Friday, July 01, 2011

Smoothie King Leaves Me With a Bad Taste

This is the reflection of my personal encounter with Smoothie King, your experience might be different, but here is what I have to say about Smoothie King, the popular smoothie place in the East coast.

This summer I have ordered about 35 smoothies from this Franchise from a number of their stores in the DC area and Northern Virginia. While they have a large of smoothies to satisfy all tastes out there, I found that their smoothies are bland, weak in taste and fail to leave with impressed.

Sure, the first sip is always good, but once that thrill is gone, the taste becomes dull and you feel obligated to finish what you ordered. You do not look forward to finishing the smoothie as it should. Also, I think that you lose touch with the smoothie as it goes to blend, the way Smoothie King is set up is you order and one place and pay at a different register while this concept is great for the store enabling them to take more orders and be efficient. I think the customer loses touch with his beverage as we walk to another register at the end of the store to pay. There's also one more problem that stands between the customer and having visuals on his/her smoothie:

The bulks of things Smoothie King wants to sell you, they have vitamins, powders, fruits, water, candy, protein bars, nuts, flayers....etc. you get distracted and cannot help but think those items should not belong to this store. This reminds me of few years ago Starbucks when they started trying to sell you all kind of things...ultimately they ended up changing all that and focusing on their number one seller coffee.

Smoothie king might find a lesson there. What else? I fail to see what the workers at the store put in my smoothie, my wife told me she saw them put sugar on mine, but I am willing to think that was added protein. But on another note, what's up with all those syrups and added flavors they have over there? I do not see those at any other stores. look in the fridge and near it you will see what I am talking about. those are not juices, but flavors.

Finlay, the pricing at Smoothie King is a bit higher than their competitors. Not sure why they have to charge 8 bucks for a medium smoothie? When you can get the same size for about 5 bucks at the other guys (whom I love) who are more front about their ingredients? Do not take my word for it go and compare prices.

will I go back to Smoothie King? Sure they are close to my place, why not? I would go becasue they tend to send out coupons in the mail too, but I think Smoothie King has an area for improvement. I think their corporate office needs to slow down and reflect back on their effort to build the brand itself and not just expand without having to win customer over. Not sure what founder Steve Kuhnau would have to say about the company now.

PS. I emailed their customer services with a complaints about an employee two weeks ago and I have yet to hear back! The only email on their website is for franchise information, I guess customers and their complaints do not matter. It's frustrating.




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