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CUPPY’S COFFEE: Were Franchisees Paid to Act Happy?

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CUPPY’S COFFEE: Was “Successful” Unit a Sham Store?

CUPPY’S COFFEE: “Pay-For-Praise” Franchise Allegations

Unhappy Franchisee has received numerous comments from presumed ex-employees who claim that when franchise sales got tough (due to negative blog comments, in part), Morg Morgan implemented a pay-for-praise referral program which rewarded franchisees $330 for encouraging prospective franchisees to invest in a Cuppy’s Coffee franchise:

Anonymous wrote:

…there was a referral program put together that paid the franchisees to be a good reference….The owners kept up with who called and turned it in once a month or something like that and if the person bought they got paid from the company…

The earnest if not articulate Cuppy’s Saleman wrote:

I am sorry for all the people who were coned by this company, you should call the secrect service agent Ron Emit, he knows about Tony Pronto giving phony refrences for 300 dollors each…

Others have written that CS is referring to Troy Ponto, a franchise salesman and owner of a failing Java Jo’z in Pace, FL.

At, Guest wrote:

Why isn’t anyone talking about the people (Franchisees) that were paid to be “good” references. These franchisee’s were doing so poorly with the Cuppy’s Franchise, they made more money being “singers” for Cuppy’s Coffee. It didn’t stop when Dale Nabors got there and didn’t when he took over. Cuppy’s had franchisee’s selling franchises their corporate offices on the sales floor and then running out the back door and answering their cell phones as a reference for potential franchisees calling about Cuppys Coffee.


One thought on “CUPPY’S COFFEE: Were Franchisees Paid to Act Happy?

  • Absolutely I think this is true. We were desperate for other ways to get revenue into our company and reached out to Morg Morgan several times, offering to be a consultant to some other franchsee going through the construction process, permitting, etc. He didn’t bite on any of those suggestions, but he came back to us with the offer of being a reference for potential franchisees and for us to keep track of how many references we gave. If any of those potential franchisees signed up we would get a referral fee. We were uncomfortable with this idea, because we refused to say anything but the truth if we were called for references. We asked Morg to put this plan in writing to us, but of course he never did. We were called many times for references. I was always brutally honest, but not ugly in any way. I always prefaced my remarks with “I do not know what the current process is like because the company has changed and grown dramatically and has new people and programs in place.” I would tell them of my experiences, particularly that everything costs more than projected and that revenue has been less than expected, and would always state that I did not know what they would experience since the changes occurred. I’m sure none of the ones that spoke to me actually signed up. We never heard any more about being paid to be a reference after that. At the same time, Morg also offered us the idea of being a “Master Franchisee”, which means if we were able to facilitate the sale of any new franchises in our area that we would be paid $5,000. We of course did not bite on this either, because we were not about to represent buying a Cuppy’s franchise as a good idea to anyone.

    I have another questions for everyone involved: How many of you went ot Cassandra Creech’s “wildly successful” Cuppy’s store out in Ocean Springs, MS to visit and speak with her before signing up? Weren’t we told she was selling 500 cups a day? We were there for two hours and maybe saw 3 customers. Did any of you see a busy time at her store when you visited? Is it possible that Cassandra was being paid off to be a “Flagship Model Store” for Cuppy’s to help them sell more franchises? What do you think she received in exchange for having all of us visit? There is now way she sold 500 cups per day. I believe her traffic count was maybe around 30,000 if memory serves me correctly. Our traffic count was 69,000 and we could not even sell 100 cups per day consistently.

    The light bulb went off for me today. I believe that Cassandra’s success story was a set up to get all of us to buy in. After all, we thought if she could do it in a place like Ocean Springs, then we certainly could succeed in our market. You know we drove past her store twice without even seeing it and we were looking hard for it because it was our destination. We even had to call her to find out where it was.

    Can anyone else share their experiences with us about visiting that store. Can anyone out there investigate this scenario to find out if she really is a successful franchisee or just a front that helped Cuppy’s dupe all of us?

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