Smoothie bar franchisor Smoothie King Franchises has named Tom Fletcher as its new chief operating officer.

Fletcher will oversee all day-to-day operations at the company, reporting directly to senior executive vice president Cindy Kuhnau, and Steve Kuhnau, the company's president. The appointment is effective immediately.

Fletcher joined Smoothie King in October 2006 as executive vice president of operations, having previously worked for companies such as Big Apple Bagels, Baskin-Robbins/Dunkin' Donuts, and KaleidoScoops during a 30-year career in the foodservice sector.

"Tom's commitment and contributions to the organisation since joining the Smoothie King team have been invaluable," said Kuhnau. "The company has experienced tremendous growth over the past few years, in terms of number of locations, new market entries and new products, and Tom has become an integral part of shepherding that growth. We are confident he will bring great leadership to this new position and continue to build the Smoothie King brand and support our aggressive growth strategy."

Based in New Orleans, Smoothie King has more than 500 outlets operating in 32 US states and the Republic of Korea. The company expects to open more than 125 new units in 2008, including adding several to the 25 existing locations in South Korea.