Planet Smoothie Franchise Review: Q&A With Zafir Abdelrahman
New Planet Smoothie franchisee discusses his reasons for joining the franchise, and why we’re still growing
When Zafir Abdelrahman purchased his first Planet Smoothie franchise in Casselberry, Florida — a suburb just north of Orlando — he was in search of something that could provide him with another source of income. Zafir owns two pharmacies, and he was looking for a franchise that stood apart from the healthcare industry — and Planet Smoothie fit the bill.
Although Zafir’s franchise is still very young –– they celebrated their grand opening in August –– he’s already confident that his smoothie franchise will continue to win over customers just as it has since day one. Zafir’s franchise is in a hotbed of Planet Smoothie locations, and there still is room for more. The local fervor for our healthy, delicious smoothies continues to drive Planet Smoothie’s Florida expansion.
Here’s what Zafir has to say about joining the Planet Smoothie franchise:
What were you doing before Planet Smoothie, and why were you looking for a change?
I’m a pharmacist by training. I own two pharmacies, and I wanted to have a different way to have an income away from healthcare. I was thinking about several franchises, and the one that stood out when I was ready to go was Planet Smoothie.
There were a few things that factored into my decision: A good location was one, and the staff at Planet Smoothie is very friendly. When you call different franchises, you speak to different folks and get a feeling of what’s happening with the company. The folks I spoke with at Planet Smoothie were very friendly and clear, and they just made the process easy.
We had our grand opening in August. They mayor came, as well as the head of the Chamber of Commerce. I got to meet a lot of interesting folks. It was fun.
Have you gotten a lot of support since your grand opening in August?
It’s been a great reception; the numbers have exceeded my expectations. I’m aware that the next couple of (winter) months are generally challenging for this industry, but overall I’m happy with the way the business has gone since we opened.
Why is Florida such a hot smoothie market?
When you look at the demographics and think about who’s likely to be the end-product user, you’d think it’s jocks, or athletes, or teenagers, but honestly I’ve seen every demographic walk through the door. It’s a grandma with a couple of kids, families, it’s two 13-year-olds stopping in, as well as all the athletes who walk in from neighboring gyms. At first I was honestly worried that there was really a narrow customer pool, but I was very wrong!
What sets Planet Smoothie apart as a brand?
Honestly, I think it’s the product, because there are plenty of tropical smoothies. I personally went to several of them to try their products, and the Planet Smoothie product stands apart. And we top it off with our service. Our folks are trained to greet customers when they come in. It’s very inviting.
Who would’ve thought somebody would have a smoothie at 7 o’clock in the morning? But we open at 7, and before 8 we have 8-10 people coming in the door to have smoothies for breakfast, because they’re a good alternative for healthy-minded folks.
What training and support have you received from the Planet Smoothie franchise?
They are very helpful. The folks at Planet Smoothie are ready to help you; they don’t dismiss questions or leave you feeling left out. They showed me that this product has not only a big future but also offers a lot of support. I have confidence that they’ll always come through.
What does Planet Smoothie ownership mean for you and your family?
It’s definitely diversified and solidified the financial future we’re trying to build. It’s nice to work in an industry that is business-friendly. It’s a business I could train my kids how to do; it is something you can learn quickly and do very well with. It’s something you can do for your family.
Is the Planet Smoothie franchise something you would recommend to another entrepreneur that is looking for a worthy franchise opportunity?
It is, and I have. Two colleagues of mine have been asking me about the business model. For someone who wants to diversify, they should invest in something like this. It’s an easy business model, and it’s easy to work with. It allows franchisees to keep doing what they’re doing.
The support is there, the business model is there, the cost-versus-margin is very healthy, and if you can run it well, then it is easy to run.