Tropical Smoothie Cafe is a quick-service restaurant chain that serves smoothies, sandwiches, flatbreads, wraps, and bowls. The first location opened in 1997 in Destin, Florida, and there are now more than 700 locations nationwide. Today, the headquarters is located in Atlanta, Georgia.
Amid rapid growth, the chain was looking to streamline its catering business for franchisees and look for ways to process their online catering orders smoothly. Many of Tropical Smoothie Cafe’s franchisees were already using ezCater, but the need to make catering uniform across the chain led to a brand-wide partnership with ezCater.
“For us catering is really a strategic initiative that allows our franchisees to make more money because nothing’s better than having two or three catering orders in a day and already having a thousand dollars in the process.” said Lindsay Holl, former Senior Manager of Digital Sales and Marketing Technology at Tropical Smoothie Cafe. “[With ezCater] we saw an opportunity for allowing ourselves to scale quickly.”
ezOrdering helped Tropical Smoothie Cafe simplify online catering. The chain could upload a menu, descriptions, and photography all under a single standard. “All we had to do was add the ezOrdering link to our website,” Holl said, “and we saw a big increase in sales.”
ezOrdering also offered franchisees the customizability they wanted. A franchise location in an urban area could limit its delivery radius if necessary. And Tropical Smoothie Cafe could communicate off-premises offerings to customers via email and other channels.
“I would say ezCater, in one word, and not to be redundant, but it’s easy,” Holl said. “It allows us to partner at scale, have solutions for our franchisees and get catering to our consumers very easily.”