Saladworks executive chef puts innovation on the menu

| by Matthew Harper
Saladworks executive chef puts innovation on the menu

Bringing a brand back from the brink of defeat is no easy feat, but CEO Patrick Sugrue knew he had to assemble an elite team to do just that after the brand faced bankruptcy court last year and was bailed out by an investor in June 2015.

Perhaps the most vital member to that team is Andy Revella, Saladworks’ recently hired executive chef. Tasked with revitalizing the item that makes Saladworks what it is, Revella had his work cut out for him.

Thankfully, Saladworks had some of it already figured out.

“They've already nailed ambiance with their new prototype and they are focusing on speed of service and servant leadership initiatives,” Revella said. “Having had the pleasure of knowing and working with Pat Sugrue  for years, I’ve been tasked to deliver what the consumer wants in food.”

Revella, who has more than 40 years of kitchen experience and has been involved in green kitchens for over a decade, said he wanted to implement his passion for healthful eating at Saladworks.

“Consumers want to eat food that is actually good for them; we are putting a focus on millennials because they're not only our customer today, but they're also our customer of the future, and we want to grow with them and keep them coming back for more,” he said.

A new way

Not content with overused methods, Revella was ready to try something new and different, and Saladworks provided the perfect outlet.

"We're currently looking at adding new ingredients and exciting dressings to really surprise and entice our guests,” he said. “While we are looking at the menu as a whole, the first order of business is a Summer Seasonal Salad.  The Aloha Ginger Steak Salad rolls out in July.  The salad allowed me to introduce new flavors, like a ginger lemon dressing, marinated steak and toasted, golden sweet pineapple."

However, this is just the beginning of Revella's vision of using fresh, vibrant ingredients.

"In addition to adding new and complex flavors, I'll also be putting a focus on seasonal ingredients by incorporating special additions to the menu during the time of year that product is most ripe, such as using apples during the fall harvest," he said. "The breadth of ingredients that the Saladworks concept currently has, and the opportunities for new additions combine to make a perfect foundation for a customer pleasing menu."

On a mission

The chain, said Revella, believes its guests want three things:

  1. Ultimate customization, which includes speed of food delivery.

  2. Ingredients that they can feel good about eating

  3. And doing their part for society.

“I'm going to help execute those three things, bringing them all together and getting it pushed out across the system to encourage our customers to return and also bring their friends and family into our restaurants,” Revella said.

Topics: Customer Service / Experience, Food & Beverage, Operations Management, Staffing & Training, Sustainability

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