Bubble tea, or boba tea—a regular Taiwanese drink stuffed with tapioca pearls—is exploding in reputation in The united states. We spoke with Kung Fu Tea’s advertising supervisor Matthew Poveromo about how the franchise brand, which is rated No. 57 on Entrepreneur’s 2023 Quickest-Rising Franchises listing, is harnessing that development to speed up advancement.
How did Kung Fu Tea get started out?
Our four founders are from Taiwan, and they noticed an chance to provide authentic Taiwanese bubble tea flavor to The united states. They opened April 30,, 2010 and took about a 12 months for evidence of thought, opening 13 merchants and just doing the job by means of the menu and seriously setting up out the infrastructure that permitted them to mature really swiftly when they opened up for franchising in 2011.
So what exactly is bubble tea?
Bubble tea, or boba tea, arrives from Taiwan, and it is a regular drink with possibly tea and milk or tea and fruit. Its most identifiable characteristic is these tapioca pearls at the base of the consume, and you have a more substantial straw so you can chew on these though you drink, and it really is super delightful. It was developed in the ’80s in Taiwan and it arrived more than to America in the ’90’s, mainly in city parts with much more variety. But as demographics shift in The united states, you are now observing it being embraced extra and much more in rural communities as very well.
Why do you consider bubble tea is getting extra well-liked in The united states?
It was traditionally very significant in cities and nonetheless is, but as individuals are leaving all those metropolitan areas, they’re bringing this lifestyle with them and sharing it with mates. It’s a incredibly communal, social drink. And also, when you are thinking of obtaining a take care of with a friend, bubble tea is a quite potent alternate to traditional desserts. With bubble tea, you can control the sugar degree and the substances that you happen to be placing into it. It can be a quite guilt cost-free indulgence, so it really is kind of riding the wellbeing development.
With that mounting popularity, there are a lot more and a lot more brands providing bubble tea now. How does Kung Fu Tea stand out from the crowd?
Some of the other manufacturers have a a lot much larger worldwide footprint, but maybe not automatically in North The us. Kung Fu Tea is centered on getting “America’s Bubble Tea,” so every thing we do, from menu style and design and flavor profiles to brands we companion with, has this objective in mind. We’re targeted on providing an genuine Asian and Asian-American working experience, though at the same time supporting the consume grow to be extra mainstream in American tradition.
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I also feel it really is our fearless manufacturer. It’s component of our identification that we are a very little more bold and in your face, which I assume a whole lot of persons can relate to. And you see that in our social subsequent. We are seriously centered on developing a community on our social platforms. Relevant to that local community building, we started Nationwide Bubble Tea Day on our eighth anniversary, April 30th, 2018, and it is really enjoyment to see other brands in the room now celebrating it with us.
What does Kung Fu Tea glance for in its franchisees?
When we onboard franchisees in our corporate workplace in New York, we usually inquire them, ‘Why Kung Fu Tea?’ and the greatest matter is just their working experience with the drink. They’re really passionate about the marketplace, the solution, and specially our model and the quality we put driving our fresh new tea. We’re not solely looking for people today with franchise record or enterprise heritage. What we are looking for is adaptability. The business is constantly shifting, so getting keep homeowners who recognize that this is a quickly-transferring industry and are there to increase with us is precedence amount a person.
What are your aims for 2023?
The selection [of open stores] we’re circling on our whiteboards is 410. And for systemwide product sales, we’re aiming for $240 million. So individuals are two bold numbers to hit, and we are really fired up.
What strategies do you have for hitting these figures?
Just one of the biggest is we have some partnerships lined up for 2023 which I am really energized about. In 2022 we partnered with Nintendo to boost their newest Kirby match. We developed a custom cup and a tailor made flavor known as Kirby’s Fruity Flurry that was offered for a limited time. It received our consumers super psyched. Persons created supporter artwork and comics centered on it, and that is how you know it is a successful program—when people today never just like what you established, but it conjures up them to build as very well. So individuals are the forms of partnerships we’re looking to go on in 2023, with iconic manufacturers and domestic names.
We are also enthusiastic about our app, which was crucial for us these past few years, as it was launched suitable before Covid. Now we are overhauling our reward process and performing on just obtaining a leading tier application and streamlining the buying approach. Buying bubble tea can most likely be daunting since you have the potential to handle the ice amount, sugar amount, toppings, and flavors. So possessing an app that breaks that down in a uncomplicated way is quite critical.
Finally, we also have two other concepts, TKK Fried Rooster and Yasubee Ramen. We are really excited about featuring dual notion shops to broaden our portfolio giving not just for franchisees but for our consumers as nicely.