07 March 2022 |

Ep36: Popchew: How The Internet Got Hungry



  1. All the audience, none of the know-how: 1:16
  2. From YouTuber to Feeder: 2:46
  3. Popchew’s unique offer: 5:07
  4. Creator fans: Your greatest asset: 7:04
  5. Factoring in loyalty: 10:02
  6. Food trends in real time: 12:57
  7. Win-win-win model: 17:35
  8. And Bitcoin pizza was born: 23:49
  9. Dynamic pricing: 30:07
  10. The future is food: 34:44

Popchew: The Coolest Foodcourt on the Internet?

Can I get a Mr Beast Burger?

At some point in their careers, creators start looking for an alternative to the constant grind of producing content, analyzing download numbers and staying ahead of obstructive algorithms.

If they’re smart, they’ll consider leveraging their huge audiences with fast-food offers through Popchew and its CEO, entrepreneur Rushir Parikh.

The problem: Creators looking for alternative income streams from the audiences they’ve amassed on channels like YouTube and TikTok.

The solution: Taking underused kitchens in existing restaurants, offering creator-centered fast food offers. Win for the creator, win for the restaurant, win for Popchew.

The internetization of food means that, despite having no prior catering experience, feeding your followers is as simple as getting Popchew on board to create a brand, set the menu and securing the services of  a restaurant. Creators are only one platform away from opening up a whole new revenue stream, for free.

Rushir explains how the concept was born:

“Over time with YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok food essentially became content and who better to actually drive this next wave of food other than content creators. And again, you know, when you take a step back, you realize that it’s actually really hard for creators to get into food.”

But when you treat food like content, the very best people to drive a business concept forward are the creators already working in the content space, who know the value and playbook on driving up engagement.

The Monetization Matter

When the platform you’re building is asset-light and there’s no need to physically own real estate or install a product supply chain, you can be super flexible. You can also rely on your customers to send out signals using their own content in the form of reviews through their own channels.

Zik Asiegbu is the perfect example. His food brand, Wing SZN, now has 60 delivery-only restaurants to its name. Reviews abound online with other followers and creators posting reviews and sharing comments. The creation, review cycle helps drive the brand forward with little monetary input from its owner.

Allowing for flexible ordering also helps with hungry fans able to order via the Popchew platform or through apps like Uber Eats, GrubHub and so on.

The Playbook of an Entrepreneur 

Growing up around food, Rushir spent summers chopping onions and getting into the day-to-running of five restaurants owned by his uncle in Mississippi.

If catering was in his blood, it was pure determination that landed him his dream job. Having been rejected by recruiters for various roles, Rushir ran Facebook ads to promote himself and eventually his persistence paid off. Ever the restless entrepreneur Rushir has grasped every opportunity that’s come his way and it was a chance blog collaboration with a friend in food marketing that became Rushir’s aha moment. And marked a change in his thinking of how to create differentiation in the food space.

He said: “I think the differentiating piece for us is really this idea that food has evolved. And the consumer that we’re targeting is a sort of gen Z audience who’s ordering food delivery most frequently out of any other age band and creating a unique, special experience for that target market. Unlike a DoorDash or Uber Eats where you just scroll through a list of restaurants and it shows up in a white plastic bag.”

The Future is Food

And customer loyalty. Rushir believes when you consistently offer a high-end product and, equally as importantly, a quality experience you can grow and experiment more freely.

From pop-ups to flagship stores in key cities, the future of Popchew isn’t limited to online sales and promotion. With an app in the pipeline the world of creator-led fast food is Rushir’s oyster (not currently available for delivery).

Follow Rushir:

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/rushir

Twitter: twitter.com/rushikh

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