A smoothie shop or smoothie bar is a small, informal restaurant where smoothies and in most cases, juice are made and served to customers. A smoothie is a blended, sometimes sweetened beverage primarily made from fresh fruit or vegetables combined with ice, frozen fruit, or other frozen ingredients.
Some juice and smoothie bars give their clients the option of add-ins, such as soy milk, whey powder, green tea, herbal or nutritional supplements et al. The most recent report available online shows that the number of businesses in the juice and smoothie bar sector in the United States was 5,124 in 2020, down from the previous year’s total of 5,224. In 2022, employment in this sector was forecast to reach 5,255.
Currently, there are 5,373 Juice & Smoothie Bars businesses in the US, an increase of 1.9% from 2022. The global smoothie market is projected to register a CAGR of 7.2% during the forecast period, 2020 – 2025. The rising health consciousness among consumers and increasing demand for convenience and value are driving the demand for smoothies and smoothie bowls.
Steps on How to Start a Smoothie Business
Table of Content
Conduct Market Research
Conducting market research before starting any business is key to the success of the business hence you must not open a smoothie bar without conducting market research. This is because market research provides critical information about your market and your business landscape. It can tell you how your business is perceived by the target customers and clients you want to reach.
It can help you determine who and where your customers are, and which customers are most likely to do business with you. In essence, thorough market research will help you understand how your target customers think to turn them into regular customers and brand advocates.
a. Who is the Target Market for Smoothie Bar Business?
- Hard-core fitness fanatics or dieters
- Sportsmen and women
- Corporate executives
- Business people
- Every adult and child in the neighborhood where your smoothie bar will be located.
b. Is Smoothie Bar a Profitable Business?
Yes, the smoothie bar business is profitable. The Smoothies market in the United States was estimated at US$5.5 Billion in the year 2020.
c. Are There Existing Niches in the Industry?
Yes, there are existing niches when it comes to smoothie bars, and here are some of them;
- Brick and mortar smoothie bar (sit-down smoothie bar)
- Drive through smoothie bar
- Kiosk smoothie bar
- The Grab-and-Go smoothie bar
- Mobile smoothie bar (smoothie carts or smoothie trucks)
d. Who are the Major Competitors?
- Juic’d Smoothie & Juice Bar
- Smoothies Extreme Nutrition & Oxygen Bar
- Pulp Juice and Smoothie Bar
- Health Smoothies and Juice bar
- Jamba Juice Safeway/Conifer
- Inta Juice Smoothies
- Kwench Juice Café
- Urth Juice Bar
- Health in Hand Juice and Smoothie Bar
- Rock Steady Juice Joint & Acai Bar
- Elderberry’s, Elderberries, Elderberrys Roanoke, Smoothies, Wraps
- Paninis & Company Juice Shop
- Island Grill Smoothie and Juice Bar
- Fresh Juice Bar
- Tropical Smoothie Café
- Juice Bar Bearden, Knoxville
- Tropical Smoothie Café
- Smoothie Factory
- Kwench Juice Café
e. Are There County or State Regulations or Zoning Laws for Smoothie bar Business?
Yes, there are county and state regulations and zoning laws for smoothie bars in the United States. Please note that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sets the federal Food Code. However, the FDA doesn’t oversee individual smoothie bars. Instead, the various states use the Food Code as the basis for their food codes. They may adopt its rules, interpret them differently or set their own rules.
Please note that in the United States, you are required to follow your own state’s food service code. Visit the FDA website for a list of food service codes by state. Use this to find the state authority handling restaurants and bars and view the laws that apply in your state.
f. Is There a Franchise for Smoothie bar Business?
Yes, there are franchise opportunities for smoothie bars. Here are some of them;
- Smoothie Factory (Cash Investment: $100,000)
- Sweetberry Bowls (Total investments: $122,000 – $290,000)
- Tropical Smoothie Café (Total investments: $222,095 – $569,335)
- Smoothie King (Total investments: $263,550 – $844,485)
- SoBol Stores (Total Investment: $182,200 – $385,000)
- Robeks Fresh Juices and Smoothies (Liquid Cash Requirement: $100,000)
- Maui Wowi Hawaiian Coffee & Smoothies (Total Investment: $63,900 – $200,250)
- Froots Smoothies (Total Investment: $147,500 – $222,830)
- Planet Smoothie (Total Investment: $120,150 – $329,250)
- Smoothie (Total Investment: $87,700 – $376,400).
g. What Do You Need to Start a Smoothie Bar Business?
- A Feasibility Report
- Business and Marketing Plans
- Business Licenses and Permits
- A Good Shop facility
- EIN (Employer Identification Number)/Federal Tax ID Number.
- A Corporate Bank Account
- Ingredient supply (fruit, vegetables, milk et al)
- Startup Capital
Memorable Smoothie Business Names
- The Queens© Smoothie Bar, Inc.
- Philadelphian Connect® Juice and Smoothie Bar, LLC
- Moris Jackson© Smoothie Bar, Inc.
- Drink Solutions® Smoothie Shop, Inc.
- Michaël Groy™ Smoothie Bar, Inc.
- Laz Hamstrung™ Juice and Smoothie Bar, LLC.
- Go Green© Smoothie Bar, LLC
- Cloe Davenport® Smoothie Shop, Inc.
- Drink Life© Smoothie Bar, Inc.
- Taste Buds© Smoothie Bar, Inc.
- Porter Prince and Sons® Smoothie Bar, LLC
- Chris McFerran® Smoothie Bar, LLC
- Emily Elton™ Smoothie Bar, LLC
- Tyler Benston© Smoothie Bar, Inc.
- De Smoothie Prince® Smoothie Bar, Inc.
- Sally McKenzie™ Smoothie Bar, Inc.
- Golden Cups™ Smoothie Bar, Inc.
- Life Zone© Smoothie Bar, Inc.
- Organic Team® Smoothie Bar, LLC
- Rolly Marshal™ Smoothie Bar, Inc.
Register Your Business
a. What Type of Business Structure is Best for Smoothie Bar?
The truth is that you have several options when it comes to the business structure of a smoothie bar, but the one that most players in this line of business consider is an LLC. It is common to consider an LLC because providers want to protect themselves from lawsuits. Please note that an LLC will need an EIN if it has employees or if it will be required to file any of the excise tax forms listed below.
b. Steps to Form an LLC
- Choose a Name for Your LLC.
- File Articles of Organization.
- Choose a registered agent.
- Decide on member vs. manager management.
- Create an LLC operating agreement.
- Comply with other tax and regulatory requirements.
- File annual reports.
c. What Type of License is Needed to Open a Smoothie Bar Business?
- General Business License
- Health and Safety Permit
- Food and Drinks Handlers’ License
- Zonal Permits
- Signage Permit
- Operational State Facility Inspections
- A music license if you want to play live, recorded, or streaming music in your bar or restaurant
- A dumpster placement permit that specifies where you can put your dumpster outside your bar or restaurant
- A valet parking permit if you plan to offer valet parking for customers
- Sidewalk permits if you plan to offer outside seating
d. What Type of Certification is Needed to Open a Smoothie Bar Business?
You don’t need any certifications to open a smoothie bar business.
e. What Documents are Needed to Open a Smoothie Bar Business?
- Business and liability insurance
- Federal Tax Payer’s ID
- State Permit and Building Approval
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business License
- Business Plan
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Contract Document
- Company Bylaws
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
f. Do You Need a Trademark, Copyright, or Patent?
If you are considering opening a smoothie bar business, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection or trademark. This is because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run it without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.
Cost Analysis and Budgeting
a. How Much Does It Cost to Start a Smoothie bar Business?
A sit-down smoothie bar typically costs between $200,000 and $375,000 to set up. A large drive-through smoothie shop can cost between $80,000 and $200,000. A small kiosk smoothie bar may cost between $25,000 and $75,000. A franchised sit-down smoothie bar can cost up to $673,700.
b. What are the Costs Involved in Starting a Smoothie Bar
- The total fee for registering the business in the United States of America – $750.
- Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits as well as the accounting services totaling – $1,200.
- Marketing promotion expenses (2,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for the total amount of $80.
- The cost for hiring a business consultant (writing of business plans inclusive) – is $2,500.
- Insurance (general liability, workers’ compensation, and property-casualty) coverage at a total premium – $2,400.
- The cost of accounting software, CRM software, and payroll software – $1,500
- The cost for payment of rent for 12 months at $1.76 per square foot in the total amount of – $35,600.
- The cost for shop/facility remodeling – $25,000.
- Other start-up expenses including stationery – $500
- Phone and utility deposits will cost – ($2,500)
- Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $30,000
- The cost for start-up inventory – $16,027
- Storage hardware (bins, utensil rack, shelves, glasses case) – $3,720
- The cost for counter area equipment (smoothie maker, countertop, sink, ice machine, etc.) – $6,000
- The cost for serving area equipment (glasses, flatware) – $3,000
- The cost for store equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $3,150
- The cost for the purchase of office furniture and gadgets (Computers, Printers, Telephone, TVs, Sound System, tables and chairs et al) – $8,000.
- The cost of launching an official website – $600
- The cost for our grand opening party – $3,000
- Miscellaneous – $2,500
c. What Factors Determine the Cost of Opening a Smoothie Bar Business?
- The size of the smoothie bar
- The choice of location
- The required licenses and permits
- The type of facility
- The type of smoothie and related products retailed in the shop
- The cost of hiring and paying a business consultant and attorney
- The cost for branding, promotion, and marketing of the smoothie bar business
- The cost for furnishing and equipping the smoothie bar
- The cost of insurance policy covers
- The cost for registering the business
- Source of your supplies and ongoing expenses
- Cost of recruiting and training your staff
- The cost for the purchase and customizing of uniforms, shoes, and caps for your employees
- The cost for the grand opening of the smoothie bar business
d. Do You Need to Build a Facility? If YES, How Much Will It Cost?
It is not obligatory to build a new facility for your smoothie bar business, but if you have the required finance, it will pay you to build your own facility. The truth is that building or reconstructing a facility will help you come up with a facility that will fit into your overall business goals and vision.
e. What are the Ongoing Expenses of a Smoothie Bar Business?
- Ingredient supply (fruit, vegetables, milk, ice, disposable cups, and straws)
- Utility bills (internet subscriptions, phone bills, signage and software renewal fees et al)
- Salaries of employees
f. What is the Average Salary of your Staff?
- Shop Manager (Owner) – $45,000 Per Year
- Accountant – $30,630,000 Per Year
- Smoothie Makers and Servers – $27,100 Per Year
- Cleaners – $25,000 Per Year
- Security Guard -$24,000 Per Year
g. How Do You Get Funding to Start a Smoothie Bar Business?
- Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
- Raising money from investors and business partners
- Sell shares to interested investors
- Applying for a loan from your bank/banks
- Source for soft loans from your family members and friends.
Write a Business Plan
a. Executive Summary
Our smoothie bar business will be located in a fast-growing health-conscious community in Rowland Heights, California. We have been able to secure a one-year lease of a vacant shop within the city’s largest shopping mall. We are fortunate to secure a facility with an option of renewal for 5 years.
Our smoothie bar business is designed to meet both the health and safety standards as recommended by the local authority. Our customers are going to be treated with good music at all times.
b. Products and Service
- Different types and flavors of smoothies.
c. Mission Statement
Our mission is to establish a smoothie bar that will make available different types and flavors of smoothies at every given time to our highly esteemed customers.
Our vision is to establish a standard and world-class smoothie bar business in Rowland Heights, California that will be the leader in the juice and smoothies industry in the State.
d. Goals and Objectives
The goals and objectives of a smoothie bar business are to provide a retail outlet where patrons can go to buy and drink different types and flavors of smoothies.
e. Organizational Structure
- Shop Manager (Owner)
- Smoothie Makers and Servers
- Security Guard
a. SWOT Analysis
- Ideal location for a smoothie bar business
- Highly experienced and qualified employees and management
- Access to fresh and organic fruits and other ingredients
- Availability of different types and flavors of smoothies.
- A reliable, clean, healthy, and efficient method of preparing smoothies.
- Financial constraints may restrict the publicity and branding of the business
- Our new business will be competing with well-established smoothie bars and juice bar franchises in the city.
- Inability to retain our highly experienced and qualified employees longer than we want during the teething stage of the business.
- A rise in the number of people who want healthier bodies, and to be free from sicknesses
- Online market, new services, new technology, and of course the opening of new markets.
- The arrival of a new smoothie bar within our market space
- Steady wage expenses and increasing prices of gas amid the low demand during the pandemic will reduce industry profitability.
- Economic uncertainty
- Liability problems
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could change its regulatory status and decide to enforce strict regulations that can strangulate new businesses like ours.
b. How Do Smoothie Bars Make Money?
Smoothie bars make money by selling;
- Different types and flavors of smoothies.
c. Payment Options
- Payment with cash
- Payment via credit cards
- Payment via mobile money transfer
d. Sales & Advertising Strategies
- Introduce your smoothie bar business by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to corporate organizations, households, sports organizations, gyms, schools, and other key stakeholders throughout the city where your smoothie bar business is located.
- Advertise on the internet on blogs and forums and also on social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn to get your message across
- Create a basic website for your business to give your business an online presence
- Directly market your products.
- Join local smoothie bar associations for industry trends and tips
- Provide discount days for your customers
- Advertise our business in community-based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
- List your business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
- Encourage the use of word-of-mouth marketing (referrals)
a. How Much Should You Charge for your Product/Service?
The average price for a smoothie is typically around $5 for a small and $7 for a large. Fruit and yogurt bowls typically sell around the same prices, while juices are around $4 to $7, depending on the size.
b. How Much Profit Do Smoothie Bar Owners Make a Year?
It depends, but the available report shows that on average, a small to medium-sized smoothie bar can earn anywhere from $60,000 to $160,000 in personal income for the shop owner.
c. What Factors Determine the Amount of Profit to Be Made?
- The capacity of the smoothie bar
- The types and flavors of smoothies and other products retailed in the shop
- The location the smoothie bar is covering
- The management style of the smoothie bar
- The business approach of the smoothie bar
- The advertising and marketing strategies adopted by the smoothie bar.
- The number of years the smoothie bar business is in business
d. What is the Profit Margin of a Smoothie Bar?
Margins are dependent on which ingredients you use when making your smoothie. The healthiest, freshest ingredients are the most expensive. Therefore, stores that use fresh ingredients can expect to have food costs that are as much as 50 percent of their expenses, netting them approximately a 40 percent gross margin.
e. What is the Sales Forecast?
Below is the sales forecast for a smoothie bar. It is based on the location of the business and other factors as it relates to such startups in the United States;
- First Fiscal Year: $320,000
- Second Fiscal Year: $450,000
- Third Fiscal Year: $540,000
Set Up your Shop
a. How Do You Choose a Perfect Location for Smoothie Bar?
- The demography of the location especially as it relates to hard-core fitness fanatics or dieters and of course people that drink smoothies regularly
- The demand for the smoothies and related fruit drinks offered by smoothie bars in the location
- The purchasing power of businesses and residents of the location
- Accessibility of the location
- The number of smoothie bars, and juice bars in the location
- The local laws and regulations in the community/state
- Traffic, parking and security et al
b. What State and City are Best to Open a Smoothie Bar?
- Tallahassee, Florida
- Dallas, Texas
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Los Angeles, California
- Rio Rancho, New Mexico
- Silver Spring, Maryland
- Rowland Heights, California
- Portland, Oregon
- Green Bay, Wisconsin
- New York City, New York
c. What Equipment is Needed to Operate a Smoothie Bar?
- Prep tools
- Cutting boards
- Storage shelves
- Storage containers
- Disposable cups and straws
- Receipt issuing machine and POS.
When it comes to hiring employees for a standard smoothie bar, you should make plans to hire a competent shop manager (you can occupy this position), account clerk, smoothie makers, servers, cleaners, and security guard.
Launch the Business Proper
No smoothie bar opens its door for business without first organizing an opening party to officially launch the business. You can choose to do a soft opening party if you are operating on a low budget or you can go for a grand opening party. The bottom line is that with a proper launching of the smoothie bar, you will be able to inform people in your city that your smoothie bar is open for business.
a. What Makes a Smoothie bar Business Successful?
- Choose a good location and shop facility to launch the business
- Make sure your shop is stocked with different types of organic and non-organic fruits, vegetables, milk et al (give your customers options)
- Throw an open house grand party before officially opening the smoothie bar business
- Be deliberate with your marketing sales approach
- Encourage the use of word of mouth to promote your smoothie bar business
- Leverage on all available online and offline platforms to promote your smoothie bar business
b. What Happens During a Typical Day at a Smoothie Bar?
- The shop is open for the day’s work
- The serving areas, chairs, and tables are properly arranged
- Walk-in customers are attended to
- Deliveries of orders are made
- Stocks are taken and reports are written and submitted to superior officers
- The business is closed for the day.
c. What Skills and Experience Do You Need to Build a Smoothie Bar Business?
- Excellent customer services skills
- Interpersonal skill
- Accounting and bookkeeping skills
- Business management skills
- Bargaining skill
- Work experience in a restaurant or bar environment
- Experience in managing people
- Experience in business administration
- Experience in making different types of smoothies
- Experience in handling different types of blenders (smoothies making machines).