When the doors open at the Lake Mary, Florida, restaurant on February 7, Salata Salad Kitchen will celebrate two new milestones: its first location in Florida and the introduction of its new restaurant design and experience.
The new Salata prototype will continue to offer guests fully customizable, tossed-to-order salads and wraps, soups, organic teas and lemonades. While the menu offerings that Salata guests have grown to love will stay the same, the restaurant design will be vastly different.
“We recognized the opportunity to elevate our in-restaurant environment by completely rethinking our strategic approach to the guest experience,” says Michelle Bythewood, Salata’s president. “Our new prototype addresses the need for increased day parts and an improved online ordering pick-up experience that is directly geared to increase our restaurant’s different revenue streams.”
Shifting the Focus to Guest Experience
Salata’s restaurant redesign comes after extensive research. Since opening in 2005, Salata restaurants have thrived by focusing on their product offering, presentation, and back of house that reflected the business’s functional needs within a quick-service restaurant. With that in place, Salata knew that after more than a decade of the same restaurant look and dining experience, it was time to concentrate on the natural progression of updating the brand in a meaningful way to their customer.
Salata embarked on a multi-pronged research process with the help of Back Lot Productions, Inc., an Atlanta-based brand development and design firm. Following the research, Salata and Back Lot Productions developed the concept for the new Salata through Back Lot’s unique approach to brand design they call Markitecture: marketing your brand through the built environment to evoke the desired emotional response from the guest.
“We wanted to truly understand what consumers really desire and appreciate,” says Bythewood. “It was critical to conduct demographic and psychographic segmentation, multiple focus groups and triads to develop a deep understanding of our customer’s behavior and need state.”
Emphasis on Salata Hallmarks
Salata guests will notice a significant difference in the color palette of the new Salata. With neutral whites and grays accompanied by metal finishes, the new restaurant features a modern look that allows the bright, vibrant colors of Salata’s product offering to serve as the focal point of the restaurant. When guests enter the redesigned Salata, they will be met with an open, expansive view of the colorful line.
“Our fresh ingredients are really the star of Salata, so we want them to take center stage,” says Bythewood. “This proves that it is not necessary for us to introduce new hallmarks, but rather celebrate the hallmarks that make Salata unique.”
Another example of this includes the introduction of Salata’s glycol tea tap system. Famous for its organic teas, the new, signature system keeps the teas perfectly chilled at 34 degrees Fahrenheit.
The dining space within the restaurant has also changed drastically. It has been transformed into dining neighborhoods, which suit guests’ various needs, preferences, moods and times of their visits. The dining neighborhoods include a power aisle for to-go orders; a quick, in-and-out area for lunch at a table or window bar; a community table for dining with friends; a lounge area that is ideal for afternoon work sessions; and a more traditional area for having dinner in a booth with family or friends.
The Lake Mary Salata marks the organization’s first location in Florida and the 84th location overall. Lake Mary was selected because of its strong trade area and community emphasis on living a healthy lifestyle. Additional Florida locations are planned to open in 2019.
Founded in 2005, Houston-based fast-casual salad restaurant Salata has more than 80 corporate-owned and franchise locations in Texas, Oklahoma, Illinois, Florida, Georgia and Southern California and plans to open in multiple new markets, including Florida and Louisiana in 2019.