Planet Smoothie Franchise Review: Q&A with Jonathan Goodyear
How a dedicated customer became the owner of a thriving Planet Smoothie franchise
Before becoming a Planet Smoothie franchise owner, Jonathan Goodyear was a dedicated customer, and also provided the smoothie franchise with the software that powers its loyalty program. Three years ago, when Goodyear was looking to invest in a franchise, he sought a smoothie business that was easy to run and easy to scale. As both a customer and vendor for Planet Smoothie, Goodyear already was passionate about our brand and decided to take the leap.
Today, Planet Smoothie franchises are open throughout the Southeastern and Northeastern United States. Just like Goodyear, as a franchise owner with our brand, you’ll quickly learn that our customer base comes from all walks of life. However, they all share one thing in common: they want to eat foods that are convenient, delicious and guilt-free.
No one does this better than Planet Smoothie, because smoothies are our sole passion and focus. This gives our franchise owners an advantage, because our menu is built around real fruit and other healthy ingredients – and our customers know that. This is why they come to their local store at least once a week for a meal replacement or a delicious treat that isn’t laden with added sugar, additives or imitation flavorings.
In this wide-ranging interview, Goodyear shares everything from what makes a good location, the ideal franchise owner and why now is the time to invest in a Planet Smoothie franchise.
What made you invest in a Planet Smoothie franchise?
Jonathan Goodyear: It’s always been a goal of mine to own a franchise. I wanted to invest in something simple to ensure I could handle it before expanding out. As a customer of Planet Smoothie, I was passionate about the brand and already liked the product. As a software consultant, I’ve traveled all around the country and chose Planet Smoothie as my favorite, even before they became a customer of mine. So I was a firm believer in Planet Smoothie as a product before I even bought the franchise.
Tell me a little bit about what makes a good location.
Goodyear: A good location is where you get a lot of traffic, ideally with street frontage. And there are certain businesses in the area that tend to share a similar demographic to Planet Smoothie customers. For instance, if you’re near a grocery store, movie theater, fitness establishments, or a retail store such as Target or Publix.
These businesses tend to make a good outlet for customers that you can leverage, especially given their business hours, which sort of keeps your day perks set in. For instance, with the fitness businesses, you’ll get your morning and breakfast customers. For your retail businesses, especially on the weekends, people are out grocery shopping, and things like that. So, being close by these types of businesses, people don’t have to go specifically to Planet Smoothie, they just catch you on the way, while they’re out and about, running errands.
What’s a typical day like in a Planet Smoothie store?
Jonathan Goodyear: It really depends on the day. Once you arrive, you prepare your store for opening to service your breakfast crowd. This entails getting out all of your fruits and retail and making sure that everything is in place. Once customers start coming in, you’re serving them breakfast smoothies, meal replacement smoothies or lunch, depending on what they want.
On other days of the week, you may have to do inventory to determine what items you’re running low on. You’ll also have to set aside time to make a schedule for the staff, which fluctuates between eight to 10 team members based on volume in the store. Training is also important, and you’ll need to schedule that as well. New associates need to have about eight training sessions alongside other team members prior to being able to handle a shift on their own.
What’s the most exciting part about being a Planet Smoothie franchise owner?
Goodyear: The most exciting part is just meeting people, which sounds cliché. However, you do start to feel like a part of the community you’re serving because smoothies are a repeat-customer business. This isn’t a fly-by-night business where people come through like tourists. Instead, people come in on a recurring basis – daily, weekly, monthly – and it turns into more than just taking their money and giving them a smoothie. You’re conversing with people, finding out about their day and lives. For some people, you may be the only friendly face they speak to throughout the entire day. So it falls upon you to make their day better, which will make them want to return.
If you were going to build the perfect Planet Smoothie franchise owner, what are some of the qualities that person would have?
Jonathan Goodyear: This person would have to be able to think on his or her feet and be able to tackle issues as they arise. No matter how good of a business you run, customers are going to come in and have a complaint or a concern. So you also have to be level-headed, address their concerns, and realize sometimes that you are wrong. You did make their smoothie wrong. So being able to react to that and be accountable, to keep the customer happy, you have to be persistent as well. A smoothie business is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It takes time to build up your business, and even more work to maintain it. So you have also have to be hard-working and dedicated.
Why is now the time to invest in a Planet Smoothie franchise?
Jonathan Goodyear: Planet Smoothie is a very community-oriented organization. Being involved in this type of business is attractive to millenials, and the next generation, who all are really into whole, fresh, and environmentally-friendly foods. My generation bought smoothies because they tasted good. However, today more people are associating themselves with brands because of their mission and vision than ever before.
So having a company like Planet Smoothie, which likes to not only be involved in the communities we serve, but also the fitness and lifestyle communities to help all different types of organizations, is the perfect opportunity. Now is the time to invest in our affordable franchise opportunity because you will be a part of a franchise that not only has a proven business model, but also has a community-oriented mindset – all you have to do is inject your enthusiasm and your persistence.