Reverse Salads will turn profits green
What the heck are Reverse Salads?
First, take half of the lettuce “greens” out typically used in a regular salad.
Then add in a lot more of the “goodies” you really enjoy… turkey, garbanzo beans, croutons, peppers, onions, cranberries and the like.
Believe it or not — ounce-for-ounce — Reverse Salads cost about the same as regular salads. But it’s a lot more fulfilling and satisfying. Plus, in many cases, it reduces waste since many diners rarely finish all the “greens.” But they savor every morsel of the yummy stuff.
Listen in as Chef Andrew explains some Reverse Salad benefits in our latest Wing It podcast above. And watch our short video below that illustrates it all!
I go to restaurants and I get a salad… especially the fast-casual salads where you walk through a line and you ask for certain kinds of lettuce and the goodies on top. And I always wish that there were half the salad greens and more of the goodies.
So, I thought about reversing them… the builds. And so we started playing around with that idea and called them “reverse salads.” It’s an opportunity to create a point of difference with your guests. They’re still going to get value for their money in terms of visual portion. And actually, as they eat it and it’s denser and it’s more, I think, delicious and the dressing coats the vegetables and the meat more because it has less work to do coating this massive amount of greens. I think they’ll actually find them to be more delicious and more value.
The idea is to make something that’s cost neutral or potentially a little less expensive. Make it a signature and be proud of the fact that you’re preparing and serving a really well-balanced salad with fewer greens, more goodies, and more protein. And the protein, of course, comes primarily in the way of turkey… but it can also be supplemented with beans and other kinds of plant-based proteins as well.
People think about value in a few different ways. One of them absolutely is quantity. But that’s kind of getting fewer and fewer people — especially people that are frequenting salad concepts. They’re not necessarily going for that 2000-calorie meal, right? Even those salads can be deceptive in calories.
Reverse Salads reduce waste
So, the idea specifically behind a reverse salad is really to cut the greens down by half or even more so that instead of four or five ounces of greens, which doesn’t sound like a lot but when you put four or five ounces of baby spinach and arugula and you know the mesclun mix and so forth, it’s a big bowl of greens.
And they’re not cheap, by the way. Spinach is around 25 cents an ounce, mesclun mix is a little bit less—15 to 18. The romaine depending on what you buy if you buy romaine hearts which is really the only romaine to use in a salad by the way in my humble opinion… 10 to 12 cents an ounce. And iceberg is usually less than 10 cents an ounce, but then there’s also waste associated with it.
Onions and carrots and celery and beans like cannelloni beans and garbanzo beans, which are really popular and great source of protein. They’re filling. They’re also much less expensive than those salad greens on an ounce-by- ounce basis.
Dressing is expensive. So, if you can reduce the high cost greens, add in the other goodies, you get a more enjoyable eating experience. I think there’s a better balance. For some reason we’ve gotten to a point and maybe it’s because we want to add a visual “wow,” but I think we’ve gotten to a point where it’s just simply put too many salad greens.
It’s over the top with salad greens. People don’t finish them. If you hang around in one of those salad concepts… I think many of our listeners probably have those salad concepts… if you look at what goes into the trash, unfortunately, there’s a fair amount of the greens going into the trash.
The other nice thing about the presentation, for example, is you can do a better job of bringing the goodies… the orange carrots, the red bell peppers, the yellow bells, the tomatoes, the green beans, the cucumbers… it’s the color of the rainbow, right. And so, you can do a better job bringing those up to the top. And, of course, as well as the turkey.