- 2023 Franchise 500 Rank
#17 Ranked #13 last year
- Initial investment
$264K - $1.2M
- Units as of 2022
1,373 28.0% over 3 years
Smoothie King Franchise
There are few things better than smoothies when it comes to tasty desserts. If you’ve always loved these delicious icy beverages, you might consider combining your business aspirations with your cravings. How? Starting a Smoothie King franchise.
While starting a Smoothie King franchise could be a good idea, you must know what to expect and what it takes. Read on for more information.
Why should you start a Smoothie King franchise?
There are many significant benefits to starting a Smoothie King franchise at your earliest opportunity. Smoothie King Franchises, Inc. is the original US-based smoothie brand, now led by CEO Wan Kim.
It's based in Dallas and was founded in 1973 in Kenner, Louisiana. Since the chain sold its first smoothie, it has become one of the most popular smoothie businesses overall.
The significant benefits of franchising with this company include the following:
- Brand recognition. When you start a franchise with Smoothie King, you’ll immediately get access to a loyal customer base.
- Most sales growth for Smoothie King locations is consistent. Smoothie King’s corporate team will support you both at the beginning of your business's lifespan and throughout to ensure you see this constant growth. For this reason, the franchise company is on the Franchise 500 list, marking it as an excellent opportunity for those with enough liquid capital to open a Smoothie King store.
- Smoothie King offers a smooth, easy-to-understand operating system with a relatively low cost of entry. It simplifies different business management processes, so it's potentially a good franchise opportunity for new business owners or entrepreneurs.
- There are over 1200 Smoothie King units right now, which indicates lots of growth potential and popularity across the broader market.
- Smoothie King provides tons of support and training resources for each new franchisee. So if you don’t have a lot of experience in business, you might consider applying for a franchise with this franchisor, as they will show you the ropes and give you the educational tools you need to thrive.
You also might find Smoothie King personally appealing when you’re a Smoothie King franchisee. You'll sell premium, nutritious, handcrafted smoothies when you operate a Smoothie King franchise business opportunity.
Every smoothie product is made with real whole fruit, supplements and organic vegetables, so you can rest assured that you are providing healthy, good products to your customers, not selling bad things.
Every unit also offers consumers benefits like retail merchandise such as vitamins, herbs and minerals.
In other words, you don't just sell smoothies; you also sell a variety of health-related blends and products that can help people get the bodies and lifestyles they want. That appeals to wellness fans and folks looking to maintain active lifestyles.
This could be a great franchise opportunity if this is important to you.
Does Smoothie King offer territory exclusivity?
Sometimes. Depending on the state of your local market, Smoothie King might designate a specific geographic area where you can sell your products, limiting your competition.
However, remember that your protected territory isn’t locked down until you have secured a lease for your location, so you must know the financial requirements for this business model.
Fortunately, Smoothie King will help you find the right site for your unit and store, plus help you with lease negotiations if needed. Different types of Smoothie King locations include free-standing drive-thru locations, in-line locations or non-traditional locations.
Should you establish it, your protected territory will include identifiable boundaries plus a residential population count of about 15,000 people. That’s a lot of potential customers to draw to your brand.
If you operate your Smoothie King location from a nontraditional spot, you won’t receive a protected territory and don’t have any protected rights.
Related: Opening Day Delay
What support resources does Smoothie King offer new franchisees?
You may additionally consider signing up for a Smoothie King franchise opportunity because of the support resources corporate will provide you with.
For example, Smoothie King will help you choose a site for your unit, plus help you with lease negotiation.
Once your site is up and running, you’ll get access to additional support resources, like newsletters, field operations tech support and proprietary software to help you run your Smoothie King business smoothly from the start.
But you’ll need to market your location to succeed. Fortunately, Smoothie King will help you with this, as well. National and regional advertising resources, such as ad templates, will be available to you.
You'll use the ad templates to make marketing materials that both stick with the broader Smoothie King brand and resonate with your target audience: smoothie lovers.
Once your Smoothie King unit is ready, you can use the proprietary loyalty program or app to drive engagement among your drink-sippers. That way, they’ll be more likely to return to your location for discounts and other perks.
Need to ramp up your marketing efforts? Smoothie King’s support will help you do just that, offering social media advertising support, email marketing help and SEO for your unit website.
Armed with all of these resources and opportunities, you should be able to reach out to your target audience members in your local area effortlessly.
Related: Smooth Operators: How These Franchisees Found Success with Smoothie King
How much does opening a new Smoothie King franchise cost?
Before signing up for a Smoothie King franchise, it’s essential to understand what it will fully cost.
For starters, you’ll need to pay an initial franchise fee of between $15,000 and $30,000, depending on your location. You’ll also need a net worth of $300,000, $100,000 of which needs to be in liquid cash. You should expect to make an initial investment of between $260,000 and $1.2 million.
Royalty fees are 6%, and ad royalty fees are 3%, far from the most exorbitant fees in the franchising industry.
Each term of agreement is 10 years and can be renewed. Consider the total investment requirements and whether you need additional funds before pursuing this juice bar franchise.
Since Smoothie King locations can vary so heavily in terms of cost, it may be wise to contact this franchisor and ask what the likely costs are for a unit in your location.
Once you get your answer, you can decide whether to continue this franchise opportunity or seek out different entrepreneurial enterprises.
Does Smoothie King provide financial aid?
If you are having trouble meeting the above initial costs, remember that veterans get 20% off the franchise fee, which is a big incentive.
Furthermore, Smoothie King maintains relationships with third-party lending and financing organizations. You can use these relationships to cover your franchise fee, equipment and other startup costs, plus long-term expenses like payroll.
With these avenues of financial assistance, Smoothie King franchises are relatively accessible, even for those who don’t have a lot of startup capital.
Related: The King of Smoothie King: How an Unlikely Franchise from Korea Bought the Company and Doubled its Size
What training is required for your new Smoothie King franchise?
As a Smoothie King franchise owner, you’ll have access to comprehensive training resources to ensure you know how to run your business correctly.
After signing the franchise agreement, all franchisees must attend a dedicated orientation and preopening training program as quickly as possible. This usually takes place before choosing your store site, as well.
The training is held at the Smoothie King corporate home office in Coppell, Texas, or another location designated by the franchisor. Regardless, your initial management training course will be up to 20 days, usually around eight hours per day, plus some homework assignments.
After that, Smoothie King will send a Smoothie King representative to your unit location at no cost to you, the franchisee. There, you’ll participate in on-site training and assistance throughout the opening weeks of your business.
Generally, you can expect the representative to stick around for up to five days, showing you the ropes and answering any questions.
From time to time, you might need to complete additional training modules, but this is up to the franchisor’s discretion and only if you need advanced training for operating your unit (typically if you have a lot of business or operate in a competitive area).
Related: If at First You Don’t Succeed…
Start a Smoothie King franchise today
With this information, you’ll be well-equipped and ready to apply for a Smoothie King franchise of your very own.
Check out Entrepreneur’s other articles for more information about Smoothie King and other franchise opportunities.
About Smoothie King
- Franchising Since
- 1988 (2023-1988 years)
- # of employees at HQ
- Where seeking
This company is offering new franchisees throughout the US.
- # of Units
- 1,373 (as of 2022)
Information for Franchisees
Here's what you need to know if you're interested in opening a Smoothie King franchise.
Financial Requirements & Ongoing Fees
Here's what you can expect to spend to start the business and what ongoing fees the franchisor charges throughout the life of the business.
- Initial Franchise Fee
- $15,000 - $30,000
Definition: The initial fee paid to a franchisor to join their system
What you need to know: Found in Item 5 of the FDD, this may be a flat fee, or may vary based on territory size, experience, or other factors.The franchise fee is an up-front (one-time) cost that a new franchisee pays to the franchisor. This fee is usually due at the signing of the franchise agreement and covers the right to use the franchisor's trademarks, name, and related business systems.
- Initial Investment
- $263,601 - $1,184,865
Definition: The total amount necessary to begin operation of the franchise
What you need to know: The initial investment includes the franchise fee, along with other startup expenses such as real estate, equipment, supplies, business licenses, and working capital. This is outlined in a chart in Item 7 of the FDD, showing a range of possible costs from low to high.
- Net Worth Requirement
Definition: The minimum net worth you must have in order to qualify to become a franchisee of this company
What you need to know: Net worth is the value of a person's assets minus liabilities. Assets include cash, stocks, retirement accounts, and real estate. Liabilities include items like mortgages, car payments, and credit card debt.
- Cash Requirement
Definition: The minimum liquid capital you must have available in order to qualify to become a franchisee of this company.
- Veteran Incentives
- 20% off franchise fee
Definition: A discount or other incentive offered to military veterans who buy a franchise with this company.
- Royalty Fee
Definition: A ongoing fee paid to the franchisor on a regular basis.
What you need to know: Most franchisors require franchisees to pay an ongoing royalty fee, which is detailed in Item 6 of the FDD. This fee is typically a percentage of weekly or monthly gross sales, but may also be a flat weekly, monthly, or annual fee.
- Ad Royalty Fee
Definition: An going fee paid to the franchisor on a regular basis to support advertising or marketing efforts.
What you need to know: This may also be called advertising fee, marketing fee, brand fund fee, and more, but the basic purpose is the same-- to support promotion of the brand systemwide. As with the royalty fee, it is detailed in Item 6 of the FDD, and can be a percentage of weekly or monthly gross sales or a weekly, monthly, or annual fee.
- Term of Agreement
- 10 years
Definition: The length of time your franchise agreement will last.
What you need to know: Franchise terms are typically anywhere from 5 to 20 years in length, but are sometimes instead dependent on factors such as the term of your lease. Once your term is up, you may have the option to renew your agreement, typically for a smaller fee than the original franchise fee.
- Is franchise term renewable?
Some franchisors offer in-house financing, while others have relationships with third-party financing sources to which they refer qualified franchisees.
- Third Party Financing
- Smoothie King has relationships with third-party sources which offer financing to cover the following: franchise fee, startup costs, equipment, inventory, accounts receivable, payroll
Training & Support Offered
Franchisors offer initial training programs and a variety of ongoing support options to help franchisees run their businesses.
- On-The-Job Training
- 100-240 hours
- Classroom Training
- 54-102 hours
- Ongoing Support
NewsletterMeetings & ConventionsToll-Free LineGrand OpeningSecurity & Safety ProceduresLease NegotiationField OperationsSite SelectionProprietary SoftwareFranchisee Intranet Platform
- Marketing Support
Co-op AdvertisingAd TemplatesNational MediaRegional AdvertisingSocial MediaSEOWebsite DevelopmentEmail MarketingLoyalty Program/App
Additional details about running this franchise.
- Is absentee ownership allowed?
- Can this franchise be run from home/mobile unit?
Definition: The business can be run from your home and/or a vehicle, and it is not necessary to have a retail facility, office space, or warehouse.
- Can this franchise be run part time?
Definition: This business can be run by the owner on a part-time basis (less than 40 hours per week) and/or as a side business; it is not necessary for the business to be open/run full-time.
- # of employees required to run
- Are exclusive territories available?
Definition: An exclusive territory is a fixed area in which you are given the right to operate and in which no other units of the same franchise may be opened.
What you need to know: Territory size may be based on factors such as radius, population size, zip codes, and more. Details can be found in Item 12 of the FDD.
Interested in ownership opportunities like Smoothie King? Request a free consultation with a Franchise Advisor now.
Franchise 500 Ranking History
Compare where Smoothie King landed on this year's Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.
Curious to know where Smoothie King ranked on other franchise lists? Find out below.
Ranked #17 in 2023
Entrepreneur’s 44th annual Franchise 500® ranking shines a light on the unique challenges and changes that have shaped the franchise industry over the last year—and how franchisors have adapted and evolved to meet them.
Ranked #45 in 2023
Meet the companies that are leveraging their ability to scale fast across the U.S. and Canada in Entrepreneur's annual fastest-growing franchises ranking.
Ranked #2 in Smoothies/Juices in 2022
Our annual list of the top restaurant and other food franchises, divided up by category, is the perfect place to start if you’re craving a food-based business opportunity.
Ranked #44 in 2022
Our ranking of the top 150 franchises offering incentives and other programs to help veterans become franchisees.
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