The Big Salad Signs Sports Venue Food Exec as Latest Franchisee

New downriver restaurant opening planned for spring 2018

The Big Salad Signs Sports Venue Food Exec as Latest Franchisee
Craig Nelson

A strong competitor in Metropolitan Detroit’s downriver dining scene is coming next spring as The Big Salad announces its latest franchisee.

Craig Nelson, a Detroit native and veteran sports and entertainment catering executive, plans to open The Big Salad’s newest location in the Woodhaven, Mich. area, with a target opening planned for April 2018.

Nelson 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.”

The new restaurant will offer The Big Salad’s healthy and popular fresh food menu, with more than 17 million possible combinations of hand-crafted iceberg, romaine, or spinach salads, and a choice of 40 toppings and 30 varieties of dressings. In addition, diners may choose from a selection of fresh-made sandwiches and wraps, and soup options featuring longtime customer favorites, plus an ever-changing array of flavors – just to keep things interesting.

The Big Salad Signs Sports Venue Food Exec as Latest FranchiseeSince opening its first location in 2008, The Big Salad 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 (two locations), Grosse Pointe Woods, Novi, Troy, Charlotte – all in Michigan, Richmond, Texas, and now in Spring, Texas. The restaurant chain has plans to open 100 stores in strategically located metro areas across the country in the next 10 years. Learn more at