Just Salad, the green-minded greens concept based in New York, is embracing residential delivery with a new model that makes self-delivery more efficient for staff and exceptionally convenient for customers.
The company is partnering with residential building managers to install building-specific, digital-delivery-only outlets dubbed “The Hub.”
Founder and CEO Nick Kenner said things are getting notably better in New York, where COVID-19 rates have remained low and people are happy to make salad runs. The key business centers that had lines out the door, however, remain pretty quiet.
“We’re all over New York City, we’re every type of neighborhood, the ones thar are more residential-driven are doing well and the ones that are more office-driven are struggling more,” said Kenner. “But Manhattan is such a dynamic area, when the locations in office areas are delivering to residential high rises two blocks away.”
The Hub is a way to push that residential business even further without adding complexity or eroding margins for Kenner and the staff—or adding fees and waits for customers.
“We’re excited about it. On a very simple level, how it works is we create a customer-facing online Just Salad restaurant for residents in a particular building. We’ll use an existing area in a building such as a lobby to create a drop-off point. So basically, residents will place their order by 11 a.m. on this custom virtual location specifically for their building branded as such, and they’ll get it by noon,” said Kenner. “What I think makes it a win for landlords and for us and the residents is from a landlord perspective, its simply a perk—they’ve created a custom online store for their residents which is free Just Salad delivery. It’s a win for the customer because they have this option for free delivery and they also are able to order without subscriptions [or] delivery fees and they get loyalty perks
If that sounds familiar, it’s a lot like the outpost model employed by Foodsby that is popular in office buildings.
The Hub, however, tries to blend in a little bit. While that custom store isn’t a unique menu or anything, Kenner said it drives home that it’s building specific. For instance, if you live in a building called the Waldorf, you can order at just.salad.com/waldorf and see your building’s logo while scrolling through the Just Salad menu. He said, especially during this new normal of working from home for scores of the young professionals that would line up, he’s hoping five to 10 percent of residents order lunch on any given day. The Hubs will also be a drop-off point for dinner at launch as well, but dinner orders won’t be batched and customers will pay a small fee for one-off dinner orders with no limitation on when they can order. Both the lunch and dinner orders are fulfilled by third-party delivery parters.
The idea came from Just Salad’s head of marketing, who works with a lot of corporate clients on catering. They were looking for ways to feed their dispersed staff as they used to for big meetings. A few clients opted to collect orders and just deliver them all, but The Hub came out of those conversations.
The company is testing the model with one residential building operator in 10 of their buildings, and Kenner said “a bunch of other landlords” have reached out to do the same thing in their buildings.