Operations

A salad chain tries a new kind of meal kit

Just Salad's "no-commitment" kits, currently available via Grubhub, don’t require a subscription and are packaged to order at each restaurant.
Photographs courtesy of Just Salad

Fast-casual chain Just Salad this week launched Housemade, a “no-commitment” meal-kit delivery service available via Grubhub.

Housemade currently features 10 different entrees that can be prepared in 15 minutes or less in one pot or pan, Just Salad CEO Nick Kenner said.

Unlike other meal kit brands, the Housemade kits don’t require a subscription, can be delivered in about an hour and packaged-to-order at each of Just Salad’s 44 locations in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Chicago and South Florida.

“We did not want to put all this time and effort into something where we felt once there was a vaccine and many people go back to the office, we’re left with a product that is not relevant anymore,” Kenner said. “We were thinking about it in a post-COVID vaccine world. Where meal kits have really struggled is they take a long time to receive and you have to commit to a subscription or multiple meal kits at the same time, so it’s very cumbersome. We think this is a true disruptor.”

mobile order

Next week, the Housemade kits are slated to be available through UberEats on Just Salad’s page, and the chain plans to roll out a website dedicated to selling the kits.

“We’re happy with the amount of people that are clicking on it and ordering it so far,” Kenner said.

In line with Just Salad’s sustainability mission, the kits don’t use any plastic and have 91% less packaging by weight than the average meal kit, the company said. Just Salad’s kits include recyclable paper, compostable fiber, water-soluble stickers and no ice packs or plastic pouches.

Meal kits include options like a Buffalo Chicken Bowl, as well as two kits that are vegan and one that includes plant-based Beyond Beef.

Buffalo Chicken Bowl

The kits evolved from a Just Salad initiative that started in the pandemic’s earliest days of selling grocery staples, along with some very basic meal kits.

“It’s certainly added extra work to the team, but we have a great operations team and they were genuinely excited and felt that it’s something they could execute at a high level,” Kenner said. “We didn’t bring any new food SKUs in. We’re leveraging our existing supply chain.”

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