Hanze student becomes Groningen fast food king

Denis Kurtulik, a student at Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen (Hanze UAS), always dreamed of his own business in the hotel and catering industry. By now, HupHup, his fast food delivery service, has already made its mark as one of the best delivery services in Groningen.

The HupHup headquarters are located just across the street from the recently renovated AH supermarket in the Nieuwe Ebbingestraat.  The internet ratings HupHup receives say it all: it provides excellent service apparently. With an average of 4½ stars out of 5, and over a thousand reviews, HupHup is among the cream of the crop in fast food delivery in Groningen. With its outstanding rating, HupHup leaves fast food giants like Domino’s (3½ stars) and New York Pizza (3½ stars) in the dust.

My whole life, I’d been hoping to one day start a business in the hotel & catering industry

Now 25, Slovakian student Denis Kurtulik came up with the idea of starting HupHup during his Facility Management degree programme. In the summer of 2018, he opened the restaurant together with a friend. ‘My whole life, I’d been hoping to one day start a business in the hotel & catering industry. When I saw the opportunity to open HupHup, I grabbed it with both hands.’

Busy
How can you distinguish yourself in a city already brimming with fast food outlets? According to Denis, what makes his business so successful isn’t down to a single aspect. ‘It’s more of a combination of things. You always have to listen closely to your customers and always try to provide good service, quality and delivery times.’

It’s difficult to find staff to stick around for the long run, since most of our employees are students

The first three months they were open, Denis and his friend were on both kitchen and delivery duties, all on their own. ‘It was busy, but it paid off,’ he laughs. Four months in, HupHup was doing so well they could hire their own delivery staff. By now they also have staff manning the kitchen. ‘Our goal is to create a self-running business. However, it’s difficult to find staff to stick around for the long run, since most of our employees are students. They tend to leave after a while, or to want to go on to do other things.’

Expansion
Denis himself, however, has absolutely no plans to do anything else yet. The business is doing so well that it is his livelihood, making good money. Doing so well, in fact, that further expansion is on the horizon. His work placement, which he is doing in his own business, involves setting up a new HupHup branch. ‘We have now reached the stage that we are evaluating whether we can actually open another branch somewhere else in the city.’ When the fast food king is asked where this will be, he once again responds with a laugh: ‘That information is still classified!’