What is in this article?:
- Snappy Salads expands in Texas
- Standing out in a growing segment
Snappy Salads is known for their distinctive tables made from recycled wood, says founder Chris Dahlander.
Snappy Salads, a Dallas-based concept that was founded in 2006, recently opened its fourth restaurant in Richardson, Texas.
Founder Chris Dahlander’s latest unit emphasizes sustainability, as do the other locations. The restaurants, except for one mall location, are distinctive for their communal tables made from recycled wood.
A fifth unit is also planned for suburban Southlake, Texas. Dahlander says Snappy Salads’ expansion is deliberate. “In terms of growth,” he said, “slow and steady wins the race — if there even is a race.”
After a tour of the new Richardson restaurant, Dahlander answered questions from Nation’s Restaurant News via email.
What does this fourth unit signal in the evolution of Snappy Salads?
It is a culmination of all the things I have learned from the other locations — some intentional and some forced. The open kitchen is probably the biggest change from the first store. I am very proud of the fact that we grill our all-naturaland antibiotic- and hormone-free steak in front of our guests, make our soup each day in a big pot from scratch, and sauté line-caught Sockeye salmon and such to order. The guest is blown away when they see all of this going on in front of them. They don't expect all of this cooking from a "salad" restaurant.
How big is the restaurant and how does it compare with earlier incarnations?
This is the largest footprint to date, although our Southlake location will be slightly bigger. Instead of expanding the kitchen, we've simply added more seats in the dining room to accommodate our guests. Even with our long gathering tables, it can get really tight during certain times of the day.
Where have you beefed up the focus on sustainability?
I am proud of the fact that this concept was built on a foundation of environmental awareness and sustainability. It is part of our culture and we will continue to do our best and to encourage others to limit the impact we are making on the environment. More than just biodegradable takeout containers and utensils, we recycle CFLs [compact fluorescent lamps] and batteries for guests at no charge, our countertops are made locally with recycled beer and wine bottles and porcelain, the tables were salvaged from a beer distribution warehouse built in Fort Worth in the 1920s, and our dining area is lit using less than 300 watts of energy.
And for the menu?
We've brought in more organic and humanely raised food products, pressured our landlords to set up recycling programs and encourage our guests to take their salads away in our reusable bags. It is an all-out effort that encompasses every aspect of the organization.