Playa Bowls Franchise vs. SoBol Franchise: How to Decide

If you are thinking about becoming a franchisee in the health food industry, you have chosen a very lucrative business. Here in the United States alone, the health and wellness foods market is estimated at $200 billion this year, with a six percent anticipated growth rate in the next few years.

The popularity of green, acai, and pitaya bowls and smoothies are surging thanks to the desire for clean and healthy eating. The juice and smoothie bar market has a revenue of around $2 billion annually, which translates to big opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to invest in the niche franchise of superfood bowls and smoothies. Let’s take a look at two appetizing, yet distinctive competitors in the industry — Playa Bowls franchise versus SoBol franchise.


SoBol was founded by a surfer from Long Island, who realized how much people love a tasty, yet filling, healthy bowl. SoBol creates a unique blend of acai, green, and pitaya bowls and smoothies along with a proprietary blend of homemade granola. SoBol uses the freshest ingredients, delivered daily from neighboring farms, for a completely customizable menu with clear nutritional information to satisfy any diet. SoBol strives to give customers the best product, with great customer service, at the most competitive price. SoBol is not just a cafe in a local town, it is a community gathering spot. A place where everyone can get a delicious meal, where they feel better after visiting.

SoBol’s franchise model is simple, focused, and repeatable. The franchise has grown to 52 locations in eight states up and down the east coast and in California, and more locations are on the way. SoBol is very transparent about their franchising information on their website. SoBol’s average store revenue is $594,000. The initial franchise fee is $30,000 per unit, with single and multi-unit opportunities available. Initial investment totals average $240,800 to $450,600, with royalty fees of five percent of net sales. Potential franchisees need liquid assets of at least $200,000, with a $350,000 net worth.

SoBol provides extensive franchisee training and support, including marketing, technology, site selection, two-week corporate training, and constant ongoing communication from industry experts, providing franchisees with the latest updates and industry changes.

SoBol leads franchisees through each step of the store opening process, from targeting growth areas for best site selection to real estate criteria to provide the best placement in high-visibility, high-activity areas. Franchisees benefit from strategic partnerships with third-party services, distribution centers and vendors in the country, which means franchisees don’t have to do the heavy lifting on their own.

SoBol has a vision to provide supercool food and awesome experiences when visiting their cafes. Their mission is simple, clear, and to the point — to improve people’s days. Their values are to be a positive force, caring for others and being passionate. The company culture is to run each store as if it were a mom-and-pop café. Franchisees are encouraged to do all they can to be a bright spot in the community, giving back whenever possible. Their philanthropic efforts have helped countless charities over the years.

Playa Bowls

How does Playa Bowls differ from SoBol? “Playa Bowls” translates to “Beach Bowls,” fittingly so, as the brand was founded by two surfers — not from Long Island, but New Jersey. The Playa Bowls franchise is a quick-service restaurant serving bowls, smoothies, and juices.

They have been franchising for five years and have 120 locations, concentrated in the northeastern U.S. According to the Playa Bowls website, there are 30 corporate locations and 91 franchise locations in 18 states.

One of the biggest differences you see between the two brands is that Playa Bowls franchise information is not readily available on their website. Instead, it is obtained by filling out an online form. A practice unlike SoBol’s, which makes franchise information highly accessible.

According to Franchise Grade, the Playa Bowls franchise cost includes a franchise fee of up to $35,000, with a total initial investment range of $168,675 to $435,058. Franchisees need working capital of $10,000 to $40,000, and there is an ongoing six percent royalty fee. They have an initial training program of 41 hours, including 23 hours of classroom time and 18 hours of on-the-job training. Franchisees are committed to a 10-year contract.So how do you decide between Playa Bowls franchise and SoBol franchise? Certainly, the key factors to look at as a potential franchisee include costs, training, and ongoing support. SoBol is clearly stronger in those categories.

The decision is clear, choosing to partner with SoBol allows you the freedom to be an entrepreneur, run your own bowl and smoothie café with unparalleled training and support from a brand committed to improving the community. It’s time to sign up and be part of the SoBol family!