In the past few years, it seems America's love affair with fast food has evolved. These days, we're in the mood for more than just quick, easy fare. We want healthier food, better service, and some entertainment to go along with it.
In response, new fast-food chains are creating concepts that bring on the flavor in more ways than one, with everything from flashy presentation and colorful crew members to a more appealing atmosphere aimed at keeping clients coming back for more.
In 2013, Yahoo! Finance teamed with Technomic, a Chicago food-industry research firm, to discover what the country's fastest-growing chains looked like. Armed with the results, the Exchange released an article titled: "The Most Popular Fast-Food Outlets You Haven't Heard Of (Yet)."
Among them were places like BurgerFi (with locations in Delray Beach, Laurderdale-by-the-Sea, and Deerfield Beach); 100 Montaditos (West Palm Beach's CityPlace); and a recent newcomer to the South Florida area, Cups Frozen Yogurt.
Since opening the first Cups in Clifton, New Jersey, in 2010, the froyo chain has taken the frozen yogurt industry by storm, becoming a hot spot for teenagers -- even adults.
According to Cups cofounder Rick Barbrick, this froyo store is more than just frozen yogurt. Cups was also designed to be a fun experience and as a result has seen an amazing growth rate over the past few years. While the yogurt gets good reviews, most of the buzz about this place comes from its nightclub-like ambiance, live DJs, and stunning female staffers who have earned themselves a name as "the Hooters of froyo."
"It's more of a club-like experience," said Barbrick. "We pump out club dance music to create a high-energy vibe with a lounge-type design complete with couches, ottomans, and eclectic murals. It's the complete experience that gives us that edgy vibe versus an everyday yogurt bar or ice cream shop experience."
With 23 locations in New Jersey, New York, California, and Florida, each shop runs off the make-your-own froyo concoction model, allowing patrons to choose from 18 yogurt flavors, more than 50 toppings, and three sauces. Today, Cups is one of the fastest-growing frozen-yogurt concepts in the U.S. and in the past year alone has signed ten local development agreements representing 45 franchise units.
This weekend, one of the newest Cups stores will celebrate its grand opening in Boca Raton. The store will be offering free frozen yogurt from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, January 17, at the Boca Town Center Mall. Boca Raton will be also be the first Cups location to offer hand-crafted acai bowls and drinks. The superfood is known for its antioxidants, heart-healthy omegas, and amino acids.
It will be the second Cups franchise location for Ed and Dana Alvarez, who opened their first store in Wellington last year.
In addition to free froyo on opening day, anyone who visits the Boca Raton shop during the grand opening week will have the opportunity to be the lucky winner of a free-froyo-for-a-year card. All you have to do is sign up for the company's customer rewards program. In addition to the grand prize, anyone who enters will receive periodic special offers and frequency reward coupons.
Cups is located in the Boca Town Center Mall at 6000 Glades Road. Call 561-338-8828, or visit cupsfrozenyogurt.com.
Nicole Danna is a food blogger covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on Clean Plate's Instagram.
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