Salad chains are seeing slow return to pre-pandemic numbers

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It turns out, a lot of people didn’t eat healthy during the lockdowns.

New research shows that during last year, popular salad chains saw significant declines. As the restaurant industry works to recover, however, some of these chains are still struggling to bring customers back.

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Over the past several months, major salad chains across the country are slowly starting to recover, data analytics company Placer.ai reports. Earlier this year, however, chains like Chop’t, Saldworks and Honeygrow were down in monthly visitors from the same time period in 2019 (the last pre-pandemic sales numbers that could be used for comparison).

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In January, Chopt’s monthly visitors were down over 40% from 2019.

Over the next several months, the chains all saw improvement, although several are still seeing numbers worse from when the pandemic began.

Over the past several months, major salad chains across the country are slowly starting to recover. (iStock)

The data analytics company also compared the number of monthly visitors to several popular ice cream spots, including Baskin-Robbins, Cold Stone Creamery and Dairy Queen. While these chains also saw decreases from their 2019 numbers, they were much smaller and by April, most were seeing higher numbers than in 2019.

Friendly’s, however, had a significant decline in the number of visitors and according to Placer.ai, it continues to have fewer monthly visitors than it did during 2019.

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One factor that may have hit salad chains hard was the loss of workers going to the office every day. While the restaurant industry has started to climb back to pre-pandemic levels, many workers are still working from home, leaving salad places without a major source for their customer base during lunch break hours.

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