Unique Michigan-based chain will open eateries in Detroit, Traverse City and Novi/Farmington during 2021
One of Michigan’s most unique restaurant groups has not only survived the COVID pandemic, but is thriving and developing big plans to expand this year.
The Big Salad, based in Harper Woods, has unveiled plans to launch three new eateries that include locations in downtown Detroit, downtown Traverse City and a site in the Novi/Farmington communities.
Founded in 2008 by entrepreneur John Bornoty, today The Big Salad operates four restaurants in Michigan located in Grosse Pointe (the original), Woodhaven, Charlotte, and Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan Hospital as well as one in Spring, Texas.
Scheduled to open in mid-July, the Traverse City restaurant is located on 332 East Front Street in downtown. The Novi/Farmington restaurant is still looking for a location and is targeted to open by the fall of this year.
The Detroit eatery will be a new corporate owned store located inside of University of Detroit Mercy Law School on Jefferson Avenue. It is expected to open the first week of August for students and faculty, as well as people living and working downtown. Plans are to also offer delivery, curbside and catering for downtown businesses. This corporate store will also serve as a creation facility where new menu items will be developed.
“With so many restaurants closing, we are excited to be expanding in our home state of Michigan.,” said owner and founder John Bornoty. “We believe the restaurant industry is coming back and feel it’s our role to feed our community.”
All of the current Big Salads are open for inside dining at 50% capacity in addition to offering carryout, delivery, and curbside service. The original store in Grosse Pointe was fully renovated in February of this year.
Besides maintaining five eateries during the health pandemic, The Big Salad reshaped its operations in a number of important ways, according to Bornoty.
“We upgraded all of our technology for point-of-sale systems, gift cards, delivery, pickup, curbside, online ordering and our loyalty program,” he noted. “We also created EMILYS program, named for my niece who is a nurse. The idea was to help feed front line workers during the pandemic.”
At the same time, The Big Salad’s healthy menu was completely redesigned and simplified with many prices lowered. For example, the “build your own salad” was reduced to $8 and simplified to include unlimited vegetables.
Like many restaurants, The Big Salad was challenged by the pandemic, having to close two stores in Michigan and one in Pennsylvania. Those stores relied heavily on office workers who were no longer working in the office during the pandemic, said Bornoty. “Although we offered to reassign members of our team to other locations, it is always difficult to close a store and have valued team members lose their jobs while also no longer being able to serve our loyal customers who have supported us for so many years,” said Bornoty.
“I can’t say enough about our entire team and all of the communities who love and support The Big Salad,” Bornoty said. “The pandemic has challenged everyone in the food industry, a business I have a real passion for. Being a Michigan-based entrepreneur, I’ve seen it all first-hand. Now is the time to rebuild and expand, and that makes me excited.”
Since opening its first location in 2008, The Big Salad, headquartered in Michigan, has allowed people to make their meal their own. Through thoughtful planning, The Big Salad chefs are equipped to prepare more than 17 million possible iceberg, romaine or spinach salad combinations for customers right at the point of purchase with a choice of 40 toppings and 30 dressings. Additionally, The Big Salad offers a plethora of fresh sandwich and soup options, as well as putting any salad into a wrap. Currently, The Big Salad can be found in Ann Arbor, Grosse Pointe Woods, Woodhaven, Charlotte — all in Michigan, along with Spring, Texas. Learn more at www.mybigsalad.com.