There’s a food concept that’s streaking across the world, starting with the letter “C”. It’s delicious, appropriate at any meal, and everyone’s trying to replicate it.
No, not the “cronut”, the donut/croissant hybrid that’s going bonkers across the food world, as people wait in line daily for it. The “Chopped Salad” is the (usually) healthier option that, according to Nation’s Restaurant News, is taking over the northeast, and is killing every day at lunch. It appears to have spread from high-end restaurants to fast casual locations, and can now be found in drugstores and even at Subway restaurants as an alternative to a six-inch sub.
The concept is rather simple, and cribs heavily from the fast-casual designs seen having started in sandwich shops, moved on to burritos, and can now be found in pizza locations. Walk the line, have a employee chop up your choice of lettuce, add the ingredients you hand-pick (or follow a pre-set recipe), choose the salad dressing you’d like, and go pay and sit down. You’ve got a quick and custom salad ready to go.
The psychology is simple: seeing the food being made, having a hand in deciding the ingredients, and being in and out in a minute or so offer three values to the consumer.
While this may be impossible for your restaurant to take on, unless you happen to have a bar set up already (such as one of the previously-stated fast-casual chains), and it may be a fad, it could be something you could plan on for the future, or learn from in the first place.
Given the type of food, some people would rather see it produced or assembled than not. While nobody wants to see the sausage made, many can find it appreciative to see their burrito made. Waffle House has its open kitchens that you can pay attention to, and Five Guys lets you see how the hamburger is made from (near) scratch. They have no qualms or shame about the ingredients. Some bulkier fast food chains may not find their production appetizing, and on the other end of the spectrum, mom and pop shops that take pride in their work are more than willing to share the creation with you.
Could your business benefit from sharing the production with others? If it can inspire confidence in your product, you might want to see what steps you can take to share this.
If anything, you might want to try a chopped salad on the menu. Can’t hurt.