A fast-casual restaurant chain that specializes in salads, wraps and more is looking to take root in the Columbia area.
Salata Salad Kitchen, a chain that began in Houston, Texas, in 2005 and has grown to more than 80 locations across several states, is looking to expand into the Columbia market, with hopes to establish several stores in the Midlands, according to company officials.
The company is working to identify franchisees for potential Salata locations in the Columbia area, according to Salata vice president of franchise development Julie Davis.
“We are really looking to find the right franchisees for new markets we are focused in,” Davis told The State. “For the Columbia (market area) in general we are looking at building five to seven restaurants. ... When I look at new markets to grow in that could be a strong Salata market, I think Columbia and South Carolina as a whole are seeing a lot of the kind of growth that we saw in Texas probably about five years ago. (South Carolina) is seeing crazy growth.”
South Carolina’s population has grown from 4.6 million residents in 2010 to nearly 5.2 million in 2021, per census data.
The nearest Salata location to Columbia currently is in Uptown Charlotte on South Tryon Street.
Salata locations allow patrons to customize their own salads from more than 50 fresh ingredients that are chopped and prepared fresh every day in the restaurant. It also has wraps, soups, a dozen signature dressings, organic tea and lemonade, croissants and fresh baked cookies, among other items.
“What I think is unique about Salata is that it is a fully customizable, build-your-own salad and wrap kitchen,” Davis said. “Guests can come in and choose the options that fit their lifestyle. People want to be in control of really small things, and they get to come into our restaurant and choose and pick what they like. It’s very simple. It’s comfort, it’s quality and it’s health.”
Customers who visit a Salata location go down a salad assembly line area and tell an employee which ingredients they want on their meal. Think of a somewhat similar ordering process to Chipotle, but focused on salads and wraps.
Those interested in franchising opportunities with Salata can visit franchise.salata.com.