Meet Planet Smoothie Franchise Owners Tyrone & Lydia Forbes
A busy couple sees franchise ownership as a way to build a business of their own together, securing financial independence through their shared effort
When Tyrone and Lydia Forbes began to look at a way to work together, they decided to explore franchising. Their search led them to the Planet Smoothie® franchise opportunity, and two years ago they opened in Eustis, Florida, where they have been making friends and building a successful business that they both take great pride in operating.
What’s your location like?
Tyrone: The area is growing fast. I moved to that area about six years ago, and it’s probably the reason why I wanted to own my own business. I knew we could grow alongside the community and that is what has happened. We’re in a small shopping center, next to Starbucks and a few other stores. We’re doing pretty good.
How did you choose your location?
Tyrone: We worked with Jason [Mann, Area Developer] and looked at a lot of locations. After looking at several different ones, they helped us close in on our current site. They worked with us on location, rent and all the options we needed to consider.
What was the search like that led you to Planet Smoothie?
Tyrone: For me, it was probably easier than most people. I’ve been a Planet Smoothie customer for many years, so I decided to look at them on the business side. I love their smoothies; I love how they treat me when I walk in the door — how simple is the business model? As it turns out, after looking at them and a few other smoothie brands, Planet Smoothie was most attractive to me because of its simplicity, and because they have some of the same beliefs that I have, such as customer service and making the best-tasting smoothie on the planet. If you’re going to sell a product, in my opinion, you have to make sure it’s the best you make it. I think that they’ve done that.
Lydia: They were a good business environment with the experience that Tyrone and I have. I liked the concept, and I have to say the training was excellent. I learned a lot. For me, understanding the paperwork, all the processes, was a concern. But thankfully it’s easy for me to understand, plus my husband does more of that so I can focus on being out front with the customers.
When you moved to the other side of the counter, what was that process like?
Tyrone: I’ve never owned a franchise before, but I have been in other businesses. My experience was very good; I don’t have any complaints whatsoever. They were very supportive. They’re a close, tight-knit family. Anytime I need anything, I call. They’re very attentive to the franchises. They want to make sure that we’re getting what we need.
What do you need to be like to succeed in this business?
Tyrone: Friendly. Friendly, friendly, friendly. You have to be persistent, and you have to be willing to make whatever changes necessary to make sure the business succeeds. But for Planet Smoothie, you have to be somebody who is friendly. You have to make sure your employees are friendly. You have to make sure customer service is No. 1. That’s what they’re about.
What’s your favorite part of the day?
Tyrone: Somehow, it doesn’t matter what time I walk in, there’s at least one customer who recognizes me, I recognize them, and they’re talking to me like we’ve known each other for 10 years. I enjoy seeing that customer. I enjoy when they have their smoothie, and the fact that they’re coming back every day because they love it. And the fact that they love coming into my store, because we’re providing that great customer service for them.
Lydia: I’ll be more in the floor with the employees, with my customers. I’ll be there Monday through Friday, and I try to help my employees to be good at customer service, how to keep our customers coming back. I have some favorites, and they are always asking for Mrs. Forbes, and it’s like a family.
Why is now a good time to own a Planet Smoothie?
Tyrone: This whole business of smoothies, and health living, has just boomed. However, that doesn’t mean that you should just get into anything. I think you should always get with a reputable brand that believes in doing things the right way. I think Planet Smoothie is doing that.
Planet Smoothie is a smoothie franchise that sets itself apart by offering great-tasting smoothies that use healthier, natural ingredients. In a side-by-side comparison, our smoothies generally have less sugar and fewer calories — a big competitive advantage as Americans actively seek out healthier options. Planet Smoothie is led by a veteran franchise team and dedicated brand support team as part of the Kahala Brands™ family.