Cup It, a four-unit franchise focused on revamping American’s fast-food snack options, is offering mealtime side dishes in a to-go cup.
Founded by Metehan Oguz, Cup It is the first concept of its kind to offer a cost-conscience healthy alternative to typical fast-food fare by introducing portion-controlled food servings in a cup.
"With more than 3,000 international locations, Malaysian corn in a cup kiosks have become quite popular in Turkey, Germany, England, and the Netherlands" Oguz says. "I know Americans will love our products because we serve their favorite fresh, healthy foods in a reasonably portioned cup."
Cup It serves four products:
1. Corn in a Cup is made of steamed Malaysian corn topped with cheeses, butter, mayonnaise, and spices.
2. Potatoes in a Cup uses the company's original, patent-pending mashing machine to grind up the spuds.
3. Pot-a-Corn is a combination of items one and two.
4. Waffle in a Cup consists of a freshly baked waffle topped with fruit and Nutella hazelnut spread.
For the Corn in a Cup product, Oguz has been adamant on educating Americans on the true health value of corn. Venture to a grocery store and purchase all types of canned or frozen corn and one major similarity exists among all options: The corn is machine-ripped off the ear. The tearing of the root virtually eliminates all health value of corn; whereas the Malaysian corn is removed, by hand, from the ear, keeping the root maintained along with all of the nutrients.
“Even corn that is labeled as whole kernel in U.S. grocery markets is removed by machine. The difference is amazing, as is the flavor and nutrients from the corn we import,” he says, noting that all corn is purchased 90 days in advance because it is hand manufactured.
“The landscape is limitless for us as a brand, and our product line is limitless because imagine the possibilities of what can go in a cup,” Oguz says.
Launched in the U.S. in April 2009, Cup It currently has four locations in the New York metropolitan area, and it's now ready to expand. The company is currently offering franchising and licensing agreements. New franchisees should expect to spend between $50,000 and $80,000 on their initial investment, including a $15,000 initial franchise fee, plus the cost of equipment, supplies, and marketing for a kiosk.
Additionally, Cup It has launched a cart option more for outdoor venues, with initial fees ranging from $10,000 to $20,000. Existing foodservice establishments can license the right to sell Cup It products for as little as $5,000 including a $2,500 licensing fee, plus a $2,500 inventory investment.
“The low cost of investment has positioned us very well for steady American growth,” Oguz says. “Our high-tech, top-of-the-line kiosk designs cost far less than any other mall restaurant concept. This provides scalability for our franchisees in that they can quickly own multiple locations over a little time period, thus helping them reach their goals of becoming a multi-unit operator.”
Oguz says that while Cup It has had phenomenal success and is extremely popular, even the first location in Garden State Plaza Mall, among customers, the big challenge is introducing the alternative to pretzels, pizza, and ice cream to the public.
“We are focused on creating a strong initial footprint so that we can influence Americans into healthier snacking options,” he says. “Throughout 2010, we plan on opening 20 total locations. This will provide us with a staple for propelling the brand westward in 2011.”
According to Oguz, owning a Cup It franchise requires no skill or experience, just a strong work ethic. "The ideal Cup It franchise would be a family-owned establishment," he says. "Our concept is a perfect fit for mall food courts, stadiums, amusement parks, and boardwalks."