Fast-casual salad chains are a thing now and exploding


• Competition is heating up at places such as Sweetgreen, Tender Greens, Chopt, and other similar chains are expanding.

• “It’s the perfect moment,” says Aaron Allen, a restaurant industry analyst. “Fresh is the most bankable word in food service.”

• Sweetgreen is the current leader of the space and has raised close to $100 million over the past 10 years and opened 20 new locations in 2017.

• Other salad chains are spreading as well. Houston-based Salata expects to top 100 locations by the end of 2018.

• An array of investors, from hospitality giant Danny Meyer to NFL players, are lining up to get in on the greens, while celebrity chefs are signing on for menu collaborations.

The entrepreneurs fueling the current fast-casual salad explosion set out to tap into enthusiasm for the Chipotle model — let diners customize their meal, but assemble it for them while they watch — while attempting to shift the perception of salad from “diet food” to a desirable, filling (and yes, trendy) meal.




ONTD, would you pay $15 for a salad?

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