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Tropical Smoothie Cafe Franchise Has an App-etite for New Technology

Jolt ImageDipping your toes into the world of technology can be a nerve-wracking decision for a business. Especially in the restaurant industry, often stereotyped with lagging behind these technological times.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe, however, has emerged as an industry leader with their new app ordering service. Understanding the customer base was key for developing the system. Many of Tropical Smoothie’s customers come in post-exercise, looking for a quick, healthy option so the company knew any technology that was adopted should have the goal of improving customer experience, rewarding loyalty and personalizing to the customer’s communication preferences.

Detailed thought and strategy went into the development to make the app engaging. Tropical Smoothie Cafe CEO, Mike Rotondo, didn’t want to launch the typical “buy 10 get one free” loyalty program but instead to engage with visitors and reward those who were most loyal.

The app allows for one-touch mobile payments, digital ordering and loyalty programs. The initiative has proved successful as guest visits have increased from every nine days to every five days, within a month of customers downloading the app. The app is integrated into the POS system and can track ROI through trace-ability of products and waste. To train staff on using the new digital tools, training videos were also created.

The technology advancements at Tropical Smoothie Cafe also continue with the franchisees and their staff. They have introduced a completely paperless operating system called Jolt into the Cafes. Jolt is operated off of an iPad device and offers the user access to training videos and updates, employee schedules and more! Because this system is easily accessible and requires no additional paperwork, it is estimated to save nearly 30 hours of time for each franchise location per month.

“We found we were going through nearly 5 million sheets of copy paper every 12 months, just at the corporate Franchise Support Center. When you add that to whatever paper usage each of our franchisees were also using, the switch to Jolt has the potential to save thousands of trees each year,” commented Cafe Operations Support Manager, Joe Sowerby.

This is just the beginning for the tech-savvy brand. We are continuing to investigate ways to use technology to control food costs and reduce waste, as well as move the franchise discovery process of their business to a completely digital model.

From menu innovation to technology adaption, Tropical Smoothie Cafe is set up for growth. Read the full article here.

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