In late December 2020, Saladworks’ parent company WOWorks acquired Frutta Bowls to blend together their flavorful common cores and create expansion synergies in the process. A new endeavor marks a large step in this quest, as the joint brands have announced a partnership with Combo Kitchen, a franchise system that allows entrepreneurs to invest in a ghost kitchen and operate multiple food concepts listed in its network. Initially formed in October of 2020 before Frutta Bowls became part of the family, the partnership recently brought the first Combo Kitchen incorporating a Saladworks to Miami, FL on April 10. Last week, locations opened in New York City and Jersey City, New Jersey.
As a ghost kitchen company to utilize well-recognized restaurant brands as opposed to virtual brands, Combo Kitchen sought these two WOWorks restaurants because of their long-established, widely-known presences. Combo Kitchen has found while customers enjoy trying new brands, they’re more reluctant to order online without access to customer reviews, established social media pages or other forms of consumer feedback that virtual brands inherently lack. Saladworks and Frutta Bowls are well-recognized restaurants and industry leaders in their sector, and Combo Kitchen intends to help expand these brands even further.
This partnership allows Combo Kitchen franchisees to add Saladworks or Frutta Bowls into their restaurant and operate as a ghost kitchen. Operators benefit by generating additional revenue with the incorporation of a proven concept, while maintaining or even reducing their standard restaurant expenses. Combo Kitchen anticipates substantial growth nationwide with the WOWorks brands. In the first 60 days of the partnership, Combo Kitchen signed Saladworks for 14 initial locations. It foresees growing Saladworks and Frutta Bowls brands at a rate of 5-7 locations monthly throughout the remainder of 2021.
“What’s powerful about this partnership is its mutual benefit for all parties involved. Our unique ghost kitchen model calls for proven brands, which Saladworks and Frutta Bowls exemplify. Saladworks and Frutta Bowls can experience exponential growth while Combo Kitchen handles all franchise sales, royalty collections and other operational responsibilities,” says Combo Kitchen CEO Hossein Kasmai. “Restaurant operators boost their revenue with the incorporation of a recognized and established brand, while consumers can take advantage of new flavors being brought to their area. We continue to enjoy working with the Saladworks and Frutta Bowls team to redefine the norm for the restaurant industry.”
In the past year alone, Saladworks has grown by more than 40 restaurant locations, entering new markets such as Canada, California, Tennessee, Rhode Island, Ohio, Florida and Indiana. Roughly 80 percent of these openings mark non-traditional presences, i.e. ghost kitchens, food trucks, grocery retail, hospitals and universities, as the brand continues to flex its muscles as an industry disruptor. Frutta Bowls is a fast-casual trend-setter centering on a unique menu that is made fresh-to-order with no sweeteners, no juices and no fillers added.