Our Franchise Family

The Big Salad is more than just a salad franchise restaurant. We believe that food brings people together, and serving made-to-order salads, sandwiches and soups that people love unites us. Our family of owners are passionate about providing a memorable dining experience that turns our customers into raving fans. We do this by awarding franchises to candidates who love people and embrace the idea of bringing them together to enjoy our healthy, wholesome food in our warm, inviting restaurants.

Franchise Profiles

Gabe Hernandez

Who says franchising is just for the baby boomer generation? For 30 year old Gabe Hernandez, The Big Salad has been like a second home for his entire adult life. A soccer-playing sensation at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, Gabe pursued a dream of coaching youth soccer throughout his twenties while making a living as a salad chef at The Big Salad. His coaching career fizzled, but a meteoric rise through the ranks of The Big Salad earned Gabe his own restaurant, the bellwether franchise in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. For the soccer star turned salad franchise success, The Big Salad’s ability to teach a guy like him how to win as a business owner has made all the difference. “You don’t need to be a restaurant professional to get into this business, because I wasn’t,” Hernandez said. “They’ve helped me step by step to make sure that I have all the tools I need to be successful.”

Morene & Eric McGill

When a healthy lifestyle is important, you eat at salad franchise restaurants. When healthy living is your passion, you purchase one. Morene & Eric McGill are both fitness fanatics. In fact, Eric is such an accomplished powerlifter that he won the 2007 Strongman National Championship to go with four national championships and one world title in Kettlebell Sports. Both 33 years old and with a young daughter, the dynamic duo feed their passion for healthy living as owners of The Big Salad in Charlotte, Michigan and a crossfit gym located in the same wellness center. Eric keeps the customers pumped up while Morene keeps them fed with healthy, whole foods that keep their bodies strong and energy levels high. And thanks to the breadth of product offered by The Big Salad, their customers keep coming back. “It’s always fresh. The freshness and the flavor options are what I love about it. There are tons of dressings, different soups, different sandwiches and you never get bored with it. You have so much variety that you can change it up all the time,” she said.

Chris Pike

Twenty-seven years in corporate America is a long time for anyone. For Chris Pike, owner of The Big Salad in Novi, Michigan, it was a time for him to do his own thing. The 49 year old father of two knew he was ready to make the leap from employee to entrepreneur and decided franchising was the right path for him. When his franchise consultant introduced him to John Bornoty and The Big Salad, he knew he had found the right franchise for him. “I liked the store, liked the concept and thought it would be successful,” he said. Chris became a franchisee in 2015 and has not only run his own business but helped the corporate team continue to grow the franchise. For Chris, franchising made sense because it allows candidates to buy into a proven model of success, and The Big Salad definitely provides that. “Everything that you need to run the store successfully are all very well documented in The Big Salad Operational Cookbook.”

Craig Nelson

Craig has served as Director of Food and Beverage for Olympia Entertainment, providing guest and staff catering services for the Detroit Red Wings and Fox Theatre. He also led food and beverage operations for the University of Michigan’s sports venues, as well as food and beverage services for the Toledo Mud Hens – Fifth Third Field and the Hensville Entertainment District.

“I’m a big fan of The Big Salad business concept,” Nelson said. “With more and more people choosing healthier fast casual dining options, this makes The Big Salad a winning choice.”

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