What should be any restaurant owners’ nightmare turned into a surprise marketing strategy for Chop’t founders Tony Shure and Colin McCabe. On the very first day they opened their specialty salad restaurant in Manhattan in January 2001, the computers went down. Instead of shutting the doors, they decided to give away the food for free.“Then people went back to their offices and said, ‘There’s this new salad place on 17th Street, and they’re giving away food for free.’ And we had a line down ...

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