What Makes a Successful Coffee and Smoothie Franchise?

Scooter's Drive Thru

Across the nation, business owners are ready to leave 2020 in the past and begin rebuilding for post-pandemic success.

After finding ways to pivot quickly to survive the immediate disruption and then withstand the long-term uncertainty that followed, finding proven business models is very welcome.

That desire extends to those looking to enter new business prospects and led many who fit that description to find opportunity in a coffee and smoothie franchise.

There is a reason so many coffee and smoothie brands are now competing in franchise development, and there are also plenty of reasons why these businesses offer a chance at success.

Why Are Coffee and Smoothie Franchise Investments Smart?

When looking for business opportunities, most franchisees understand the enormous amount of time and energy they are about to invest.

Opening any franchise location is difficult work, so going through that process is only worth it if there is a chance at success. Coffee and smoothie franchises offer several characteristics of a worthwhile venture.

Profit Margins

At the end of the day, opening a business is about the profits.

Many QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) franchise models can be run with low overhead, especially in franchise form. Many coffee and smoothie franchise brands utilize small brick-and-mortar spaces and offer smaller menus using inexpensive ingredients — compared to other models in the restaurant industry. They also rarely require high costs when it comes to equipment or labor.

Customer Loyalty

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic turning life upside down, some habits remain. One of the most entrenched routines for Americans is their need for coffee before work. With that built-in customer loyalty, there is reason for optimism about coffee franchises even when consumers limit their other dining expenses.

Post-Pandemic Positioning

For the same reason that drive-thru models fit a need for consumer routines, especially when commuting to work returns to normal levels, models that emphasize limited contact and find innovative strategies will be uniquely positioned to succeed while health concerns and distance are needed.

Despite the positives for brands in this sector, no business venture is a sure thing. Before committing to a franchise deal, make sure to do research to ensure the best chance for success.

What Indicators of Success Should I Find in My Research?

Regardless of the industry, there are several areas of the business that prospective franchisees should research about the brand and company in which they are interested.

Math Over Emotions

Though you may be passionate about a brand or its product, a venture without a well-studied business plan is one that will likely lead to failure.

The key to making decisions on a franchise opportunity should always come down to the numbers rather than emotions. You must determine not only that you can afford to get the franchise off the ground but that it will also be profitable in the long run.

Calculate the franchise fees, the start-up costs, and profit margins — including both the fundamental expenses and a little extra for the inevitable, unexpected costs — to get a true sense of the business’s viability.

In the coffee and smoothie franchise category, especially those with drive-thru capabilities, the math often meets these criteria.

Relationships Count

In addition to the calculations you’ve done to ensure a positive financial outlook, the other factor is a relationship with the brand.

When entering such a large endeavor, it is essential to find a comfortable fit between franchisee and franchisor. Much like the process of researching financial viability, though, this should be an objective determination based on finding the best probability of success.

Does its business model make sense and fit a workflow that appeals to you? Does the franchisor offer training and brand support? These, along with many others, are questions that every QSR franchise opportunity should answer to a franchisee’s satisfaction.

If you are going to invest so much time, effort, and money into a company’s development, it should benefit both parties.

Find What Works for You

Business success is all about meeting the moment and putting in the work.

Though so many franchisees dedicate endless hours and significant dollar amounts to their businesses, failure can happen for any number of reasons both predictable and unpredictable.

Again, there are no sure things. That much has been made clear by the past year.

But coffee and smoothie franchise opportunities may be two of the most confidence-provoking in the foodservice sector. These days, confidence can go a long way.

If the right opportunity presents itself, the math checks out, and the relationship is one you feel comfortable with, there is no reason you should shy away from taking the leap.