Inspiring people towards a healthier lifestyle is what Tropical Smoothie Café is all about. Also known simply as just Tropical Smoothie, this fast casual restaurant serves more than just frozen blended smoothies. They also have food items on the menu like quesadillas, wraps, salads, and sandwiches.

Tropical Smoothie is also known as the “Top 10 Fastest-Growing Chains” by Nation’s Restaurant News so if you want to get into a franchise with a laid back and healthy concept but also serious about doing business with you, then you should evaluate Tropical Smoothie Cafe.

How much does it cost to open Tropical Smoothie? To start, you’ll need a liquid capital of $125,000 and a net worth of $350,000. The initial investment to expect for this fast casual chain is $277,000 to $584,000 and the franchise fee is $30,000.

Read my guide below to know more about franchising Tropical Smoothie Café, what the advantages and challenges if you decide to join the brand. Take our franchise quiz to find out if this business is right for you.

Financial Requirements and Fees

tropical smoothie cafe

These are the financial requirements that Tropical Smoothie needs from you:

Fees / Expenses Financial Amount
Liquid Capital $125,000
Net Worth $350,000
Total Investment $277,000 to $584,000
Franchise Fee $30,000

For the franchise fee, do note that it’s $30,000 for the first unit. If you sign up for multiple units, the second and additional unit is $20,000. Veterans get a discount on the franchise fee which is $ 15,000.

As for ongoing fees, Tropical Smoothie requires a 6% royalty fee, 2% Local Advertising Cooperative Contribution fee, and a 3% national marketing fee. These fees are per unit and are based on gross sales. The franchise agreement is for 15 years and can be renewable.

Average Sales / Revenue per Year

According to Restaurant Business Online, Tropical Smoothie’s revenue for the year 2020 was $690 million. They saw a sales growth of 19.7% from their previous year’s revenue which was $576 million.

As for a single unit, one report shows a Tropical Smoothie Café in Lancaster County in Pennsylvania sees gross revenue of $620,000. But do note that the description of the area says that the café is located in a busy area so revenue can vary depending on location.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe Franchise Facts

Total Units Over 1,100
Incorporated Name Tropical Smoothie Cafe
Franchising Since 1997
Industry Fast Casual Dining
Subsector Food and Beverage

Tropical Smoothie opened in Destin, Florida in 1997. Back then the shop only sold smoothies. It wasn’t in 1998 in Tallahassee that they became a sit-down café. Wraps and sandwiches were added to the menu in 1999 making Tropical Smoothie Café not just a smoothie stop but an option for people to dine in as well.

The menu at Tropical Smoothie includes their famous smoothies such as Avocalada, Chia Banana Boost, Sunrise Sunset, and Island Green. They use real fresh fruits in their smoothie although pomegranate, lime, kiwi, coconut, orange, and cranberry juice flavors comes from concentrate. They also use turbinado sugar unless stated otherwise. Splenda is also an option available.

Related Reading: How Much Does it Cost (w/ Fees) to Open a Texas Roadhouse?

Aside from the smoothies, Tropical Smoothie also serves flatbreads that contain grilled chicken and vegetables. There are also wraps with flavors such as Hummus Veggie, Supergreen Ceasar Chicken, and Caribbean Chicken. They also have quesadillas, grilled sandwiches, salads. Breakfast items that come in wraps and sandwiches are also available. They also have a catering service wherein their items can be ordered in a bundle.

To franchise Tropical Smoothie Café, all you have to do is fill up the inquiry form or call them at 770-766-5391. A representative from their Franchise Development Team will then contact you and give you an overview of being a part of their franchise family. Questions about franchising with Tropical Smoothie will be answered here.

You’ll then be given their Franchise Application to complete which is a 4-page document. This document will help Tropical Smoothie get to know you and your background. Your financial capabilities will be asked as well as your management style.

detox smoothie

A detox smoothie.

After your application, Tropical Smoothie will then give you their Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). This document will let you know everything you need in franchising Tropical Smoothie. It’s best to go over this word for word so you also know where your investment is going.

A Franchise Development Representative will then schedule you for a Virtual Brochure Presentation which will talk about the real estate procedures in franchising Tropical Smoothie, the support that they’ll give you, the local and national marketing programs you can expect, and the design and construction process you will be undergoing.

Related Reading: How to Name a Smoothie or Juice Shop 

Meeting the team personally comes next although this can be optional. You will be able to visit Tropical Smoothie’s Support Center in Atlanta. And once they’ve approved your application and all legal documents are submitted, Tropical Smoothie will finally work on your Franchise Agreement. Signing this agreement will make things final which means you’ll start on your site selection and then open your Tropical Smoothie Café.

Tropical Smoothie is featured by big names in the business and franchise industry. Entrepreneur ranks them as number 10 in their 2022 Franchise 500 Rank. They’re also featured on Fast Casual’s Top 100 Movers and Shakers. Franchise Times also has them on their Fast & Serious list.

At present, Tropical Smoothie is headed by Chief Executive Officer Charles Watson. Their headquarters is located in Atlanta, Georgia.

How Much Does Tropical Smoothie Cafe Make in Profit?

There are no actual numbers on how much Tropical Smoothie makes in profit but 2021 marked a milestone in sales growth for the brand. It is reported that their same store sales were up by 22%. Digital sales also made up 76% of that growth Tropical Smoothie saw in 2021.

Advantages of a Tropical Smoothie Cafe Franchise

If you’re almost convinced in getting a Tropical Smoothie franchise, here are a few more advantages you can check out:

Smoothie Options

Tropical Smoothie is obviously known for their smoothies but have you seen the variety? They’ve got everything from fresh fruits to veggies and even coffee or chocolate. What is also great about their smoothies is the options to customize your drink such as choosing Splenda and adding in supplements like collagen or probiotic or whey protein. And the add-ons don’t stop there. You can also choose to add chia seeds, flaxseeds, spinach, whole grain oats, and more.

There is a market for people who drink healthy smoothies on the regular and your Tropical Smoothie Café can serve this type of crowd or even encourage others to live the healthy smoothie life.

A healthy start to the day.


What pairs well with healthy smoothies? Healthy good food! And that’s exactly what Tropical Smoothie has in their food line-up. They have wraps and salads and sandwiches. None of the greasy stuff. The food line-up co-exists with the drinks and concept in harmony which again brings in the healthy crowd towards your Tropical Smoothie Café.

Real Estate Options

When you franchise Tropical Smoothie, you get a lot of real estate options for the type of store you’re about to build. You have location types with drive-thrus, in-line stores or right around the corner. The space is also at 1,200 to 1,800 square feet which gives you a lot of space. Not all franchises can provide different types of build out options. But Tropical Smoothie does.

Challenges of a Tropical Smoothie Cafe Franchise

Business franchises will always have challenges. Here are a few you can expect from Tropical Smoothie.

Hepatitis Outbreak

In 2016, Tropical Smoothie Café’s brand was hit by a hepatitis A outbreak. The outbreak was caused by the strawberries used in the smoothies. Though the CEO back then has already addressed this issue and all strawberries were pulled out, this unfortunate incident has tarnished Tropical Smoothie’s name and stories about this come up once in a while.

No Global Presence

Tropical Smoothie is huge in the United States. With over 1,000 branches, who wouldn’t even know what a Tropical Smoothie is? But even if the brand has a lot of locations and has been around since the 90s, they still haven’t grown internationally.

Opening the business for franchise internationally can help Tropical Smoothie grow even bigger and can gather a huge revenue.

Pros and Cons: Should You Start an Independent Smoothie or Juice Bar?

Is the Tropical Smoothie Franchise Cafe Right For You?

Tropical Smoothie is an interesting brand to do business with especially when you’re also advocating for a healthier lifestyle. Not only do you get to sell smoothies but the franchise already comes with a food menu as well. So if you have the financial means to franchise Tropical Smoothie then this could be for you.

What is an alternative Tropical Smoothie Cafe franchise?

One franchise that’s also in the business of making smoothies is Jamba Juice. They’re known in the United States and globally for blending healthy smoothies and offering up a food menu consisting of baked goods and whole fruit bowls.

To franchise Jamba Juice, you’d need a liquid capital of $120,000 and expect investments to reach $378,650 to $843,000. The franchise fee is $35,500.

Health is wealth as the saying goes and this seems to be what the public is going for as a lifestyle these days. With Tropical Smoothie, you can encourage more people to live a healthy lifestyle and at the same time, offer up delicious healthy food and smoothies.

Want to start your own food business?

Hey! 👋I’m Brett Lindenberg, the founder of Food Truck Empire.

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