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CEO Mike Rotondo Listed in Franchise Times 20 to Watch: What’s Trending in 2016

Franchise Times - 20 to Watch
It comes as no surprise to us that our CEO Mike Rotondo was recently named one to watch in 2016 by Franchise Times Magazine. Growing Tropical Smoothie Cafe to over 466 units and driving franchisee profitability is no small task. But alongside his experienced management team, Tropical Smoothie Cafe is now coast to coast and continues to strategically grow across the United States! Read the full article here.


Mike-RotondoMike Rotondo may be the textbook example of the new franchise leader. He took the reins of Tropical Smoothie Cafe seven-plus years ago, and turned it into an economically healthy concept with more than 460 units, where the Cafe no longer takes a backseat to the smoothies. Not content to let him rest on his laurels, Tropical Smoothie’s owner, Buckhead Investment Partners in Atlanta, is charging Rotondo with doing the same job for Buckhead’s other franchise, Tin Drum, a fast-casual Asian concept with 13 units. The only difference is that Rotondo isn’t giving up his role at Tropical Smoothie, just adding the CEO job at Tin Drum to his plate as well. How’s he going to do both? “I have an incredible team,” he said. There will be shared resources, some in-house and some outsourced, which gives Tin Drum expertise most chains that size can’t afford. It’s an example of private equity offering more than just dollars to the brands they invest in—and a long-term approach to building a brand. In addition, Rotondo’s franchisee-centric approach—which includes regular communications with franchisees and tangible ways for them to make money—is one that should be emulated. “We need franchisees more than they need us,” he said. But will he stop at two hats? A CEO hat trick, anyone?

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