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NRN: 8 Emerging Restaurant Chains That Are Ready for the Spotlight

With its franchisee-centric approach and culinary innovation, CHOP5 offers a holistic and promising franchise opportunity in the fast-casual category.

By Luca Piacentini1851 Franchise Managing Editor
SPONSOREDUpdated 10:10AM 02/20/24

CHOP5 Salad Kitchen, the fresh salad fast-casual franchise, was recently ranked as one of NRN’s eight emerging restaurants and chains ready for the spotlight

The brand was founded nearly 15 years ago by a group of five restaurant franchisees who decided to create their own franchisee-led concept rather than following the traditional franchisor-led model. After a year of research and ideation, they chose to focus on salads and opened their first location near Ohio State University's campus in Columbus, Ohio. The founders, who collectively operate over 400 restaurants, aimed to offer healthier food options without explicitly marketing their salads as the healthier choice, acknowledging that consumer perception often categorizes salads as such.

Today, CHOP5 distinguishes itself in the fast-casual segment with its chef-created chopped salads (which can be enjoyed with a spoon) and a menu that includes build-your-own salads, signature rice bowls, soups, sides, and a kid's menu. The concept features an assembly-line model, similar to Chipotle, with an emphasis on strong flavor profiles in its dressings and drizzles, enhancing the customer experience.

Prioritizing customer service and a transparent relationship with both guests and franchisees is central to CHOP5's operations. The brand emphasizes engagement and polite service, leading to a loyal customer base that frequents the restaurant multiple times a week. 

Recently, CHOP5 partnered with Conscious Capital Growth to carefully accelerate franchising sales and development, focusing on selecting the right franchisees to ensure sustainable growth. 

With plans for slow and intentional expansion, CHOP5 aims to open about five franchised locations and a few corporate-owned stores within the year, emphasizing the importance of selecting franchisees who share the founders' vision and commitment to success.

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