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Review of the Zoup Franchise Opp and Startup Costs

Are you looking for a quality QSR franchise that will stand out in your community? To you have a passion for creating smiles on the faces of your customers through a healthy, great tasting soup? If that’s what you want, then a Zoup franchise should be at the top of your list for investment opportunities to consider.

With a strong brand that is growing because of an uncompromising view of high standards and the finest ingredients, this segment of the QSR industry will meet with local consumer preferences in a bold, exciting way! You’ll serve the wholesome, filling foods that people love in this franchise model. Soups, sandwiches, and salads will be the core of your menu.

How much can you expect your initial investment to be? Will you receive an adequate level of support for your new franchise? Is this really a good investment to make? Let’s take a look.

What Are the Initial Investment Expectations For This Franchise?

Your journey toward a new Zoup franchise begins with a franchise fee of $39,900. This is due upon signing the franchise agreement and applies whether you wish to be an area developer or an individual franchise owner. There’s also a minimum grand opening advertising fee of $5k that is included with your franchise agreement that must be utilized during the planning stages of a franchisee grand opening.

Current development opportunities are available in the Northern United States and in Ontario, Canada. Stretching from Washington State to Maine and going across the belt from coast-to-coast, there are a wide range of communities that are looking for a franchisee who is willing to bring the Zoup concept to a local level.

The ongoing royalty that you’ll be paying is 6% and this will be tracked through the proprietary point of sale system that Zoup will install in your new location. The term of the franchise agreement is 10 years and has options for renewing. To qualify as a franchisee, however, you’ll need to have a minimum net worth of at least $350k and have provable cash assets of up to $150k. Absentee ownership in this franchising program is allowed and third party financing is available for all of the startup costs, although financing leverage is mandated to be kept to as low a level as possible.

You’ll also have some extensive sweat equity into your investment during the qualification process. As your financials are being vetted, Zoup also expects you to go through several training webinars that cover the brand and founding of the organization, training and marketing requirements of all franchisees, and a real estate webinar that covers the basics of their construction requirements. These webinars must be completed in order to receive the Franchise Disclosure Document.

Once you receive the FDD, you’ll also be asked to contact existing franchisees and prepare a business plan to submit for approval. You’ll be invited to visit Zoup locations and have a Meet the Team Day in Southfield, MI before you receive approval for your franchise. Once you receive approval, however, Zoup comes to your location for the franchise agreement and will immediately begin to provide support with the site selection process.

What Are the Other Types of Support Received By Franchisees?

One of the first levels of support that you receive is an extensive amount of hands-on training regarding the best practices of the Zoup operations manual. You’ll receive 3 weeks of training in Michigan and then another week of training at your location to get a feel of what service in your new restaurant will be like.

As the site selection process continues, you’ll receive assistance with lease negotiations if needed and then receive ongoing field evaluations about your operations as the build-up work continues. This ongoing evaluation support continues through the grand opening and throughout the life of the agreement so that each franchisee is providing a consistent experience to their customers.

Part of the excitement of the Zoup brand is the 12 unique soups that rotate through the menu because this is really want drives traffic to the store. You’ll receive training on the recipes so you can create fresh dishes in your own restaurant, as well as a look at the additional sandwiches and salads that help to fill out the menu. There are seasonal marketing plans that are in place that you’ll have access to using as well, plus online and in-store promotions that are held throughout the brand to help generate extra levels of excitement.

The final measure of support you’ll receive is with access to a purchasing cooperative that Zoup utilizes to help franchisees increase margins. Although no specific requirements are in place, you will need to replicate the fresh ingredients that are found in all of this organization’s recipes and the cooperative will help to drive down costs while maintaining current menu pricing.

How Good Is This Investment Opportunity?

The healthy foods QSR niche is growing rapidly and provides many investors with good margins and exciting marketing opportunities to communities that have a demand for this product. Zoup takes this niche to another level with quality soups that are handmade and delicious. Supplemented by sandwiches and salads that are fresh and you’ll have the products that your local market will find to be extremely valuable.

The initial fees are a little higher than other opportunities, but the initial investment falls into the average range thanks to lower than normal build-out requirements or leaseholder improvements. You’ll also receive a good amount of training that will help keep your brand consistent and be able to stand out from other QSR options within your community.

Overall this investment opportunity seems to be a realistically good investment for the right community. If there is demand for a healthy QSR, then this is an opportunity that deserves to be looked at in an in-depth way. If you qualify as a franchisee, then take the time to begin the vetting process to see if it has the ability to meet all of your needs.

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