Presented by Dallas Business Journal

Customers at Saladworks can order from a menu or create their own salads.

Fast casual eatery Saladworks is coming back to Texas, with its first location opening in Irving next week.

The Philadephia company has an all-franchised footprint of 105 locations in 14 states with average unit volume of $850,000 annually. Customers’ average check price usually totals around $10.60.

Saladworks opened its first restaurant in the Lone Star state in 2008, but had to close the location after a family illness left the franchisee unable to operate the store. But the company says is ready to re-enter the market and already plans to open 15 locations over the next few years. It chose to relaunch in the Dallas area because of its healthy restaurant culture.

“Texas is a great market for the food industry and we believe Dallas in particular is a good market for our brand,” added David Wheeler, Saladworks’ vice president of franchise development. “With all the growth going on in the area, there’s certainly opportunity for us.”

The company’s first store will open on Oct. 14 at 3601 Regent Blvd. in Irving, near several office buildings such as Myers-Crow Freeport 9 and Freeport Commons.

“For us, one of the most important things that we look at in real estate acquisition is day time population, because we’re a daytime concept about 65 percent of our biz comes in between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.,” President and CEO Paul Steck said.

After opening the Irving location, Saladworks does not expect to open its second eatery until the second half of 2016. The company’s primary focus is developing the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but it is also looking for franchisees to open locations in Houston and Austin, Wheeler said.

Saladworks, founded in 1986, offers customers a variety of sandwiches, soups, and customizable salads. Diners can choose from a menu or go through a serving line similar to Chipotle and create their own salad from 64 ingredients and 14 dressings.

In February, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, a move that Saladworks said did not adversely affect its franchise locations or affiliates. According to the Wall Street Journal, the bankruptcy filing was a move to help the company repay its debt, including more than $10 million in debt to one of its stakeholders.

New York private investment firm Centre Lane Partners agreed in June to acquire the company for $16.9 million, including $15 million in cash and $1.2 million in a brand development fund.

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