Leading fast-casual salad concept plans to open five to seven stores in the next year
As more Americans opt for healthier lunch and dinner options, Saladworks, the customizable salad franchise with about 100 locations, is bringing its fresh, center-of-the-plate salad concept to the residents of Atlanta. The corporate team is planting its roots in the market alongside new franchisees Douglas Anthony and Ramjit Handa who are joining the brand as it begins developing Atlanta.with plans to have five to seven locations open in the city in the next year.
“I was drawn to Saladworks because it’s so unique in that the customers have a large variety of choices and you can customize your salad based on specific preferences,” said Anthony. “Every time I ate there, I liked that I could create my own salad with the ingredients I wanted and that the employees mix my salad and handle the ingredients rather than a buffet style salad bar where everyone mixes their own entrée.”
Anthony has an extensive background as an executive in the financial and accounting sector where he handled global accounts and investments. He currently resides in New Jersey, but he is uprooting his life to move to Atlanta to focus on building Saladworks’ presence there.
“Atlanta is a bustling, high-growth area where there’s an enormous amount of construction and development happening. The city has a very diverse and young population that’s shifting more toward a health-conscious, active lifestyle – creating a demand for a concept like Saladworks” said Anthony.
Saladworks President and CEO Patrick Sugrue is no stranger to the city having earned his MBA from Emory University and accelerating his career at Atlanta-headquartered Coca-Cola. Sugrue has spent much of his career in the city and says the area is ripe for greater business development and a unique, health-focused concept like Saladworks.
“We are not only excited to have a business-savvy franchisee like Anthony to help drive the expansion into Atlanta, but we are coming in alongside him to support the brand’s area growth with additional corporate openings, helping to set this next expansion phase in motion as the brand looks to become a local favorite across the city,” said Sugrue. “Atlanta is a fast-paced city and we’ll be providing on-the-go consumers with an option that’s quick, but still healthy.”
Rather than rely solely on gut instincts, Saladworks used Forum Analytics, a CBRE company that focuses on market research, business analytics and data science, to gain further insight into why Atlanta is an opportune city for growth. Forum helps companies like Saladworks analyze real estate development and lifestyle and behavioral analysis to see if the demographics of the city fit with the culture of the concept. It turns out that Atlanta, followed by Dallas, have the right demographic and cultural make-up for the brand’s target audience, which is why corporate is focusing its development plans on each city, helping to seed the market while opening alongside franchise partners.
As the first franchisee to open in Atlanta, Anthony believes a keen attention to detail and commitment to quality will differentiate Saladworks from competitors. Finding the right location is also key in a market like Atlanta where real estate is a hot commodity. Anthony is currently scouting out three locations for future Saladworks and has enlisted the support of brokers from CBRE to help find and negotiate offers on the best listings in the city.
The first corporate location is slated to open at the Brighten Park Shopping Center this year, as the company reviews real estate options in Cumming, Alpharetta, Peachtree, Sandy Springs, Perimeter, Buckhead, Midtown and Toco Hills. Saladworks is also in talks with multiple franchise candidates interested in helping build out the market that can hold a minimum of 30 locations. Within the next year, Saladworks is on pace to open three to five stores, creating jobs for 60 to 75 employees.
“There’s boundless potential to build Saladworks throughout Atlanta and expand our national presence. It’s an open territory in a city that’s poised for greater business growth and a ripe opportunity for anyone looking for a business that is on trend through its targeting of millennials, implementation of technology and ability for guests to personalize and customize their meals,” said Sugrue.
Click here to learn more about Saladworks.