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Tropical Smoothie Launches New Promotion, Reports Growth

By Jessica Maurer, posted Jan 20, 2021
Tropical Smoothie Cafe is promoting Mardi Gras-themed menu items, including offerings that feature shrimp. (Photo courtesy of Tropical Smoothie Cafe)
Tropical Smoothie Cafe is kicking off the New Year with Mardi Gras-themed menu items designed to bring vibrant flavors and colors to the cold winter months.

“As guests nationwide welcome a fresh start in the New Year, we remain committed to providing guests better-for-you smoothies and food that inspire a healthier lifestyle,” says Charles Watson, CEO of Tropical Smoothie Cafe LLC. “We understand Mardi Gras celebrations may look a little different this year, but it’s our hope that these fun and bold Mardi Gras flavors transport guests to Tropic Time and provide a moment for a little break.”

Now through March 23, local TSC locations are offering the Hurricane Smoothie with passion fruit, pineapple, orange juice and sweet dark cherries.

“The Hurricane Smoothie is part of an expanding line of cocktail-inspired smoothies,” said local franchise owner Brandon Korman. “It is also the first time we have used passion fruit and cherries. People are really vibing with this, even more than our previous best selling smoothietail, the Watermelon Mojito.”

The promotional also includes two Cajun-style meals, a Cajun shrimp wrap with seasoned shrimp, dirty rice, creole sauce, cheddar, romaine, tomato and green onions, and a Cajun shrimp salad, featuring the same ingredients on a bed of romaine with creamy creole dressing on the side.

“This is the first time we have had shrimp on our menu and our corporate executive chef Lake Dawson and his team really worked hard in getting the flavors and sauce just right on these dishes,” Korman said. 

Korman’s three Wilmington-area locations have been closed to walk-in and dine-in service since the start of the pandemic due to concerns for their staff and customers. This has not been the case at most TSC locations nationwide, said Korman.

“We don't want to risk anyone's safety and health,” he said.

Korman said he will stick with the carryout only model until there's a leveling off of case numbers throughout the area. 

Local TSCs have implemented a digital curbside solution that is integrated with their app to ease ordering for carryout. Upon ordering, guests receive a text confirmation and instructions on what to do when they arrive at the stores. They also work with four national delivery partners. 

On the national level, Restaurant News magazine reported this week a record breaking ninth consecutive year of positive same-store sales for the brand, with 2020 same-store sales coming in at an increase of 7.5%.

The brand opened 99 new cafes, including its 900th location in Fort Benning, Georgia. The brand also signed 254 new franchise agreements, 70% of which came from existing franchisees, and is on track to reach more than 1,000 operating restaurants in 2021.

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