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Tropical Smoothie Cafe, A Brand All In to Inspire Better
The Fast Casual Nation Podcast offers exclusive interviews with experts ranging from top chefs and brand makers to executives and restaurants who work in one of the fastest-growing segments of the restaurant industry. In this episode, I chat with the chief executive officer of Tropical Smoothie Cafe, Charles Watson.
Watson, a veteran franchise professional, worked for several hospitality companies including Intercontinental Hotels Group and US Franchise Systems. We talk about his early introduction to the business as a boy, standing on a tub in his dad’s restaurant doing dishes. Watson says, “I started at about nine standing on a bus tub in my dad's restaurant washing dishes. My dad described the dishwasher as the race car which was supposed to make it more attractive to me as a nine year old and I guess it.”
Tropical Smoothie Cafe is about who they are as a brand and it is about the people, Watson says when I ask about brand strategy. “It's about us as a corporate support center, it's even more importantly about our franchisees who deliver our products and services to guests every day and when we think about that and we think about our culture we start with two words, inspire better. It's our belief at Tropical Smoothie Cafe that what we do every day matters.”
Watson talks about their thirteen year partnership with Camp Sunshine. It is a retreat in Maine that offers support for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families through stages of a child’s illness. Tropical Smoothie Cafe has raised close to $8 million over the years. At a recent franchisee convention, the brand announced the new national charity partnership with No Kid Hungry. The nonprofit helps nearly 12 million kids in America who are living in hunger. Watson says about the partnership, “And to think that we live in this country and we're blessed with so much and that there's still kids out there that are hungry every day, especially right now especially in the summer right? when school is out of session so through the partnership we really think Tropical Smoothie Cafe locations around the country will be able to really drive this partnership.”
To hear about Tropical Smoothie Cafe’s loyalty program and the brand’s roll out for 2022 listen to this episode of Fast Casual Nation on Apple Podcasts.
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