Planet Smoothie Franchises Thrive in Nontraditional Markets like Penn Station
Franchise spot intersects customers at country’s busiest railroad terminal
Penn Station is one of the nation’s busiest railroad terminals. More people pass through Penn Station each day than LaGuardia, JFK and Newark airports combined — as many as 650,000 people. Planet Smoothie operates two top-performing franchise locations at Penn Station that draw thousands of customers every day.
A typical business day finds customers lined up out the doors of the Penn Station Planet Smoothie franchises. Blenders buzz constantly, and busy staff members attend to customers from the time the restaurants open until they close. Such high foot traffic can allow Planet Smoothie’s nontraditional locations in airports, transportation terminals and mall kiosks to perform at higher numbers than our busy traditional locations in retail centers near supermarkets, health clubs and neighborhoods.
“We believe the Planet Smoothie franchise model is very versatile,” said John Wuycheck, Senior Vice President of Franchise Development for Kahala Brands, owner of Planet Smoothie. “We are expanding into more nontraditional locations nationwide and there are a number of prime locations available for busy spots like Penn Station.”
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 with our competitors, 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.
Planet Smoothie franchise is great family business
Father and daughter team Steven and Nikki Kaplan began running their two Planet Smoothie franchises in Penn Station in 2004 after converting them from another smoothie brand.
“We have a great product in Planet Smoothie,” Nikki says. “We base our business model on top-notch customer service and efficient outputs, which our loyal customers hold in high value.”.
Nikki says she and her father chose Planet Smoothie for our corporate structure and vision.
Planet Smoothie franchisees receive extensive training, coaching and operations manuals from a veteran team of corporate staff. Owners take part in five days of classroom training at corporate headquarters and five days of in-store training. Franchisees can also contact knowledgeable corporate executives and other franchisees for questions and assistance at any time.
“The support from corporate is imperative to running a successful franchise,” Nikki says. “They provide us with assistance in a range of areas from training to product marketing.”
If Nikki and her dad have any business issues, they can call the Planet Smoothie franchise’s corporate office for help. For example, if a vendor runs out of a product, Planet Smoothie staff will help franchisees figure out how to find it elsewhere as fast as possible.
That is crucial for the Kaplans — their Planet Smoothie franchises are open 6 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week, serving busy customers who expect a quick, portable and healthier option.
A typical day starts with Nikki checking to make sure fruit and vegetables are cut and prepped, inventory is stocked and employees are ready for customers at their two locations. Many times, she can be found behind the counter busily making sure her customers get their orders in a timely fashion.
Nikki is thankful for the opportunity Penn Station has given her to grow a business with her father.
“My father has instilled in me since a young age that the way to a successful business is through being hands-on, working side-by-side with your employees,” she says.
She has enjoyed passing that experience and dedication on to her employees — she trains them in the skills they need and has watched some of them grow into management roles.
“Our hope is that every employee who walks through our doors, we supply them with the tools to improve their life,” Nikki says.
Her advice to anyone thinking about owning a Planet Smoothie is to go for it.
To own a traditional Planet Smoothie location, total investment costs range from $164,400 to $287,350. For nontraditional smaller locations like kiosks, the fees range from $89,600 to $222,243.
“Make sure you have time to dedicate to it,” says Nikki of becoming a franchisee. “You are only as good as your weakest link.”