The Big Salad, a chain of four Michigan restaurants whose menus feature made-to-order entrée salads, plans to open two more in 2013 and gradually expand to other states.
Franchisees expect to launch restaurants in Ann Arbor and Rochester, Mich., sometime in the spring. The Big Salad, founded in 2008, operates in Grosse Pointe, Troy, Royal Oak and Novi, Mich.
Its long-term goal is to open 200 more restaurants nationwide over 10 years, founder John Bornoty said in a news release. He anticipates about 75% will be franchises.
The business, whose menu also lists soups and sandwiches, markets itself as an alternative to salad bars.
“Salads are the main course of a meal that is made for our guests, not by them, and to their exact specifications,” Bornoty said in the release. “The lettuce is continuously kept crisp and cold and the salad ingredients are not handled by the masses, but by one associate.”
From a selection of three leafy greens — iceberg lettuce, romaine and spinach — the restaurant fills out salads with any of 30 vegetable toppings, 30 dressings, eight meats and seafoods plus eight dry toppings.
Beyond custom-made, The Big Salad has standard items such as Cobb, Caesar, wedge and antipasto salads.
Grosse Pointe was the first location and it targeted affluent customers by atmosphere as well as selection.
“The trend in the restaurant industry is clearly toward offering fresher, reasonably priced, more healthful choices in an upscale environment,” Bornoty said in the release.
The restaurant keeps ingredients in color-coded, sealed bins from Cambro Manufacturing Co.