Saladworks Franchise Review – Average, Median, High, and Low Gross Sales for Saladworks Restaurants, by Location Type and by Quartile (2020 FDD) | Franchise Chatter10 min read


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Saladworks Franchise 2020

In this FDD Talk post, you’ll learn the following:

  • Section I – Background information on the Saladworks franchise opportunity, including relevant news updates
  • Section II – Estimated initial investment for a Saladworks franchise, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2020 FDD
  • Section III – Initial franchise fee, royalty fee, marketing fee, and other fees for a Saladworks franchise, based on Items 5 and 6 of the company’s 2020 FDD
  • Section IV – Number of franchised and company-owned Saladworks outlets at the start of the year and the end of the year for 2017, 2018, and 2019, based on Item 20 of the company’s 2020 FDD
  • Section V – Presentation and analysis of Saladworks’ financial performance representations, based on Item 19 of the company’s 2020 FDD, including information on the:
  • 2019 average square footage and average, median, highest, and lowest net sales for the 79 Saladworks franchised restaurants that were open and operating during Saladworks’ entire 2019 fiscal year, grouped by location type
  • 2019 average square footage and average, median, highest, and lowest net sales for the 79 Saladworks franchised restaurants that were open and operating during Saladworks’ entire 2019 fiscal year, grouped by quartile

Section I – Background Information

20 Things You Need to Know About the Saladworks Franchise

Launches “Fives for Lives” Fundraising Campaign

1.  In early May 2020, Saladworks announced that it had raised more than $5,725 and donated 1,145 meals to first responders through its charitable Fives for Lives campaign, which launched in mid-April. With National Nurses Week beginning May 6, Saladworks doubled down on its efforts to achieve its goal of raising $25,000 in donations – or 5,000 meals. Fives for Lives gives guests the option to contribute $5 through their local Saladworks or via the Fives for Lives website, on behalf of healthcare workers who are on the front lines of this pandemic.

2.  Each $5 contribution is matched with a free meal provided to a local hospital from Saladworks. The more “fives” someone contributes, the more meals donated, which consist of one of Saladworks’ original Signature Salads, including the popular Cobb Salad, Farmhouse Salad, Sophie’s Salad, Mediterranean Salad, and Bently Salad among other favorites. When possible, Saladworks franchise owners, company operators, and team members also collect signatures with well wishes from the guests who contribute “fives” to give every Signature salad donated a personal touch.

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3.  Kelly Roddy, CEO of Saladworks, said, “The coronavirus has impacted us all in various ways – none more so than those in the healthcare community who are fighting this pandemic on the front lines every single day. Given that many of our franchisees and team members have family members who are nurses, we are especially grateful for their service to help keep our communities safe and healthy during this difficult, uncertain time. At Saladworks, our goal is to help nourish their minds, bodies and spirits as we celebrate all the nurses throughout this week and beyond.”

4.  Every Friday, participating Saladworks restaurants have been tracking the number of contributions made throughout the week, then preparing and delivering a commensurate number of Saladworks meals to a local healthcare partner serving its community. Some of the hospitals that have received generous donations include Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, PA, Jefferson Hospital in Cherry Hill, NJ, and Chesapeake Regional Medical Center in Chesapeake, VA among many others.

5.  According to Ike Carabases, co-owner of Saladworks in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, “There is nothing more rewarding than the feeling that comes with giving back to your community. Each Friday when my staff and I drop off the donations at Jefferson Hospital in Cherry Hill, the energy in the room immediately flips from gloom to joy. Healthcare workers and first responders are sacrificing so much right now that every little act of kindness we can do for them makes a difference.”

6.  Along with the Fives for Lives campaign, Saladworks is doing its part to serve guests through the pandemic by offering free delivery on orders placed through its website as well as specific delivery specials via its partners at Door Dash, GrubHub, and Uber Eats. In all cases, each Saladworks meal is freshly prepared and served in tamper-resistant packaging with curbside service available for the health and safety of its guests.

Taps into Mobile Ecosystems for Growth Through Partnership with REEF Technology

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7.  In mid-May 2020, Saladworks announced it had launched a partnership with REEF Technology, a Miami-based company that transforms parking lots and facilities into mobile ecosystems that seamlessly integrate a broad range of businesses. The partnership expands Saladworks’ footprint into 17 REEF hubs throughout 10 cities across the U.S., including Miami, Atlanta, Houston, Austin, Dallas, Chicago, New York, Nashville, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, and will primarily debut as ghost kitchens supported by third-party delivery companies nationwide. The first one opened in Philadelphia, with Miami opening the following week, and the rest throughout June.

8.  While some of its REEF locations allow for walk-up orders, Saladworks will primarily use these mobile ecosystems as a means to accommodate a larger number and wider area of delivery orders. The centralized locations and ability to prepare food on-site promote the delivery of meals as efficiently and freshly as possible. Each site offers a menu of featured items, including Saladworks’ create-your-own and signature salads, wraps, and grain bowls.

9.  Kelly Roddy, CEO of Saladworks, said, “We strive to be original in everything we do, and that originality is exemplified by exciting, strategic projects like this partnership with REEF Technology. Among our many creative channels of growth, these mobile ecosystems enable us to share our healthy, sustainable and incredible brand with guests we might not have otherwise reached.”

10.  Saladworks, which has been in business for more than 30 years, has always placed a focus on guest originality through its healthy and fresh ingredients and create-your-own options. Ranked number 22 among the Top 100 Fast Casual Movers and Shakers of 2020, the brand is currently experiencing impressive growth due to a rise in health-conscious consumer behaviors and its unique avenues for expansion, such as ghost kitchens, stores within stores, and locations across the likes of universities and military bases. Saladworks planned to open 30 new restaurants and have 50 more in development by the end of 2020,

11.  Roddy added, “In this age of social distancing, consumers are leaning on delivery and minimal-contact options now more than ever. These mobile ecosystems allow us to meet those needs and scale the Saladworks concept quickly, efficiently and for a fraction of the cost, which is a win-win for everybody.”

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Unveils New Restaurant Design Buildout

12.  In mid-September 2020, Saladworks unveiled its newly-designed restaurant buildout first at the new Charlotte restaurant on September 9, followed by all new restaurant openings thereafter. Saladworks’ updated restaurant design treatments in its new Charlotte location illustrates the healthy, active lifestyles of guests who’ve come to love the brand – highlighting their originality via visually engaging elements.

13.  One example is a “WOW” Wall where a guest can stand in front of this image and share their photo on Instagram. Also, a Saladworks Manifesto is placed prominently to signify the relevance of its new “BE Original” brand positioning celebrating the uniqueness and originality of every guest.

14.  According to Mark Mears, chief marketing officer of Saladworks, “In addition to aesthetically-pleasing form elements like Instagram Walls and Manifest Walls, we’re redesigning for function too, such as the mechanically-fastened floor specifications, mounted digital menu boards and total restaurant layout reconfiguration. While strategically saving buildout costs in the process, we’re honing into the Saladworks experience as part of our new ‘BE Original’ positioning, helping guests fulfill their passion and live their best lives.”

15.  In terms of buildout, Charlotte is the first to roll out strategically chosen cost-saving structure and design elements. These include converting flooring into clear-coated concrete, which will save roughly $10,000 per restaurant; mounted digital menu boards to illuminate the many options and save roughly $1,300 per restaurant; as well as chair rail, restroom hallway, ladder, and paint changes – all to wow customers and optimize refreshing senses.

16.  First in Charlotte and for every new location moving forward, Saladworks has value-engineered its buildout to save each restaurant roughly $60,000-$80,000 without changing the total footprint. Each restaurant will have an average of six more seats, furthering its impressive sales-to-buildout ratio of more than 2:1, via reducing the back of house and serving lines. This improving ratio and reduced buildout cost shortens the payback period for franchisees.

17.  Eric Lavinder, vice president of development for Saladworks, added, “The cost to buildout has significantly decreased since I made it a focus area two years ago with our restaurants, and it’s saving everyone money, including our franchisees most of all. We’re not cutting corners in the process either. We’re just being more efficient and selective with equipment, lights, flooring and the like to actually enhance aesthetics and guests’ experience too. All the small buildout pieces we’re adjusting, down to a rail selection, add up to big savings for our franchise owners.”

Company History

18.  Saladworks was founded in 1986 by John Scardapane in the Cherry Hill Mall, which is located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Scardapane, who was a gourmet chef at a country club at the time, wanted to offer consumers a healthier alternative to traditional fast food and felt that fresh, made-to-order personal salads were perfect for people on the go. Saladworks was an instant success and additional locations were opened around New Jersey and Pennsylvania over the next few decades.

19.  In 2001, Saladworks started franchising and by 2007, the brand had grown to 88 locations in eight states. Less than a decade later, on February 17, 2015, Saladworks filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition and listed Commerce Bank and Metro Bank founder Vernon Hill as a major creditor. Later that year, Saladworks was purchased by private equity firm Centre Lane Partners and founder John Scardapane stepped down as the company’s CEO. Today, there are Saladworks locations across 15 states and the brand is also developing locations internationally.

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20.  Saladworks did not rank on Entrepreneur’s 2021 Franchise 500 list.

Section II – Estimated Costs

  • Please click here for detailed estimates of Saladworks franchise costs, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2020 FDD.

Section III – Initial Franchise Fee, Royalty Fee, Marketing Fee, and Other Fees

  • Please click here for detailed information on Saladworks’ initial franchise fee, royalty fee, marketing fee, and other fees, based on Items 5 and 6 of the company’s 2020 FDD.

Section IV – Number of Franchised and Company-Owned Outlets



  • Outlets at the Start of the Year:  89
  • Outlets at the End of the Year:  85
  • Net Change:  -4


  • Outlets at the Start of the Year:  85
  • Outlets at the End of the Year:  84
  • Net Change:  -1


  • Outlets at the Start of the Year:  84
  • Outlets at the End of the Year:  84
  • Net Change:  0



  • Outlets at the Start of the Year:  1
  • Outlets at the End of the Year:  1
  • Net Change:  0


  • Outlets at the Start of the Year:  1
  • Outlets at the End of the Year:  6
  • Net Change:  +5


  • Outlets at the Start of the Year:  6
  • Outlets at the End of the Year:  6
  • Net Change:  0

Section V – Financial Performance Representations (Item 19, 2020 FDD) and Analysis

  • This Item contains a historic financial performance representation about Saladworks’ existing franchised outlets in 2019. As of September 29, 2019, Saladworks had 84 franchised outlets, of which 79 had been open and operating during Saladworks’ entire 2019 fiscal year ending September 29, 2019.
  • The data used in preparing this financial performance representation was compiled from information submitted to Saladworks by the franchisees in their unaudited sales reports for their franchised restaurants.
  • While Saladworks believes that these sales reports contain accurate information, Saladworks has not independently verified the information.

Part 1 – Net Sales Data of 79 Saladworks Franchised Restaurants in 2019, by Location Type

  • Franchisees operated 79 Saladworks restaurants during the entire 2019 fiscal year. Of those restaurants, 67 were at standard locations that were open 7 days a week during typical operating hours, and 12 were enclosed mall locations.
  • In response to the changing retail landscape, Saladworks no longer offers franchises for the development of Saladworks restaurants in enclosed shopping malls.


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