Pittsburgh-While some franchisors may think that all great ideas start at company headquarters, General Nutrition Companies credits Alabama franchisee Michael Taylor with helping to finalize development of one of its major business initiatives in 2002-the GNC Smoothie Bar concept. The company expects to open as many as 300 smoothie bars next year as branded elements of its company-owned and franchised stores.
Taylor, franchisee of three GNC stores in Alabama, noticed the popularity of smoothie chains in his area and began researching the concept. After receiving permission from GNC, he bought a blender, began developing recipes and started selling smoothes in 1999. To accommodate the smoothie bar, Taylor moved his GNC franchise from a 900- to 1,800-square-foot location and saw sales jump 35 percent.
Today Taylor sells more than 400 smoothies a week. That number doubles in the summer. -Miller DeMartine Group