Getting a freshly chopped salad is getting pretty hard to come by. This week, Just Salad joins Fresh & Co in eliminating its chopped-on-demand option (Sweetgreen, meanwhile, never offered the service to begin with)—and instead will serve them up only in bigger chopped pieces without customizing them per customer. And of course, customers have thoughts. The New York Post reports that some have vocalized just how much they dislike the new policy, given that a freshly chopped salad mixes with the dressing so perfectly and is just easier to eat.
But it turns out there are some benefits and good reasoning behind the change. One: e.coli. The reason lettuce has become a too-common culprit in disease outbreaks is because more people are touching it in the journey from farm to plate. Adding chopping knives and bowls to the mix adds another layer of potential human-to-produce contamination. Food safety-wise, it’s better for you to cut your own greens.
The second benefit: It makes the line move faster—a huge plus given that many fast-casual chains in big cities have a line out the door during peak lunch hours. “We get all our produce fresh, nothing comes to the store pre-cut so throughout the day our team preps the product. Now with the removal of chopping, we simply prep the product smaller,” says Just Salad’s director of marketing, Stephen Swartz. “The salads taste the same, if not better, and the store experience is a lot smoother and faster.”
So while the change is becoming a mainstay in chains across the country, really, it isn’t all bad. It’s not like they’re eliminating avocados—now that would be unacceptable.
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