When fast-casual chain Salata rolled out its new prototype in July in Pearland, Texas, it did away with one conventional element: menu boards. The design-your-own salad concept wants guests to custom-build their meals based on the food in front of them, so the team decided it didn’t need to have a menu on display—letting the ingredients do the work.
Doing away with menu boards also helped the chain solve a problem. “Our product development, graphic design and marketing teams were looking at ways to meet the new FDA requirement for labeling,” says David Laborde, Salata’s director of product development. “Because Salata’s menus are completely customizable, this was a little more complex for us than other brands. We realized the majority of our guests are only looking at the ingredients on our line so we came up with a big idea—remove the menu boards completely and add calorie counts in front of the ingredients on the line.”
The design has been well received by guests, says Laborde. When he asked a regular what she noticed about the new look, she mentioned the new soda-dispensing tap system, not the lack of menu boards. “That response is what we had in mind,” he says.