Just Salad obtains the “largest capital increase ever” and is expected to double in size
Fast and relaxed, Just Salad plans to double in size over the next two years following its “largest capital increase ever,” the company said on Tuesday. The 47-unit chain completed a round with participation from circular economy-focused investment firm Closed Loop Partners, as well as return investor Panda Restaurant Group, the parent company behind 2,200 Panda Express units, a brand that has raised $ 3.8 billion in U.S. system-wide sales. Last year.
Just Salad said he plans to use the capital to expand its geographic footprint, which today spans New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida and Dubai. , in addition to implementing new sustainability and technology initiatives.
Just Salad’s zero waste practices have been a must since its creation in 2006. In 2022, the company plans to increase its EPA Laureate Reusable Bowl Program with digital orders and offers participating customers loyalty rewards through its mobile app, “further encouraging sustainable food on the go.” The program was originally created in 2006 with the hope of diverting 100,000 pounds of disposable container waste from landfills each year.
Just Salad says the Reusable Bowl initiative is the largest and oldest program of its kind in the world.
In fall 2020, Just Salad also became the first American chain to display carbon labels on its menu and offer an organized climate menu that showcases the least polluting menu items. Panera Bread launched a similar program last year. Additionally, the brand’s online ordering platform can calculate the greenhouse gas emissions of any do-it-yourself salad through a partnership with MBA students at NYU’s Stern School of Business.
The week Just Salad launched its ‘Eat for the Earth’ campaign in 2020, it saw a 126% increase in week-over-week sales for ‘climate’ options.
Some other sustainable development milestones in 2020:
Just Salad has relaunched its smoothie menu with vegan ingredients and partnered with 100% plant-based chicken maker Daring to offer a second plant-based meat option in addition to Beyond Beef.
The brand has phased out salad dressings and plastic cups and launched a utensil waste reduction program on orderjustsalad.com and third-party ordering platforms.
It has launched a pilot test with the zero waste online ordering platform DeliverZero.
Just Salad unveiled a Sustainability Champion program for in-store staff and a Sustainability Fellow educational program for students.
The chain created “Housemade,” a subscription-free meal kit with 91% less packaging than standard options. It offers unprepared meals in a dish in plastic-free packaging, basic groceries and prepared foods from the Just Salad menu.
In July, the chain partnered with Zero Foodprint on Regenerative Farming Practices and added a “Zero Foodprint Salad” to the menu. Fifteen percent of the article’s sales go to the nonprofit organization.
Just Salad is the first restaurant investment for New York-based Closed Loop Partners, which focuses “on scaling up the circular economy in North America and beyond.”
Notably, Closed Loop Partners has dedicated significant resources to sustainable food packaging, including investments in “companies that focus on alternative materials and reuse systems”.
“We are impressed with Just Salad’s innovative approach to integrating zero waste principles into their business. They are a pioneer of large-scale reuse models, creating the world’s largest reusable restoration program and demonstrating their commitment to extending the life of valuable packaging materials, ”said Ron Gonen, Founder and CEO of Closed Loop Partners, in a press release. “Their continued growth demonstrates the viability, feasibility and desirability of circular business models. “
Added Andrew Cherng, co-founder and co-CEO of Panda Restaurant Group. “It has been gratifying to be a part of Just Salad’s journey since our partnership began in 2014. Their growth in both urban and suburban markets is impressive and is the result of excellent operations and the focus on people development. . We look forward to supporting this next phase of Just Salad’s expansion and the impact they will have through their upcoming initiatives.
Just Salad CEO and founder Nick Kenner called the space in front of Just Salad “really amazing.”
“Just Salad is fast becoming a more important part of the national landscape, which means unmatched and irresistible food and more sustainable food for America in general, ”he said. “The tailwinds are strong and it’s all about performing at a high level while focusing on each client. “