Saladworks franchisees, Steve Umbrell and Nate Sensenig only met three years back, but they have followed much of the same path for decades. Umbrell and Sensenig are Philadelphia natives, grew up in the city, and then attended nearby universities. After graduation, both started their careers in business – Steven in the financial sector and Nate in corporate consulting. And as their careers progressed, both desired the flexibility, independence and challenge that business ownership presented, driving each of them to invest in the fast-casual salad concept Saladworks.
“When I decided to move into franchising, it was a natural extension for me to look into Saladworks because I knew of the company from working with the corporate team to assemble financial packages. I understood the concept and felt like the brand was well-positioned for future growth as consumers began shifting toward being more health-conscious and aware of what they eat,” Umbrell said.
Similar to Umbrell, Sensenig became interested in the brand because of the unique opportunities it presented within the growing fresh-eating sector.
“I wanted to invest in a concept that really focused on healthier eating and I love the customization that Saladworks offers,” Sensenig said. “With more than 60 toppings, signature and seasonal salads, guests have a variety of options to choose from that are fresh, healthy and high quality - something that a lot of other brands don’t have.”
Umbrell and Sensenig both currently have two locations in New Jersey and are expanding their relationship to become business partners, blending their career experience and capital together to maximize development potential. With years of firsthand franchisee experience under their belts, the partners understand what it takes to be successful.
“In the first 18 months of owning my first location, I increased revenue by 30 percent by focusing on customer service, monitoring quality and hiring friendly, customer-oriented employees,” Sensenig said. “Strong management and structure are key, and having a business partner with a similar mindset is going to be another main factor for our success as we further develop.”
Looking ahead, the partners are working to acquire two existing locations in New Jersey and open a few new locations throughout the region over the next few years with the ideal goal to open in their home city of Philadelphia.
“The partnership between Umbrell and Sensenig is truly an example of two franchisees coming together to better manage locations, improve operations and further develop the brand’s presence on a broader scale,” said Saladworks Vice President of Operations C.W. Bruton. “We are excited for this next chapter and the development of Saladworks in New Jersey – a key market that’s opportune for greater growth.”
Saladworks is currently looking for franchisees like Umbrell and Sensenig who are interested in a lucrative opportunity and see a promising future for the brand. Target cities that Saladworks would like to open locations in across North Jersey include Flemington, West Windsor, Paramus, Clifton, Union, Parsippany, Plainfield and New Brunswick.