Just Salad pioneering much needed change in the fast-casual dining industry
Just Salad, a fast-casual dining chain, has been leading the way in addressing sustainability concerns through its innovative initiatives. From reducing waste and sourcing responsibly to promoting community engagement, Just Salad is committed to making a positive impact on the environment. In an interview with CEO Nick Kenner, we delve into the brand's sustainability journey, its unique programs, and its vision for the future.
As consumers become increasingly aware of the environmental consequences of their choices, Just Salad has emerged as a sustainability pioneer in the fast-casual dining industry. The brand's unwavering commitment to reducing waste, sourcing responsibly, and engaging with communities has set a new standard for responsible restaurant practices. Offering carbon labeling for its products and a "climatarian" menu that highlights eco-friendly options, Just Salad is empowering customers to make informed choices for the planet.
In a recent conversation with Nick Kenner, Founder and CEO of Just Salad, we gained insights into the brand's sustainability journey and its integral role in the company's mission. Kenner shared how sustainability and social responsibility have been core principles since the inception of Just Salad, driving the brand's vision for a more sustainable future.
When Just Salad was founded in 2006, Kenner aimed to create a restaurant concept that offered healthy, affordable salads in an earth-friendly manner. The brand's mission of delivering greatness encompassed not only flavorful food but also setting new sustainability standards in the industry. From the very beginning, Just Salad prioritized making small changes with significant impacts, such as introducing the Reusable Bowl Program, which remains a central component of the brand's sustainability efforts.
As Just Salad grew, so did its recognition of the influence it could have on people and the planet. The brand continued to innovate and find new ways to operate responsibly. Today, their mission extends beyond waste reduction to include a comprehensive approach to sustainability and social responsibility, culminating in their recent B Corp Certification.
Just Salad has implemented a range of programs and initiatives to establish itself as a responsible restaurant brand. One of its standout initiatives is the Reusable Bowl Program, the largest restaurant reusable program globally. Customers can purchase a reusable bowl for $1 and receive a free salad topping with each reuse, a unique concept in the industry.
The brand was also the first U.S. restaurant chain to carbon label its menu, enabling customers to understand the environmental impact of their food choices. Just Salad's Climatarian menu category highlights items with lower carbon footprints, empowering customers to make climate-smart decisions. Furthermore, the brand continually expands its climate-conscious ingredient options, including vegan smoothies and plant-based proteins.
In addition to reducing waste through its Reusable Bowl Program, Just Salad partners with the food surplus app Too Good To Go to save meals from going to waste. The brand embraces data to measure the impact of its initiatives and identify areas for improvement, aligning with the high standards set by B Corp Certification.
Looking ahead, Just Salad is exploring new initiatives and technologies to further reduce its environmental footprint. The expansion of the BringBack Program, a digital solution for single-use takeout packaging waste, is a key focus. By providing reusable packaging for online and in-store orders, Just Salad aims to increase the accessibility and impact of its reusables programs.
The company is also developing a rewards program to incentivize sustainable food choices. By utilizing mobile app technology and digitized customer journeys, Just Salad plans to offer rewards for ordering plant-based menu items or salads from the Climatarian menu category, promoting sustainability through customer incentives.
Just Salad's recent B Corp Certification further solidifies its commitment to social and environmental responsibility. As a Certified B Corporation, Just Salad joins a global community of businesses dedicated to making a positive impact. The certification reflects the brand's ongoing efforts to prioritize workers, communities, customers, suppliers, and the environment. Just Salad's leadership in sustainable practices serves as an inspiration to other restaurant brands and food companies, encouraging them to adopt business models that are better for the planet.