Financing

How fast-growing Tropical Smoothie keeps chugging

CEO Charles Watson joined "A Deeper Dive" this week to talk about the chain’s food strategies, its digital moves and how smoothies hit the mainstream.

How has a restaurant chain that serves smoothies become one of the fastest-growing concepts in the U.S.?

This week’s edition of the Restaurant Business podcast "A Deeper Dive" features Charles Watson, CEO of Tropical Smoothie Cafe.

The Atlanta-based chain grew system sales by 20% last year, according to RB sister company Technomic, and has more than doubled over the past five years. It continues to grow, having just opened its 800th location.

Watson talks about how the chain has benefited from the growing popularity of smoothies. He also talks about the chain’s evolution into more of a food brand—a surprising percentage of its sales are food.

He also talks about digital. Watson is particularly bullish on the chain’s digital and delivery strategies.

Please have a listen.

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