Salad Creations hopes to create interest in salads
Hawaii's first Salad Creations
franchise, at 1102 Bishop St., is proof that the pendulum really does swing the other way.
The term "fast food" brings a burger to the brain, right? Topped with cheese, stacked with bacon, perhaps, and, of course, you want fries with that. But nationally the restaurant industry is full of salad chains, and some, like Salad Creations, are quick-service restaurants like their plate-lunch-piling and burger-slingin' brethren.
Salad Creations has local predecessors, including the San Francisco Salad Co. downtown and Aloha Salads, a relatively new eatery in Kailua, which is expanding to Kahala Mall.
At Salad Creations, a $6.99 "Create Your Own" salad can contain all 30 choices, which will fit in the bowl or the take-out container, according to co-owner Jerry Mullen. Proteins can be added for an extra fee, or diners can choose from the menu.
Salad Creations has been operating since July with 10 employees. For its grand opening tomorrow and Thursday, it will offer a buy-one-get-one-free deal with the purchase of a salad or wrap with a fountain drink.
Mullen learned about the chain from his friend, James Han, the area developer for Hawaii.
Mullen and his Japan-based partner took over Ono Cheese Steak's lease. He has heard that no business has survived in that spot, "but I'm trying to break that trend," he said.
Predictably, the clientele is mostly women, "but you'd be surprised how many men come in ... There's a lot of men trying to eat healthy," on doctors' orders. "I want to help them live longer."
The Hawaii Pacific University school schedule is spiking salad sales, meanwhile, Mullen is trying to build catering customers.
A client at Hawaiian Electric recently ordered 14 wraps and two platters for 20 people, "and she called me that day and said it was excellent ... That made my day."
Han will open three Salad Creations this year: at Koko Marina in December and at the Waikiki Shopping Plaza and Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center in November and December, respectively.
Another franchisee will open stores at Pearlridge and at Kapolei Commons, Han said.
Han sold his Subway sandwich shops to focus on the new venture.
"I'm committed to do at least 40 in the next 7 years," and is looking or franchisees with $150,000 to $300,000 to invest.
Han is working with the chain to localize the menu with fruits such as mango, and perhaps ahi poke, but not Spam.
"Oh no ... I don't think that fits our model," he chuckled.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org