As it looks to hit 1,000 locations next year, Metairie-based Smoothie King has hired a new chief development officer to help implement its ambitious expansion plans.
Before starting at Smoothie King last month, pizza industry veteran Kevin King spent a year as a principal at Project Pie LLC in California. From 2011 to 2015, he served as chief development officer of Papa Murphy’s International, a take-and-bake pizza chain based in Washington where he worked for about a decade.
King, 52, is moving to the New Orleans area from Portland, Oregon.
“We have 789 stores open today. We hope to open another 50 to 60 stores this year and follow that with an aggressive 100-plus stores next year,” he said.
To do that, Smoothie King plans to lure new franchisees and encourage existing franchisees to open more stores. The company also plans to open more of its own stores.
In the U.S., the company is largely eyeing expansions in areas where it already has a presence but sees potential for growth, including a mix of traditional stores as well as locations inside hospitals, large office buildings, corporate facilities and airports — areas with built-in customer bases.
Smoothie King officials also expect to open international stores this year, including in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and Trinidad.
“We think that we can build a couple hundred more stores a year and continue to grow and make Smoothie King a national and international brand out of our base here in New Orleans,” King said.
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