled by technology at all 850 units.

The brand maintains a mix between hospitality and technology by focusing on contactless transactions, delivery, leaning into digital and mobile channels and point-of-sale improvements while also maintaining a warm environment, something Watson says is often lost in the automation of restaurants, especially during COVID.

Without safety and sanitation, “you have nothing,” according to Watson.

Listen to the full episode and be sure to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

 

Correction: September 01, 2020
This article has been updated to reflect that Tropical Smoothie Cafe’s comp sales were up 25.5% in July.
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