The Robeks Story
David Robertson opened the first Robeks in 1996 in the Westchester neighborhood of Los Angeles, just north of LAX. The Harvard graduate was a health-conscious eater who was dismayed at the options for fast dining and a huge fan of fruit smoothies that health food stores sold.
Roberston’s idea was simple: he believed there was a much larger healthy business opportunity for the high-quality smoothie health food stores sold.
The problem was the location – for people to eat smoothies on a regular basis, they had to be able to grab a smoothie for breakfast, a snack or during lunch. In other words, smoothies needed to be available in convenient places. If he could deliver smoothies to the Robeks healthy business opportunity market the way premium coffee shops deliver coffee, he knew more people would make smoothies a daily menu choice.
So he set out to create his own healthier option, a smoothie chain that would be “best in class.” Robeks would use the best ingredients, the best dietary supplements, and would target people who wanted to eat healthier and live a healthier lifestyle.
The U.S. stores started on the West Coast, where Robeks has built a huge following of “raving fan” customers, including many famous celebrities. (If you do a Google Image search for “Robeks” you’ll see just how popular we are with the Hollywood crowd.) Franchisees will find that our good word-of-mouth reaches far beyond our current trade areas. If you look at our Facebook page, you’ll see that a lot of Robeks fans are currently deprived — they’ve tasted a Robeks smoothie and they know it’s the best, but they can’t get one where they currently live.
Smoothies are now normal parts of the American diet. Want evidence of how popular they’ve become? Even fast food giants like McDonald’s have tried to horn in on the market by selling their fast-food version of smoothies. Of course, a McDonald’s smoothie isn’t anything like a Robeks smoothie — whether you’re talking about nutrition or taste — and it’s no secret that healthy diners don’t exactly seek out the burger chains.
They do seek out Robeks. One way we earn customer loyalty is by offering a variety of choices and an innovative menu. We’ve led the industry by touting the superfruits movement and making previously exotic Brazilian superfruits such as acai more accessible. We’re constantly looking for ways to offer new flavors and better nutrition. We have also introduced customers to green smoothies made with kale, smoothies made with Greek yogurt, which has twice the protein and far fewer carbs than traditional American yogurt, and smoothie bowls. We also expanded our fresh-squeezed juice offerings to bring more choices to customers, and have seen that part of our healthy business opportunity grow quickly.
As healthy eating becomes more and more popular and the demographic for smoothie customers expands from health fans to baby boomers to trendy young people and busy workers, we’ll keep developing new ways to make sure they keep coming back.