Rank no.104 – Smoothie King – US

Rank no.104 – Smoothie King – US

Rank no.104 – Smoothie King – US

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Products & Services: Smoothies & health products

Number of Locations: 657

Total Investment: $144.39K – 336.2K

Founded: 1973

Began Franchising: 1988

About Smoothie King

When visits to various doctors did little to relieve the allergies Steve Kuhnau was suffering from, the nurse began reading up on nutrition, hoping a change in diet would help his symptoms. Once he began eating fresh foods and cutting fat out of his diet, Kuhnau started feeling better. His next task was to find a way to tackle the midday fatigue caused by hypoglycemia.

Using his nursing expertise and the drink mixing experience he gained as a soda jerk in high school, Kuhnau began experimenting with high protein drinks. The resulting product combined fresh fruits, vitamins and other supplements and inspired the creation of Kuhnau’s company, Smoothie King.

Each Smoothie King store sells smoothies and a variety of vitamins, minerals, low fat snacks and nutritional supplements.

Franchise Units

2013 524 0 127 6
2012 536 0 103 1
2011 530 0 84 1
2010 549 0 62 1
2009 554 0 56 1
Where Seeking Franchisees: Franchisor is seeking new franchise units worldwide.

Startup Costs, Ongoing Fees and Financing

Total Investment: $144,400 – $336,200
Franchise Fee: $25,000
Ongoing Royalty Fee: 6%
Term of Franchise Agreement: 10 years, renewable

Net Worth: $250,000
Liquid Cash Available: $75,000


60% of all franchisees own more than one unit. Number of employees needed to run franchised unit: 6 – 9. Absentee ownership of franchise is allowed. (75% of current franchisees are owner/operators).

Franchise Fee
Startup Costs
Accounts Receivable

How This Franchise Supports Franchisees

Training: Available at headquarters: 1 day. At franchisee’s location: 1 week. Managment training at corporate store : 14 days.
Ongoing Support: Newsletter, Meetings, Toll-free phone line, Grand opening, Internet, Security/safety procedures, Field operations/evaluations, Purchasing cooperatives, Lease Negotiation
Marketing Support: Co-op advertising, Ad slicks, National media,

Franchise Ranking History

Franchise 500®: #104 (2013), #122 (2012), #70 (2011), #80 (2010), #67 (2009),
Fastest-Growing: #87 (2010), #37 (2009),
America’s Top Global: #61 (2013), #100 (2012), #60 (2011), #67 (2010), #57 (2009),
Smoothie King
Type Private
Founded 1973 in Kenner,Louisiana
Founder(s) Steve Kuhnau
Cindy Kuhnau
Headquarters MetairieLouisiana
Number of locations 600+ worldwide[1]
Website smoothieking.com

Smoothie King is a smoothie food retailer that caters blended fruit-based drinks. First opening in 1973 as a stand-alone vitamin shop in Kenner, Louisiana; Smoothie King now encompasses over 600 locations (as of March 2009).


A Smoothie King at the University of Houston

Working as a soda jerker in his teenage years, Steve Kuhnau, founder of Smoothie King, found himself unable to digest the very malts, shakes, and floats he was preparing, due to alactose intolerance. Consequently, he formulated the world’s first nutritional smoothie in his kitchen, to serve as a healthier, dairy-free alternative to popular ice cream based drinks of the era. His novel drink idea, a blend of fresh fruit coupled with vitamin and protein additives, proved also to be efficacious in treating his allergies and stabilizing his blood sugar level. This creation was the impetus for an industry: shortly after his first store opened in Kenner, Louisiana 1973, other stores were opened all over the New Orleans metropolitan area, and subsequently in Washington, D.C. and 32 other states. Kuhnau began to franchise the Smoothie King name and business in 1989. [1] Smoothie King’s 30 year anniversary, in 2003, was commemorated with their first international franchise, in South Korea. [2]

Smoothie King Franchises, Inc. has agreed with the Amer Group to open at least 20 Smoothie King locations in Egypt and Turkey in the next few years. Smoothie King, ranked the 37th fastest growing franchise and the 57th top global franchise by Entrepreneur magazine in 2009, currently operates in more than 600 locations in the United States and South Korea.