Tasti D-Lite owner/operators Scott Hughes and Benton Tatum are expanding their portfolio to include a co-branded Tasti D-Lite and Planet Smoothie inside Walmart locations in Nashville, Smyrna and Lebanon, Tenn. They will open May 21.

Hughes' and Tatum's existing units also are nontraditional, including on the campus of Duke University and Georgetown University Law Center. Another is slated to open this summer in the Baltimore Washington International Airport.

All three of their planned Walmart locations will replace portrait studios and are immediately inside the grocery store entrance.

The Walmart locations also are some of the first co-branded Tasti D-Lite and Planet Smoothie centers to open. Tasti D-Lite acquired Planet Smoothie in November 2011.

Hughes and Tatum plan to open an additional 20 Tasti D-Lite/Planet Smoothie centers inside of Walmart locations across the country this year and up to 100 across the country next year.

"I believe nontraditional units are the future of franchising," Hughes said. "For quick-serve restaurant franchises, it is the most cost effective way to open and it comes with built-in traffic in an under-served market."

The new Tasti D-Lite/Planet Smoothie centers will offer a discount to Walmart employees. They are also giving a 20 percent discount to anyone with a valid military ID on Mondays for "Military Mondays."

"The military discount is a great way to honor the men and women serving our country," Hughes said. "Nashville is a great military town and we wanted to make sure we gave back to the military in some way."

"We chose Tasti D-Lite because of the excellent product and the top-notch management team," Hughes added. "Combining the brands is a great opportunity for separate and consistent revenue streams. We are hopeful that the Walmart locations will be as successful as our college centers."

Read more about franchising and growth.

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