In 1986, John Scardapane developed the Saladworks concept while working as a gourmet chef at a southern New Jersey country club. The idea: provide fresh, made-to-order, entrée-sized salads as an alternative food offering for consumers on the go. He believed that consumers deserved a meal that was healthy, quickly accessible and delicious.
When Scardapane pitched the Saladworks concept to the higher-ups at the Cherry Hill Mall in south Jersey, he wasn’t initially met with rousing encouragement. Being told that “a salad-only business would never survive,” John was prodded into adding sandwiches to his menu.
But the salads-first concept proved itself when Saladworks began outselling all of the mall’s burger and pizza franchises in its inaugural year. The store’s sandwiches were quickly dropped, and a new kind of dining experience took root.
Saladworks continually won over new fans with its fresh take on salads. John’s vision meant an end to the days of chemical-coated tomatoes and brown-tinged lettuce. He decided that salads should be made to order, chopped on-location and assembled right in front of your eyes.
His appetizing, imaginative salad offerings –served in substantial portions– proved to be a winning formula that none of his one-time naysayers could have ever imagined. Spurred by his early success and growing following, John expanded Saladworks from its humble food court origins to an additional twelve locations.
As the company experienced incredible consumer response, it became obvious that America was ready for a nationwide salad explosion. With the first franchise unit, Saladworks began its rapid ascent towards becoming the nation’s #1 salad franchise. By 2002, there were an additional twenty-one locations, each attracting its own fans with John’s time-tested, winning formula.
Before long, the brand had grown to nearly one hundred stores, leading the nation in annual sales. Saladworks stores were sprouting up all over the place, including Philly, D.C., and even the Tar Heel State. Running at full steam, the company has been propelled by a culture of teamwork and customer driven values that helped place Saladworks in the country’s top 50 “Powerhouse Chains,” as voted by Nation’s Restaurant News. Systemwide sales for last year hit $60 million.
Poised for even greater achievements, Saladworks is slated for burgeoning expansion: over 1,000 locations nationwide by 2012. This aggressive business plan will bring Saladworks’ fresh experience to dozens of markets hungry for a fresh and healthy
With the addition of Commerce Bank’s founder, (today Commerce Bank is TD) Vernon Hill, to the restaurant’s executive committee, Saladworks will benefit from yet another visionary leader. Much like John, Vernon molded a single-store branch into a multi-state powerhouse by making friendly, personalized customer service his number one priority. Commerce’s fresh, open approach turned the banking world on its head while empowering the customer with more choices and fewer restrictions than ever before. Vernon and John will now work to fuse their philosophies and create a nation of Saladworks fans.
Saladworks stores feature beautiful photography, bamboo flooring, and other vibrant, eco-friendly décor. Costs to open a Saladworks store range from a total of $238,881 to $558,223.
Here is a sampling of Frequently Asked Questions found at www.saladworks.com:
What experience do I need?
We can teach you the elements of our business, but the most important assets are organizational people skills, work ethic, enthusiasm and adherence to our tried and proven standards. Any prior experience in food service, retail or business management is also helpful but not necessary.
What is included in my franchise fee?
Use of Saladworks’ brand name, operating systems, logo, trade dress, and the operating leverage of multiple locations are included.
What are the ongoing fees?
Royalty: 5%; Advertising: 3%; Adver-tising for food court locations: 1.5%.
What do I receive for my royalty payments?
Saladworks provides ongoing support to its franchisees in all aspects of their daily operations. This includes the development of a business plan for each location, business coaching, training, coordination of product distribution, implememtation of new products, quality control and other services as needed to maximize sales and profit.
Will Saladworks help me find a location and assist in the design and construction of my store?
Saladworks provides assistant in choosing and designing the location for your store. Saladworks will assist you with the lease negotiations and approve final lease agreements. Preferred Saladworks locations include: end cap and in-line restaurants in strip centers, free-standing units, major mall food courts, transportation centers, ground floor sites in major office buildings and street-side locations with high pedestrian traffic.
Eight Tower Bridge
161 Washington Street, Suite 300
Conshohocken, PA 19428
Phone: (610) 825.3080
Fax: (610) 825.3280
John Scardapane, left, and Vernon Hill, are the dynamic duo who are responsible for taking the fresh salad-only franchise concept to the world with staggering success.