Tropical Smoothie Cafe Names Richard Key Chief Operations Officer

Richard Key
Richard Key

Promotion comes as brand crosses the 1,000-location milestone amid rapid growth

Tropical Smoothie Cafe Names Richard Key Chief Operations OfficerAtlanta, GA  (Restaurant News ReleaseTropical Smoothie Cafe, a leading national fast-casual cafe franchise known for its better-for-you smoothies and food with a tropical twist, has promoted former Senior Vice President of Operations Richard Key to chief operations officer, effective immediately.

Key has served on the brand’s senior leadership team since joining the company in 2018. In his new role, he will help grow and evolve field support teams and lead internal initiatives that prioritize the Tropical Smoothie Cafe guest experience and franchise profitability.

“Over the past three years, Richard and his team have provided outstanding support and training for our growing franchisee community during one of the most dynamic times in Tropical Smoothie Cafe history,” said Charles Watson, CEO of Tropical Smoothie Café LLC. “His experience and leadership have been foundational in our franchisees’ success. This well-deserved promotion will benefit our entire system.”

Key has 20 years of franchise operations experience with brands such as TCBY, Carvel, Moe’s Southwest Grill and Papa Murphy’s International, where he was a division vice president responsible for field operations and marketing for 800 locations. During his tenure at Tropical Smoothie Cafe, the brand has grown to 1,000 restaurants and is on track to reach 1,500 by the end of 2024.

“Our top focus at Tropical Smoothie Cafe is to make sure that we not only provide a best-in-class guest experience, but also equip our franchisees to be the most successful in the industry,” said Key. “Three years ago, I began developing great relationships with our franchise community while implementing systems to support our record-breaking growth. I look forward to expanding my role with key projects and initiatives in the future and as we continue to grow.”

For more information about Tropical Smoothie Cafe franchise opportunities, go to

About Tropical Smoothie Cafe®

Tropical Smoothie Cafe is a national fast-casual cafe concept inspiring a healthier lifestyle with 1,000 locations nationwide. Serving better-for-you smoothies, wraps, sandwiches and flatbreads, Tropical Smoothie Cafe also offers upgraded app technology and enhanced mobile ordering capabilities to further elevate the digital and dine-in cafe experience and emphasize the brand’s focus on convenience. The rapidly growing franchise has received numerous accolades, including FRANdata’s 2021 TopScore FUND Award, plus rankings in Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500, Forbes’ Best Franchises, Franchise Times’ Fast & Serious list and the Franchise Times’ Top 200. Notably, the franchise was also recognized on Fast Casual’s Top 100 Movers and Shakers, Nation’s Restaurant News’ Top 200 and Top 10 Fastest-Growing Chains, and Restaurant Business’ America’s Favorite Chains.

Media Contact:
Ashley Lennington
SPM Communications