SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – With K-pop, K-dramas and K-movies making a bigger and bigger impact on American culture, the owners of the Korean barbeque restaurant “Cupbop” say, “It’s time for K-food!”
Cupbop will soon be getting some well-deserved attention around the country as they make an appearance on ABC’s Shark Tank.
Cupbop owners Dok Kwon and Jung Song call it “Korean barbeque in a cup,” and it’s making waves with locations in 6 different states, and 20 locations in the Utah alone.
The fast-paced restaurant has over 100 locations in Indonesia.
The owners point to not only their product as a reason for their success, but a culture of being fun, crazy, and loud.
Song started Cupbop as a food truck back in 2013, and had a strong belief that Korean food has all the necessary ingredients to appeal to the world. He started the truck with “two friends, four main dishes, and a variety of special sauces spiced #1 sweet to #10 heat.”
The Cupbop website states, “The most popular is #7.5—Korean spicy. Why the half number? Because Jung loves to be playful. He’ll make you a #6.35 too.”
Kwon, a successful restauranteur and friend of Song’s, helped to open the first storefront and get the ball rolling on making Cupbop an international success.
In the early days of Cupbop, the founders “had a hard time explaining the menu because they didn’t speak much English.” The Cupbop site says that they would instead say “SHHH…JUST EAT!” This is how the first slogan was born.
Kwon was reportedly also known for breakdancing in front of the Cupbop truck in the early days, before it was a smash success, in an effort to bring more customers in and spread joy – which aligns with their current values as “food entertainers.”
“We want Cupbop to be your connection to a fun and friendly food fix, everytime,” they say.
Their Shark Tank appearance premiers on Monday at 8 p.m. on ABC.