Finally, a Stimulus Plan Both Washington and New York Can Agree on: Salads at Chop't

Tue Apr 14, 2009 5:00am EDT

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Finally, a Stimulus Plan Both Washington and New York Can Agree on: Salads at
Chop't

Restaurant Chain Reports Salad Moves to the Center of the Plate and Provides
Sustenance and Vitality During These Challenging Times

NEW YORK, April 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Premium custom salad restaurant chain,
Chop't Creative Salad Company (http://www.choptsalad.com), with nine units
located throughout New York City's and Washington D.C.'s bustling midtown
neighborhoods, is thriving in the current economic climate. Their sales data
points to certain trends that might explain this success: 1) The
protein-loaded, fresh ingredient-packed Cobb, in all of its varieties, remains
the clear leader among their "classic" offerings; 2) Their broad range of
Superfood menu items, rich in antioxidants and nutrients, are more popular
than ever; 3) Salad served as a sandwich is a big hit; and 4) Up to 30% of
their business in certain locations is occurring during dinner time.

"We are clearly seeing that our emphasis on providing the freshest, highest
quality and most nutritious choices to our customers in a friendly, upbeat
environment is paying off in a big way during these trying times," comments
Colin McCabe, co-founder of Chop't. He elaborates: "Our customers are more
discerning than ever about where and how they spend their money and our
company-wide sales data seems to demonstrate that 'value' for them is tied to
our key drivers." 

Keeping Score: Cobb Beats Out Caesar 30 to 1
While the Caesar salad, in its many forms, might be the most popular
"specialty" salad offered on almost every menu in the quick-serve, fast-casual
or fine dining sectors of the restaurant industry, that's not the case at
Chop't. "Hands-down, our #1 selling 'go-to' salad is the Cobb. Our other
reinterpreted classics are also incredibly popular," comments McCabe.
"Approximately 30% of our customers order some version of a Cobb, while only
1% order a classic Caesar." He adds: "We're known for being especially
creative in our take on this salad, always featuring at least a couple of
different versions on both our Seasonal Specials, which we change out every 60
days, and our Chop't Classics menus, such as the Kebab Cobb and the Poker
Night Cobb." McCabe adds: "The Cobb is an excellent source of protein and
offers great flexibility for combining unique flavors and textures." He
emphasizes that while there are still plenty of die-hard Caesar fans at
Chop't, "the clear winner among our many different choices of creative,
healthy and delicious Classic salads, in terms of popularity, is the Cobb."

Preference for Superfood Ingredients On the Rise 
Chop't has always paid special attention to offering up a robust choice of
menu items that are rich in antioxidants, help reduce hypertension, and
provide natural sources of energy--otherwise known as  "Superfoods." The
company's sales data indicates that these items are especially popular right
now -- with avocado, edamame and dried cranberries among the brand's most
requested ingredients. Another big hit is the "Chop't Detox Club," a seasonal
special featuring mesclun, shredded red cabbage, carrots, radishes, cucumbers,
granny smith apples, pumpkin and sunflower seeds with a new 'Detox' dressing
made with extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and pure maple
syrup. 

"Get-a-Grip" Campaign a Success
One of the most compelling storylines that has emerged from the company's
sales data is that their efforts to encourage customers to enjoy their
favorite salad wrapped up in grilled, whole wheat pita bread -- as a salad
sandwich -- has proven to be very successful. The promotional campaign, titled
"Get a Grip on Your Salad," has increased year-over-year sales of this
category of their menu by 40%, on average. As Nick Marsh of Growth Point
Partners, one of the company's lead investors, puts it, "Innovation is a
critical factor in this brand's continued success and coming up with this
combination of two types of comfort food in one convenient, delicious format
is a reflection of that."  

Up to 30% of Sales Activity Seen During Dinner Hours
In certain locations, particularly in the Washington D.C. market, Chop't is
seeing a big increase in its dinnertime sales activities -- up to 30% in some
cases. McCabe attributes this positive trend to the fact that Chop't offers
excellent value for a complete, nutritious and satisfying alternative to
diners who are working late hours or extra shifts and don't have the time or
desire to indulge in a typical multi-course meal. "I think this trend points
to the fact that they feel good about themselves knowing that they spent less
than $10 on a complete, nutritious and satisfying dinner," he points out.

About Chop't(R) Creative Salad Company
Chop't(R) Creative Salad Company is the leading purveyor of ultra-premium
chopped-to-order salads and salad sandwiches. Customers can choose from more
than 60 different fresh ingredients that are delivered to each location daily
and 20 homemade, small-batch artisanal dressings that then get chopped up in
lightning speed fashion by a Salad Dude/Diva(TM), a master of the company's
signature chopping tool -- the Mezzaluna. Chop't's bright, modern and bold
design and hip Reggae/World Music vibe create a welcoming atmosphere for
sit-down diners as well as those on-the-go. Started by entrepreneurs Tony
Shure and Colin McCabe in New York's Union Square back in 2001, Chop't gained
immediate notoriety for being a favorite among the neighborhood's many
celebrities and trendsetters. The company now has nine locations between New
York City and Washington, D.C. and was named a 2008 "Hot Concept" by Nation's
Restaurant News. For more information on Chop't Creative Salad Company please
visit www.choptsalad.com.


SOURCE  Chop?t Creative Salad Company

Media Inquiries, David Roth, Managing Partner of Get Stirred Up,
+1-312-622-2544, david.roth@getstirredup.com; or Colin McCabe, Co-Founder of
Chop't Creative Salad Company, +1-917-796-2372, colin@choptsalad.com
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