Saladworks, the Nation’s Originator and the Largest Salad-Centric Franchise Brand, is On-Target for North Carolina Expansion with Three New Franchisees
Fresh off of signing three new franchisees to the system, the innovative salad and grain bowl franchise is continuing to search for more qualified franchisees across the Tar Heel state.
December 19, 2019 // Franchising.com // WEST-CONSHOHOCKEN, PA. - Saladworks, the specialty and create your own fast-casual restaurant that features salads, grain bowls and toasts made to order, one at a time, from the freshest vegetables and fruits available, is looking to expand with franchise prospects across North Carolina - and it has already signed two major deals for the Charlotte and Raleigh area.
The brand recently signed a franchise agreement with NFL cornerback and free agent Marcus Burley. The 28-year-old is currently gearing up to open a Saladworks franchise in Charlotte, North Carolina’s Ballantyne neighborhood. Saladworks has also signed a franchise agreement with Gary Randazzo, who will also open a restaurant in the Charlotte area.
“I’m always thinking of ways to invest my money and I feel like franchising is a great way to start a business but also follow a blueprint that’s already proven,” Burley said. “Saladworks has been around for more than 30 years and they have a proven blueprint. I feel like this is one of the best times to invest in a salad-centric business. The country is trending in a healthier way and people are really being careful of what they’re putting in their bodies.”
The salad-centric franchise is opening more restaurants in Charlotte, as well as in Raleigh and Durham, and the team is currently seeking qualified franchisees to help run them.
The company currently has one location in Greensboro, North Carolina and has extensive plans to expand Saladworks across the Tar Heel state. Both Charlotte and the Research Triangle - the area in which Durham and Raleigh are located and that holds major research universities – hold an educated and youthful demographic aligning with Saladworks’ target guest.
“Our biggest reason for expanding in these areas is population growth,” Saladworks VP of franchise development Eric Lavinder said. “Those areas are having a lot more of an upsurge in people who are more of a Millennial, Gen X and Gen Y crowd who want to feel better about what they’re eating.”
There is also a lack of healthy eating options in both areas.
“There is a lot of fast food, but there’s nothing healthy, so I know that there is a demand in these areas that we can meet,” Lavinder said.
The timing to open a Saladworks franchise is strong, aligning with many consumer trends. Now, more than ever, there is a demand for a range of healthy eating options. Additionally, according to a recent survey, one in three people now consider themselves Flexitarians, which means they are enjoying a more vegetable-centric diet and limiting their meat intake. Its create your own options also allow its guests to have choice and control over their meal. Should they want protein from meat or other sources, they can get their meal exactly to their liking. The company’s launch of homemade dressings has also been a game changer that sets the brand apart from its competitors.
Another reason franchise prospects have been gravitating toward Saladworks is that its locations are asset-light, equipment-light and easy to operate, not to mention available in multiple markets and venues, formats and footprints.
Saladworks currently has a presence in Atlanta and in Virginia, and its expansion throughout North Carolina will provide a nice bridge between the two and bring the whole Mid-Atlantic together, Lavinder says. The real estate market will also provide great deals for franchisees.
“The Raleigh - Durham and Charlotte areas are where a lot of the growth is, and that’s where we need to be,” Lavinder said. “We put a lot of research into our target markets to ensure we’re moving a location into an area where there is a demand for our menu, and we will be welcomed with open arms.”
And now is the time to grow in North Carolina since it is one of the top five states seeing the top leads according to the 1851 Franchise Sales Trends Report that pulls select data from FranConnect’s Franchise Sales Index. Geographically it also makes more sense to open in these cities, rather than coastal areas that are more likely to be affected by bad weather and hurricanes.
“If you go to cities like Charlotte, Raleigh and Durham, you take a lot of those challenges out of the picture,” Lavinder said. “You have more chances of being open all year round. You also have a different workforce in terms of rates and wages.”
MaryAnn Cohen and her brother John Reddecliff went into the Saladworks franchise business together in 2014. They run the brand’s location in Virginia Beach, Virginia, located in The Shops at Hilltop shopping center, and they are currently looking to expand to open two more locations.
“It’s been both a good experience and a learning experience,” Cohen said of her and her brother’s time with Saladworks, which has been “a third career” for both of them.
Cohen, a health-conscious former nurse who also worked in the nonprofit space, thought the brand had a “cool concept” and liked how guests would be able to make their own salads. She and her brother, who primarily has a banking background, felt prepared to tackle the franchise business together, and it’s paid off.
“We continue to get new guests every single day, and we also have loyal guests that have been coming to us since we opened,” she said.
She praised the Saladworks leadership team, as well as the business coach she and her brother were paired with, and described the Saladworks marketing team as strong, forward-thinking and data-driven.
That said, it’s not just about looking at numbers. Cohen noted that the Saladworks executive team has a strong grasp of what happens on the ground, and that they listen to what individual franchise owners have to say.
“We truly appreciate that,” she said.
The brand has been experiencing impressive momentum, opening corporate locations in Georgia and Texas, while also signing for new franchised locations in Arkansas, Colorado, California, and Rhode Island. The company plans to open 20 new locations in 2019 and sign franchise agreements for 40 locations.
The current initial investment for Saladworks ranges from $163,724 - $452,292 which includes a $35,000 franchise fee and has between $27,000 and $65,000 in tenant improvement allowance subtracted from the total. Veterans receive a 50 percent discount on the franchise fee. It takes about six months from the initial point of contact to have a signed agreement to open a location. Qualified investors can find out more about franchising opportunities with Saladworks here: SaladworksFranchising.com.
Saladworks, the nation's leading entrée salad destination, serves people nature's best, one salad at a time. America's original fast-casual salad concept, Saladworks first opened its doors in 1986 and launched its first franchised location in 2001. Today, guests can visit Saladworks in over 100 different locations in eighteen states and two countries. At Saladworks, all salads are made to order, one at a time, from a wide variety of the freshest vegetables, fruits, proteins and delicious dressings. Saladworks guests can create their own salad, or enjoy one of many signature and seasonal salads, together with a selection of freshly-made complementary products like wraps and soups. In 2018 and 2019, Saladworks was ranked on Entrepreneur Magazine's Top 200 Food and Restaurant Franchises list, Franchise Dictionary Magazine's Top 100 Game Changers for 2018, and also on the Top 100 Movers and Shakers by FastCasual.com. From 2017 through 2019, Saladworks ranked on the Franchise Times Top 200+. For franchise information, visit https://www.Saladworks.com.
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