Top Players in Franchise Development: Charles Bruton III
Top Players in Franchise Development: Charles Bruton III

Saladworks’ vice president of operations explains how the brand’s new store design is fueling its successful development efforts.

For the past 30 years, Saladworks has solidified its space as a leader in the restaurant franchising industry by providing consumers with fresh ingredients and a customizable menu. But Charles Bruton III, the brand’s vice president of operations, is taking Saladworks’ position at the forefront of the industry to the next level.

With a new store design and 100 units across the country, Bruton is capitalizing on Saladworks’ recent momentum. 1851 Franchise recently caught up with him to learn more about the brand’s development efforts, as well as what’s next for Saladworks franchisees.

What makes Saladworks’ franchise development process tick?

It’s really a combination of several different factors. For starters, we have a strong menu offering that speaks to where consumers want to be—our food is fresh, delicious and healthy. That then attracts more prospective business owners to Saladworks’ franchise system, because they want to be a part of a company that consumers are excited about.

Our franchise development efforts are also fueled by our existing network of successful stores. Saladworks has 100 units, and already has the systems and processes in place to help local franchise owners grow.

What have been some of Saladworks’ major milestones?

One of the biggest milestones we’ve experienced is the introduction of our new store prototype. We recently rolled out a new design that enhances the look and feel of Saladworks stores and adds free Wi-Fi and power stations for customers to charge their phones or laptops. It’s really resonating with our guests—the first store that we remodeled has been going strong for more than six months now and is already experiencing double digit growth. So far, the redesign has far exceeded our expectations on the corporate team as well as the expectations of our franchisees.

What specific steps do your most successful franchisees take in order to build and grow their respective businesses? And what do you do to set them up for success?

The most important thing that our successful franchisees are focused on is quality. That starts with our food—Saladworks prides itself on only serving the freshest products. But our commitment to quality goes far beyond our menu. Our top franchisees consistently get out from behind the salad line and are engaged with their customers on a daily basis. That means becoming a part of the community by shaking hands and inviting guests to visit.

In order to help our franchisees take the necessary steps to be successful, we give them the marketing tools and templates that they need to spread the word about the Saladworks brand. We have a very effective new store opening strategy, especially now with our new store design.

What are your goals for Saladworks in the next few years and how do you plan to grow the brand?

One specific commitment that we have is to remodel 55 stores over the course of the next 18 months. We’re taking our 55 oldest stores and converting them into the new store design to give them an upgrade. We’re also focusing on the services that we provide our franchisees in honor of this being our 30th year in business. We put our money where our mouth is—we provide our franchisees the best possible service, which they then in turn provide to their customers.