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New Franchise In Town

Chicago Retail

Planting your first franchise flag in a market is kind of like the first day of school. The trick is strategic planning and knowing your niche (aka making sure your hairstyle’s on trend and joining the right clique).


Capitalizing on the Chicago area’s migration to healthier eating, local franchisee and developer Dan Campbell (snapped with his wife Amanda) is opening the state’s first Salata, a salad and salad wrap restaurant (specializing in gluten-free soups, dressings, and sauces), at 1083 Lake Cook Rd in Wheeling this July. Kudan Group’s Brian Laskov negotiated the lease, and will be the concept’s exclusive local agent. Finding the right location started with demographic studies from a market research firm, Dan, manager of Shoreacres Golf Club in Lake Bluff, tells us. And the space search took one year. Since Salata began serving businesses in Houston’s tunnel system (now with 38 locations in Texas and LA), it will initially target business lunch around the suburbs, he says.


Dan’s shooting to open five more locations around the North Shore in the next five years, with plans to look in the city in the future. He’s eyeing both shopping center and standalone locations, and would also like some space for drive-through service (to pick up a salad you ordered online). The biggest challenge is getting that first restaurant up and running, he tells us. Prospective landlords like to see another location in action, the best way to sell them on the concept, he adds. In the private club business for 18 years, Dan worked at San Francisco’s famous Bohemian Club (and is sworn to secrecy about what goes on at Bohemian Grove).