'Shark Tank' Season 14: Did Turbo Trusser bag a 'juicy' deal from Shark Kevin O'Leary?

'Shark Tank' Season 14: Did Turbo Trusser bag a 'juicy' deal from Shark Kevin O'Leary?
Turbo Trusser founders Brian Halasinski and Kirk Hyust and Shark Kevin O'Leary in 'Shark Tank' Season 14 episode 2 (ABC)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Entrepreneurs Kirk Hyust and Brian Halasinski appeared on 'Shark Tank' Season 14 Episode 2 to pitch Turbo Trusser, a novel cooking tool. When almost all the Sharks backed out of a deal, Shark Kevin O'Leary didn't chicken out.

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On important occasions, chicken and turkey are popular choices. However, using cooking twine to prepare them may not always yield the greatest results. However, with the Turbo Trusser as an option, you can always cook the ideal chicken. On the September 30 episode, founders Brian and Kirk proposed the idea and secured a deal with Kevin O'Leary. But did they shell out a lot of their company just to get a Shark on board?

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Entrepreneurs Kirk Hyust and Brian Halasinski in 'Shark Tank' Season 14 episode 2 (ABC)
Entrepreneurs Kirk Hyust and Brian Halasinski in 'Shark Tank' Season 14 episode 2 (ABC)

The two founders appeared in front of the Sharks dressed as chickens to offer their solution to get juicy chicken. Brian and Kirk came in looking for $100,000 in exchange for a 10% stake in their firm. Brian co-founded Turbo Trusser in 2017 and presently serves as its President. Kirk, on the other hand, acquired a Culinary Arts background from The Culinary Institute of America, which aided him much when working with Turbo Trusser. Kirk, interestingly, owned his own firm, Kirk Wrench LLC, through which he worked on machinery, plumbing, and DIY projects. In January 2018, he was appointed Vice President of Product Development at Hall Of Fame Innovations, LLC, before joining Turbo Trusser as Vice President in March 2021. Kirk is still working with Hall Of Fame Innovations. Turbo Trusser arose from the need for a poultry roasting procedure that produced consistent outcomes. Aside from being dirty and difficult to use, kitchen twine frequently impacts cooking quality, resulting in certain pieces being raw. Furthermore, it is difficult to predict whether or not a flawless roast would be obtained while utilizing kitchen twine and standard tools. Turbo Trusser, on the other hand, eliminates that problem by providing an ideal platform for the chicken to rest while it cooks.

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The device is made out of a stamped metal plate that serves as the foundation and contains apertures for the legs. Furthermore, there are two connected hooks that may keep the wings down and secure the flesh in place. Brian and Kirk claim that, in addition to making the Turbo Trusser out of food-grade materials, they made it safe and usable for ovens, fryers, barbecues, and rotisseries.

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Although Brian envisioned the concept and has been working on it since 2017, it took him and Kirk several tries to come up with the perfect prototype. Then they had to go through the pain of locating a manufacturer, and the product was only able to be sold in March 2021. Nonetheless, Turbo Trusser was favorably welcomed by its intended demographic, and sales were constantly increasing. Encouraged and pleasantly pleased by their success, Brian and Kirk decided to expand the distribution of their product, which is currently available in over 74 physical locations across the United States.

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While Kevin, dubbed Chef Wonderful, experiments with the Turbo Trusser, the other Sharks sample a portion of the bird cooked with the equipment. The founders notify Kevin that they have sold over 11,000 units with only one return. Shark Barbara Corcoran was concerned about how much the cook of the chicken is impacted by the Trusser rather than how you cook it. Shark Robert Herjavec, a non-cook, wondered if everyone used this style of cooking, meaning how much they might sell this product for. The makers feel that twining a chicken can be daunting to many, thus this product will be useful. All previous innovations had failed prior to the creation of this product, which eventually became a source of concern for a few sharks.

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Brian informs the Sharks that their most recent order cost $3.07 to produce, and they sell it for $14.99. They have sold $90000 in sales despite just being in the company for 8 and a half months. Their website alone accounts for 60% of their sales. Distributors account for 27% of their sales. They also currently have someone selling for them on Amazon who has reordered.

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Despite his enthusiasm for the product and the entrepreneurs, Robert did not think the business to be large enough for him to invest in. Barbara questioned how she would make money from this, as it is a small firm with no place for a third person. The creators attempt to persuade Barabara by stating that they are searching for someone to assist them with marketing and social media exposure. Shark Mark Cuban believes it is difficult to relate the product to actual chickens and turkeys, and because he sees little chance for the firm to expand, he backs out from investing. Shark Lori Greiner did not find the product appealing enough to invest in, nor did she believe the firm was scalable; also, her apprehension of 'touching chicken' prevented her from entering into a deal. Barbara goes on to say that an investor will be searching for a means to earn money, which she doesn't see happening, so she's out as well.

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However, while Kevin sees potential in the product, he believes that much more work is needed. The founders assured the Sharks that they will do the work; they only require some mentoring. Chef Wonderful would like to take the business under his wing, but he is not free. He claims to be 'greedy,' and offers $100,000 for a 33% interest plus a $1 per-unit royalty in perpetuity. The founders counter the offer, expecting Kevin will accept 20%, but he does not. When Kevin refuses to budge, the founders raise their counter-offer to 25% stock. Kevin mentions how their previous innovations failed and how he does not want this to happen again.

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Kevin wants to make money for all of them by branding himself as the "third chicken," and he believes his offer is reasonable. Lori, on the other hand, believes that if the founders accept Kevin's offer, they won't have much left after wholesale until they lower their pricing significantly. Kevin reminds the entrepreneurs that he previously invested in Bertello Pizza Oven, which is now one of the largest firms in the country. Kirk asks Kevin if he can do the 33% but not the royalty part, and Kevin again says no. Brian increases his prior offer from 25% to 30%, but it is in vain. Mark tells them that they can always choose to leave.

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Kevin feels there is a lot of work to be done, and he is the only Shark willing to do it. Finally, Brian and Kirk agree to the offer because they believe they could not possibly back away from a deal with Chef Wonderful. Royalty or not, they believe they can make a lot of money.

Entrepreneurs Kirk Hyust and Brian Halasinski and Shark Kevin O'Leary in 'Shark Tank' Season 14 episode 2 (ABC)
Entrepreneurs Kirk Hyust and Brian Halasinski and Shark Kevin O'Leary in 'Shark Tank' Season 14 episode 2 (ABC)

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'Shark Tank' Season 14 airs every Friday at 8/7c on ABC. Missed an episode? Been wanting to catch up? Episodes can also be viewed the next day on demand and on Hulu. Not just that, you can also watch old seasons and episodes on Amazon Prime Video and iTunes.

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