Tropical Smoothie Cafe, the fast-growing national franchise brand known for its better-for-you smoothies and food with a tropical twist, has named Deborah von Kutzleben its new CMO, effective Nov. 1.
Von Kutzleben most recently served as vice president of brand strategy, advertising and menu at Arby's. Prior to that, she spent 22 years at BBDO Worldwide, where she was executive vice president and senior director for the global advertising powerhouse, leading campaign strategy and execution for many large national brands.
At Tropical Smoothie Cafe, she will manage marketing strategy, menu innovation, and brand perception and growth while bringing the brand's Inspire Better® mission to life for guests, as well as franchisees and their team members.
"Deborah has a strong track record of creating and executing strategies to take brands to the next level, and we believe she can help us elevate Tropical Smoothie Cafe to become a household name," said Charles Watson, CEO of Tropical Smoothie Café, LLC. "With her purpose-driven approach, she is the right leader to drive guest awareness and connection with the brand as we remain focused on our aggressive growth initiatives."
Von Kutzleben joins the company as it continues to post great numbers and breaks its own records. The brand recently celebrated its 1,000th-cafe milestone and is currently on a nine-year streak of same-store sales increases. Year to date, it has also exceeded its record-setting number of franchise agreements signed in a single year, with months to go.
"Tropical Smoothie Cafe offers an incredible opportunity with a growing brand that is pioneering a new paradigm in healthier eating and community involvement," said von Kutzleben. "I look forward to making a positive impact and inspiring better for our franchisees, their crew members, guests and the support center team."
The company is on track to hit 130 total openings in 2021 and its long-term goal of reaching 1,500 units by the end of 2024. More information on franchise opportunities is available at https://www.tropicalsmoothiefranchise.com/.
Tropical Smoothie Cafe is a national fast-casual cafe concept inspiring a healthier lifestyle with more than 1,010 locations nationwide. Serving better-for-you smoothies, wraps, sandwiches and flatbreads, Tropical Smoothie Cafe also offers upgraded app technology and enhanced mobile ordering capabilities to further elevate the digital and dine-in cafe experience and emphasize the brand's focus on convenience. The rapidly growing franchise has received numerous accolades, including rankings in Entrepreneur's Franchise 500, Forbes' Best Franchises and Franchise Times' Fast & Serious list, as well as the Franchise Times' Top 200+ ranking. Notably, the franchise was also recognized on Fast Casual's Top 100 Movers and Shakers, Nation's Restaurant News' Top 200 and Top 10 Fastest-Growing Chains, and Restaurant Business' America's Favorite Chains.
Interested franchise candidates should have business experience, along with a minimum net worth of $350,000, which includes $125,000 in liquid assets. Candidates who meet these preliminary qualifications will need to make an initial investment ranging between $257,500 and $560,500. The franchise currently boasts an average unit volume (AUV) of more than $840,000 — the highest in the company's 24-year-history — with the top 50% reporting an AUV of more than $1M.