Food plays a key role in living a balanced and fulfilled life and flavor should not be sacrificed when fueling on-the-go, believes The Chopped Leaf, a leading restaurant brand. Founded in 2009, The Chopped Leaf is an emerging fresh casual lifestyle concept that provides delicious, handcrafted meals served fresh & quick for a healthy, better-for-you food experience.
Born on the shores of Okanagan Lake in Kelowna, BC, The Chopped Leaf is expanding its reach across Canada and the U.S. with one goal in mind: to make you feel good after you eat. Its chef designed menu is always made using fresh ingredients with bold, wholesome, and delicious flavors.
In an interview with Insights Success, Blair Stevens, the Founder and Brand President of the restaurant, shares his valuable insights on how The Chopped Leaf is serving wholesome and delicious meals for everyone
Below are the highlights of the interview:
Brief us about the source of inspiration to be in the food industry.
I and my wife, Karla, sought to create a quick-serve food spot that would feature fresh salads, which were always integral to our lifestyle and way of life.
We knew we had to put a menu together that was well-fit for the Canadian market. The challenge back then was this perception that ‘healthy’ was linked to poor-tasting. But I’ve seen this change; they’re a lot more people educated about the benefits of eating greens – and that they can actually fulfil your taste buds as well.
Brief us about your offerings.
The Chopped Leaf celebrates people’s unique dietary needs and offers something for everyone. From vegan and vegetarian, to kid friendly and gluten-free options, our fresh and customizable salads, bowls, wraps and soups have been designed with you in mind. Dishes are elevated with Chopped Leaf Signature dressings, created especially for their brand and cannot be found anywhere else.
What are the key points that you consider while choosing or getting in talks with a new Franchisee?
Franchisees who own and operate The Chopped Leaf restaurants across Canada and into the United States have specific qualities that make them an ideal candidate, being that they are both business-driven and live the Chopped Leaf way-of-life. While restaurant experience may be helpful, The Chopped Leaf seeks franchisees that have a drive for success and a willingness to learn and follow out operational manuals. Previous restaurant experience is not required to be able to run a successful Chopped Leaf franchise. An ideal franchisee values the core brand values, which is giving people more choices to feel good after they eat. Their goals are to ensure customers feel welcomed and leave with a smile (and full stomach).
How do you train the new franchisee on-board and track their development?
The Chopped Leaf provides an extensive three-week training program to all new Chopped Leaf franchise partners. The initial training will take place at a Chopped Leaf location and with an experienced Chopped Leaf franchise partner. Part of this training includes front-of-house and back-of-house training, food preparation and food safety, marketing and financial management and various online courses. Once their store’s construction has sufficiently progressed, Chopped Leaf’s training team will go into the store to go over the training again with the Franchisee and to help train staff. The training team also stays through the grand opening and beyond, until everything is running smoothly.
What factors differentiate the company from competitors and how do you ensure that these factors remain consistent throughout the chain?
Competition is high in the fresh food industry, so The Chopped Leaf brand continues to be innovative with their menu additions and ingredients; featuring limited time offers and permanent menu items year-after-year. The brand is well supported and respected, leading the trend towards more nutritious eating that never sacrifices bold and delicious flavor.
The current pandemic has affected the food and restaurant industry adversely. Even when things become normal, there are views that the industry won’t be operating as it was. What changes do you expect and how are you preparing for it?
As we all navigate the unprecedented, extraordinary, and evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, The Chopped Leaf team and our guests will continue to be top priority. The future is subject to shifting and the restaurant industry is vulnerable, however, with the proper crisis communications and operational plans in place, the brand remains confident that these obstacles will be handles to the best possible standard. Operations and marketing tactics will continue to shift and adapt to new health and safety standards outlined by our Healthcare and Government officials. Procedures will continue to be monitored to mitigate the effects that existing circumstances will have on our business.