Backed by a strong customer following and an unwavering commitment to fresh ingredients, Saladworks, the nation’s first and largest fresh-tossed salad franchise concept, is making its way to Texas.
According to David Wheeler, Saladworks’ vice president of franchise development, after the company opened its first location in Irving, Texas in mid-October of 2015, the response was so overwhelming that they decided it was time to expand their reach. Now, the brand hopes to target bustling business hubs like Dallas and Houston for continued growth.
“In general, Texans are food and tech-savvy consumers, and they’re always on the go. From Houston to Dallas, there’s a ton of business in Texas, and ultimately, that’s our major demographic,” said Wheeler. “We believe that by introducing the Saladworks brand to this vast state, we’ll be providing these busy consumers with an alternative to fast food in their fast-paced environment.”
And in a state notorious for its love for family-style meals and meat-centric entrees, Wheeler is confident that Saladworks will be a much-needed—and much-welcomed—addition to the state’s lineup of dining options.
“Don’t be fooled by our name—we dish up entrée-sized salads. It’s a large enough portion, and we have so many toppings to choose from that it’ll satisfy any type of customer,” said Wheeler. “We’ve seen construction workers who are normally eating a steak for lunch swapping out their meal for one of our salads.”
Founded in 1986, Saladworks is a unique restaurant concept, offering customers the ability to design their own entrée-sized salads with more than 60 ethically sourced ingredients chopped in-house daily. Customers can also choose one of 12 suggested “Signature Salads,” a variety of warm, filling soups or one of many sandwich options. All salads and sandwiches are made to order by the Saladworks team.
Wheeler believes this extra level of care helps the brand stand out to consumers.
“When you’re so used to seeing restaurants simply dump a bag of lettuce onto a plate, taking the time to chop each of your ingredients in-store every day really helps to separate you from the pack,” Wheeler said.
According to Wheeler, part of their appeal when it comes to ushering in new franchisees in Texas will be the brand’s new store design and updated menu. Following the creation of a research and development task force—consisting of new franchisees working directly with corporate team members—Saladworks is set to roll out enhanced remodeling plans and a better menu to meet customer needs and drive sales.
Remodeling plans include a new architectural layout, design and a more technology-friendly atmosphere with free Wi-Fi and power sources. The brand also unveiled a new menu, with the addition of popular new ingredients, including Brussels sprouts, quinoa and dressings like apple cider vinaigrette. The new menu also includes three new salads, seven new toppings and five new sandwiches.
“We’ve been around for nearly 30 years. We have so much history now with our 100 locations, and we understand how important refreshing and reimaging is to investors these days. The breadth of our brand’s knowledge and our focus on constantly improving our economics shows potential franchisees that we’re worth investing in,” Wheeler said. “Now, when candidates approach us with an interest in joining the team, we can show them the new menu and the new image. We are invested in the brand and its bottom line. We want our franchisees to succeed.”
As Saladworks continues to buildout from their core in the Northeast, the brand hopes to make a name for itself as a nationally-recognized leader in the fresh-tossed salad segment. Wheeler believes Texas will introduce a range of burgeoning new markets, and they are on target to open 11 new locations in 2016 to include locations in Texas.
“Texas is a completely open territory right now. This is a wonderful opportunity for new and veteran business owners alike.”