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Smoothie King Franchise Cost in 2022 with Worth Profit Potential

You might have been wondering about the smoothie franchise cost, especially if you have been planning to open one. The deal is to invest in something that would yield profit.

smoothie franchise cost

Steve and Cindy Kuhnau established Smoothie King in Kenner, Louisiana, in 1973. Smoothie King was still a privately held business as of 2012.

The Kuhnaus sold the business to Wan Kim, a South Korean Smoothie King franchisee since 2002. To expand the business, Kim received US$58 million (about $68M in 2021) from Standard Charter Private Equity and the National Pension Fund.

Kim came up with a number of strategies for Smoothie King to expand successfully. Along with the first 200 corporately owned outlets for the business, he intended to launch 800 new franchises.

At these latter locations, Kim also intended to test out selling salads and wraps, which accounted for over 20% of his sales in South Korea.

History of Smoothie King

Wan Kim, Smoothie King’s president since 2014, has served as CEO since 2012.

As the chief marketing officer in 2019, he replaced Jennifer Herskind with Rebecca Miller (who had previously worked for On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina).

The majority of Smoothie King’s locations are in the United States.

Although it also has establishments in South Korea, the Cayman Islands, Trinidad, and Tobago, and it even had stores in Singapore (Smoothie King left the Singaporean market in 2016).

More History About Smoothie King Franchise

The business unveiled its 1001st outlet in 2018. The organization currently has 1300+ sites worldwide and 1051 locations in the United States.

On Entrepreneur Magazine’s Annual Franchise 500 list, Smoothie King was named as the top juice bar franchise through 2020, making it the 28th consecutive year the company has held the top position.

The ranking is essentially determined by system size, growth rate, financial stability, and strength.

They presently have more than 1,300 outlets, with another 100 or more set to open in the upcoming year. They are also the top-ranked Smoothie brand that focuses on health and fitness

Financial Requirements for a Smoothie King Franchise

To satisfy the financial requirements of this smoothie chain, you will want $100,000 in liquid capital and a $300,000 total net worth.

An estimated $845,985 total investment should be expected. For Smoothie King, the franchise cost is $30,000.

How is the Franchise Positioned in the Industry

smoothie franchise

13% of all manufacturing jobs in the USA are employed by the food and beverage industry. There are approximately 1.46 million individuals working in this sector.

Up to 36% of all franchise businesses in the USA are in the food industry, and by 2027, 1.6 million new jobs are anticipated to be added.

A single restaurant’s EBITDA multiplier is around 3 times the industry average yearly growth rate of 2%. The maximum multiple for five or more establishments is seven.

How Much is Smoothie King Franchise

For a regular site, the initial Smoothie King franchise fee is from $25,000 to $30,000, and for a non-traditional location, it is $15,000.

This deposit is required when starting a Smoothie King franchise.

Smoothie King Franchise Cost

For an End-Cap or In-Line site, the projected total investment required to launch a Smoothie King franchise ranges from $320,301 to $585,465;

Meanwhile, for a Free-Standing Drive-Thru location, the anticipated total expenditure ranges from $723,501 to $1,184,865.

The upfront expenses that come with buying a Smoothie King include the following expenses. Numerous of these are one-time costs required to start the franchise.

Smoothie King Franchise Requirements

Investments Range:

Endcap or inline location: $320,301 – $585,465

Free-standing Drive-thru location: $723,501 – $1,184,865

Minimum Net Worth (1 Store): $300,000

Minimum Liquidity (1 Store): $100,000

Minimum Credit Score: 700

Operating Fee: 6% of Gross Sales (Subject to a monthly minimum fee of $500)

National Marketing Fee: Currently 3% of Gross Sale

Regional Marketing Fee: If established in a region where the Unit is located, not to exceed 2% of Gross Sales.

Local Marketing Requirement: Minimum of 2% of Gross Sales.

How Much do Smoothie King Franchise Owners Make

The average pay for a Smoothie King franchise owner in 2020, according to Glassdoor, would range from $42,337 to $46,085.

Since this number represents an average, there may be many different wages. From an ownership standpoint, making less money each year may also be helpful tax-wise.

Because Smoothie King does not provide any information regarding expected franchise owner payments, we must rely on what other franchise owners claim to earn.

Smoothie Owner’s Profit

We believe the actual average income per unit for an owner is closer to $100,000 than what is shown on Glassdoor.

It is unlikely that this franchise would still be operating if the owner’s annual profit was less than $50,000.

Your profitability as a Smoothie King franchisee is based on a variety of variables.

Some of these factors are the price of food, the cost of labor, the local commercial leasing rates (which vary by region), the demand for local products, and the efficiency of your business operations.

Your investment’s size and breadth will also have a significant impact on profit.

Is the Smoothie King Franchise Profit Worth the Franchise Cost?

franchise cost

We use estimates from DealStats, a database of purchased private firm transactions derived from U.S. business brokers and SEC filings, to calculate a valuation multiple for Smoothie King franchises.

We looked at the larger franchise market as well as selling price multiples for bigger systems where there is more available transaction data.

Net Sales times 0.44 equals the estimated selling price.

Based on a median multiple of.44 and net sales that were $532,103 on average between 2020 and 2021, a Smoothie King franchise would sell for $234,125.

Compared to the midpoint investment of $752,583, this is much less.

Your earning potential increases when you own more franchises since private equity firms, rather than lone owner-operators, are more likely to be interested in your company.

For Smoothie King franchised stores, the average unit volume (AUV) is $609,753.

Smoothie King (Franchisor) Income Statements Key Insights

Income Statement:


Years ended December 27, 2021, December 28, 2020, and December 30, 2019








Franchise fees and royalties




Operating cost and expenses




Depreciation and amortization




General and administrative




Relocation expenses


Total operating cost and expenses




Operating income




Other income, net




Income before income taxes




Income tax expense




Net income




The franchisor’s Smoothie King business is quite profitable, with retained earnings of 13.71 million dollars in 2021.

From 2019 to 2021, they saw a growth of more than 100% compared to 6.7$ million. This is a strong sign of the company’s overall rapid expansion.


Like owning any other type of business, having a Smoothie King’s franchise has benefits and drawbacks.

We have highlighted the benefits right here to help you make a better-informed choice.

Products Development

The company’s official website states that Smoothie King continuously tests and introduces new items to increase traffic and sales for its franchisees, improve the menu, and, most importantly, suit the changing needs of today’s health-conscious consumers.

In order to respond to shifting conditions, a producer must either create a whole new product or make major improvements to a current one.

Existing products could no longer be sufficient to satisfy customers’ expectations due to changes in the market.

The fact that the most well-liked things of one era could become outdated the following is a bitter pill to chew.

As a result, marketers should work hard to introduce new or improved items to target niche market segments.

Manufacturers must be willing to innovate their products in order to gain from market shifts. The smoothie shop’s product development staff makes sure it stays current with consumer taste preferences.

Real Estate and Construction

According to Smoothie King, one of the most crucial elements in a franchisee’s store’s success is its location.

For this reason, they have real estate team members who may use their expertise to guide each franchisee in selecting the best location for their new company.

Training and Support

Smoothie King thinks it provides its franchisees with a high caliber of support.

The business wants franchisees to feel like they are a member of the Smoothie King family as soon as they sign the franchise agreement.

“Our processes, team members, and resources are all aligned to give the education, incentive, and support to assist you successfully establish a new Smoothie King store,” the company claimed on its official website.

Challenges of Franchising Smoothie King

There are drawbacks and acknowledged risks associated with having a Smoothie King franchise in addition to its benefits.

To assist you in making a wise choice, we’ve outlined some of the problems Smoothie King franchise owners could encounter.

High Loan Failure Rate

The Smoothie King franchise website states:

“By investing in a franchise, you get the support of an established brand with a successful track record and business model… You can become independent and your own boss through franchising with a lot less risk.

However, data provided by the Small Business Administration revealed that a high loan failure rate of 28% applied to Smoothie King franchise owners who were eligible for SBA-backed franchise loans (SBA).

Failure to pay back a franchise loan, whether it be SBA-backed or not, suggests that the franchisees were having financial difficulties at the time they missed their loan payment.

Having said that, this data also indicates a 72% success rate for franchisees who launch their businesses with the aid of an SBA loan.

Brand Message Doesn’t Stand Out

According to some in the media, Smoothie King’s brand messaging might not be distinctive enough in the market to preclude a mom-and-pop establishment from successfully competing with one of its franchise sites.

“Smoothie King’s business is not proprietary, so a franchisee is actually paying to be associated with a well-known brand that customers will like over the competition.

We wish Smoothie King’s brand were a little more distinctive. Visit here for advice on how to develop your brand and message effectively.

High Priced Menu

Because its smoothies are often seen as healthier and feature premium ingredients, Smoothie King charges a higher price.

This is sometimes related to how expensive their ingredients are, which in the case of Smoothie King include vitamins, green tea, ginseng, proteins, and other nutritious goods.

This might not be the best option for you if you’re a consumer looking to save money. Prices at Smoothie King are much more than those at other fast-food establishments.

Having said that, the menu pricing is comparable to other expenses.

How Many Smoothie King Units have Opened and Closed?

Unit type


Units at the Start of the Year

Units at the End of the Year

Net Change














Company Affiliate Owned













Total Units













The business has grown during the past three years. The number of company-run outlets and franchise units has expanded.

Franchises have been opening at a rate of 50 units each year for the past three years.

This is a sign of the stores’ excellent performance. From 2019 to 2021, the company’s shop count increased by 16.7%. Franchise locations increased from 871 to 995, representing a 14.23% growth rate.


Together, the average Smoothie King franchise unit’s financial performance and the expansion of the franchise system demonstrate that it is a dependable franchise system and can be worthwhile for your investment.

One of the biggest, most varied, and most well-established franchise industries is the food and beverage sector.

On a scale from 0 (low) to 4 (high), it has a high level of competition (3.10), but on the same scale, it also has a high industry trend multiple (2.70).

Additionally, the food industry has a 2.9 multiple on a 4.0 scale, making it reasonably marketable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, it is

An inline or end-cap store may require an initial investment of between $320,301 and $585,465 (including a $30,000 franchise fee).

A free-standing drive-thru store’s estimated initial investment ranges from $723,501 to $1,184,865.

Mc Donalds

Wan Kim 

From roughly $7.25 per hour for a Performer to $23.37 per hour for a Development Coordinator, Smoothie King’s average hourly compensation ranges.

The annual wage for a Smoothie King employee ranges from about $23,000 for restaurant staff to $96,708 for construction managers.

  • Juice Generation Inc. 279. $60 Million.
  • LuckyVitamin Corp. 313. $59 Million.
  • Clean Juice. 300. $20 Million.
  • Gardens. 299. $222 Million.


Similar to opening a smoothie bar in a physical location, starting a mobile smoothie business.

You will require a business plan that includes financial data, a marketing strategy, costs for the necessary equipment, permits, licenses, branding, a menu, and insurance.

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