Chop Stop was conceived from a frustrated craving for chopped salads and nowhere to buy them. “I could sometimes find a single chopped salad on a menu,” founder Mark Kulkis recalls. “But even those were few and far between. I couldn’t believe a health-conscious city like L.A. didn’t offer more.”
VP of operations Joey Gonzalez with founder and CEO Mark Kulkis
MORE THAN A SALAD
Our Business Model
So Kulkis decided to take matters into his own hands. “For me, the key is to chop all the ingredients really fine, so the flavors and textures combine in every bite. I also like a lot of ‘stuff’ in my salads such as meat, cheese and fun toppings like fried onions. I made them the way I wanted to eat them.”
When he shared his creations with friends, their rave reviews convinced him that he could make a business of it. He joined forces with Joey Gonzalez, a veteran restaurant operator with over 30 years’ experience, and in 2011 they opened the first Chop Stop in Burbank, California. It was an immediate success and the team proceeded to open an additional location each year after that, culminating with their Franchise Training Center Restaurant in Glendale, California in 2016. This was also the year the first franchise location opened, and the company has been expanding rapidly through franchising ever since.
As our trademarked slogan indicates, our signature product is “More than a salad.” What exactly does that mean? First and foremost, our proprietary chopping techniques enhance both the flavor and texture of our chops. There’s “more” flavor than a traditional salad, because you get a piece of every topping in every bite – a true fusion of freshness! And every spoonful has a delightfully crisp, crunchy texture.
We also give customers “more” for their money. Each of our chops weighs over a pound on average, with over 40 fresh toppings to choose from. And because they really are chopped so fine you can eat them with a spoon, they are “more” fun to eat than everyday salads. In fact, our customers often describe their glee at being able to “shovel it in” as they’re consumed by the sheer joy of eating!
Additional competitive advantages you will enjoy as a Chop Stop operator include:
- Lightning fast speed of service for the lunchtime market. Our average time from start of order to receiving food is just over 3 minutes.
- Proprietary dressings that are deliciously addictive.
- Chopping preparation is difficult to replicate at home.
- Easy to transport, deliver, and eat on the go
- Healthy eating is now the fastest growing segment of the restaurant industry.
Our build-outs are faster, easier, and less expensive than most other restaurants. First, our locations are compact (1100-1500 sq ft), saving money on both rent and construction costs. We don’t require a hood, any cooking equipment, or a grease interceptor (subject to local regulations). And often, an easier “retail takeout food” designation will work instead of a full restaurant permit.
Designed for speed, our production line is located in the back of the house, out of view of the customer. This efficiency enables us to get our salads out faster during those busy lunchtime rushes. It also promotes a certain “mystique” about the process when the customer is magically presented with a perfectly chopped salad! Our dining room features bamboo floors, green counters and dark wood furniture, creating an atmosphere that is both modern yet also warm and inviting. Chop Stop restaurants can operate efficiently in any number of locations, from malls and airports to regional power centers and freestanding drive-thru’s.