Fast Casual Gourmet Salad Chain Increases EBITDA by $2.5 Million

Fast Casual Salad Chain


Rising wage rates and challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic left this 8-unit fast casual gourmet salad chain searching for answers after an annual loss of more than $1 million. With government-mandated closures, the popular concept found itself struggling to survive.


FTR was engaged to manage accounting, assist with IT implementations, and identify inefficiencies to help the company reverse course. Among the steps taken was the closing of the support center, facilitated by engaging FTR to handle certain functions. We helped the client apply innovative technology, labor benchmarking, and best practices to improve unit economics. We also identified the need for a master distribution agreement and helped the company negotiate and implement one while facilitating tests of adding the brand to ghost kitchens.


The efficiencies implemented resulted in a positive EBITDA of $1.4 million in less than two years – a nearly $2.5 million swing in the right direction. During this period, fully loaded labor costs decreased from 46% to 36% of revenue despite sharp minimum wage increases on the path to $15/hour. Meanwhile, G&A dropped from 6.5% to 5.5%, and revenues increased steadily. 

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