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'Soup Nazi' looks to expand his turf
Food merchant made famous in 'Seinfeld' episode looks to franchise nationwide: newspaper.
September 10, 2004: 4:42 PM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - "No soup for you!"

Well, that's obviously a lie, because Al Yeganeh, the man who inspired the "Soup Nazi" character on the hit TV sitcom "Seinfeld," has plans to franchise his store, according to a newspaper report.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Yeganeh, the owner of Soup Kitchen International, and his new management team are aiming to have his legendary bisques, chowders and gumbos available at some 1,000 U.S. locations in five to seven years.

But one key ingredient will be missing, the paper said: Yeganeh plans to bar franchisees from using the term "Soup Nazi" in their promotional materials.

The report noted that the New York-based soup seller is not a fan of the show or Jerry Seinfeld.

It said that Yeganeh doesn't want his simmering soup empire to have any overt association with the show that helped make him famous. In fact, tie-ins with the 90's hit sitcom will be "strongly discouraged" among franchisees, the report said.

Franchisees will each have to pay $30,000 for the right to sell Yeganeh's soup, plus 5 percent of their annual gross sales as royalties, the paper said.

As for the famous chef himself, Yeganeh will reportedly receive a 20 percent stake in the new franchise business, Kiosk Concepts, and stands to make up to $5 million in royalties if growth targets are reached.

But most importantly for the soup maestro, Yeganeh will maintain complete control over the soup-making operation, the Journal added.

The "Soup Nazi" character was made famous on "Seinfeld" back in the 1990's when characters on the show were denied service after being chatty while waiting in the line and slow with their orders.  Top of page




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