Texas’ first Salad and Go drive-through opens May 5 in Plano.
The company picked North Texas as its first focus outside of its home state of Arizona, and plans call for at least five Salad and Go shops to open in Plano, Dallas, Richardson and Fort Worth in mid-2021.
When CFO Brian Roberts talks about Salad and Go, he doesn’t use that word.
“We don’t call ourselves a restaurant,” Roberts says. And maybe Salad and Go isn’t: It’s a 700-square-foot standalone building with a drive-through window and a walk-up window. Customers don’t come inside, and no one eats on site.
If it sounds like Salad and Go might have been born during the pandemic, when quick and contactless food became important to so many Americans, it was actually birthed some seven years earlier, in 2013. Founders Roushan and Tony Christofellis wondered, while eating Caesar salad at a fancy steakhouse, why healthy food was often expensive. They talked to the steakhouse chef about pricing, and eventually that chef, Daniel Patino, left his job at the steakhouse and joined the Christofellises to open an inexpensive salad shop that has grown to about 30 locations.
“The misconception out there about ‘healthy’ is that if you want to eat healthy, it has to be expensive. And it has to taste bad. And it’s likely not going to be convenient. We’re solving all of those things: We’re making it convenient and fast in a setting you can get in and out of on your lunch break or while you’re dropping the kids off,” Roberts says.
All the salads are $5.74 — an odd price that doesn’t have much significance, Roberts says, except that it’s surprisingly low. The price includes the option of chicken or tofu on a salad. Customers pay extra for steak or shrimp.
The most popular salads are the Cobb salad and the Greek salad.
Salad and Go’s 24-ounce drinks, priced at $1, include an interesting array of options like cold brew, iced mango green tea, blueberry basil lemonade and the like. The $1 frozen strawberry lemonade is one of the top sellers, Roberts says.
They also sell breakfast burritos priced at $2.99.
Price is part of Salad and Go’s identity, and Roberts notes that customers can get coffee, breakfast and lunch for about $10.
That mission sets Salad and Go apart from other fast-casual salad companies, and it puts it more in line with fast-food brands. D-FW salad shops like Snappy Salads, Original ChopShop and Eatzi’s each have grab and go salads, but none of those have drive-throughs, and all charge $8 to $10 per salad. Many fast-food companies do offer salads for a lower price, but they don’t have 10 options.
Roberts assents that Salad and Go may not cater to every kind of healthy eater. “We don’t have kale. We don’t have quinoa,” he says. “... We’re not going to be everything to everybody. We aren’t going to meet all the needs of the extreme health-conscious person.
“We’re trying to provide really good tasting, quality, fresh salads.”
Salad and Go opens at 1400 Coit Road, Plano, on May 5, 2021. Other shops are expected to open this year in North Texas at: 5101 Ross Ave. (near Greenville Avenue), Dallas; 850 E. Campbell Road (near Greenville Avenue), Richardson; 14909 Coit Road (near Belt Line Road), Dallas; and 3400 Hulen St. (near Interstate 30), Fort Worth.