What Did I Do Wrong


I’ve done it again. And I’m ready to admit that I need help.

I’ve previously failed, and documented, my attempts to create an appetizing salad at one of the many new do-it-yourself salad places that have popped up downtown. Another one just opened, Freshii, and my friend Katie and I checked it out.

I was immediately turned off by their ordering process. Each customer is given a piece of paper and a pencil and told to check off their salad items. I can see how this saves time and confusion, but this absolute waste of paper really pisses me off. Couldn’t there be touch screen kiosks instead? (Although they do claim to reuse order tickets as flyers, but I’m not really sure how that works.)

I soldiered on and checked off ingredients. I went vegan that day and avoided the up-charges, although that was probably the main issue. A salad without cheese or avocado can barely be considered a salad. But still, I thought my choices went well together, especially as I’m increasingly into raw broccoli.  But it was bland and barely dressed.

Help! Please show me how to put together a decent salad. (Better view of ingredients.)

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  • Tim April 20, 2010  

    Are you sure that wasn’t the freaking census?! Wasteful and annoying… Surfside, the taco place in Glover Park uses similar sheets. It’s not taxes, people. Why not let the customer communicate with your employees to convey their order?!

  • Jacques April 20, 2010  

    50 ingredients is way overkill on the choices, and reflects bad editing on the part of the Freshii folks.

    For a salad, I usually aim for 5-7 items, tops.

    – 1 base (mixed greens, spinach, etc).
    – 1-3 veggie toppings
    – 1 protein
    – 1 texture (optional, could be croutons, or sunflower seeds, fresh/dried fruit, or bacon bits–no, they don’t count as a protein).
    – 1 dressing

    As for how to combine, I think the order form has their ingredients backwards in terms of how to put them together.

    I usually start with a protein, a texture and/or a dressing to determine the basics of the flavors that I want. For example, I might pair a grilled chicken with strawberries and a light, citrusy dressing, or instead go for walnuts with dried cranberries and a simple olive oil.

    I choose veggie toppings after having decided that base, and they should either add to the basic flavors (a.k.a., adding cucumbers and red onions to a feta-olive oil Greek combination), or provide an interesting counterpoint.

    Finally, I pick the base that seems to make the most sense with the ingredients I’ve chosen. Or if I want to be healthy, I pick spinach.

  • BS April 20, 2010  

    ugh. the other problem with the paper is that i pick my salad ingredients largely on how they look. that’s the best part — then you never end up with any overripe peppers or bottom-of-the-bin crushed up croutons

  • JoeHoya April 20, 2010  

    Touch-screen kiosks? What is this, some sort of hyper-futuristic high-concept restaurant?!?

    Or maybe just Sheetz circa 1997?

    Seriously…gas stations get this.

    Wawa gets it, too…they’ve been doing the touch-screen thing since 2002.

    Interesting that the touch-screen technology is really only being used to order sandwiches thus far. Can it be that sandwiches are more green than salads?

  • Claudio Ferreira April 20, 2010  


    My name is Claudio, I’m the brand manager for Freshii.

    In response to your questions,

    1. We stamp the back of our order tickets and reuse them for flyer marketing.
    2. You never have to fill one of these tickets out. If you would rather vocalize your order, a Freshii team member will be happy to oblige.
    3. We are always looking for new ways to be greener and welcome suggestions freshii.com/feedback
    4. If you have trouble deciding, I recommend starting with one of our chef designed items or asking one of our team members for a suggestion.

    Hope this helps.

    Brand Manager, Freshii

  • Jacques April 20, 2010  

    And if they had a touch screen kiosk, could it also make whiz-bang sounds (a la a 1980s arcade game) when you ordered?

  • Liza April 20, 2010  

    Ok if Potbelly’s can come around with a freaking touch screen tiny ordering machine then Freshii can…
    I am SO excited to see you can choose your BROTH! I’m totally checking this place out! That is a dream come true that I can make a soup!!!!
    BUT I was overwhelmed by the choices – but I don’t think I would choose salad at this place – I am way more enticed by the wrap, or the soup, or the burrito option

  • Erin May 26, 2010  

    My first impression is romaine, black beans, sweet corn, roasted pepper, cilantro, sunflower seeds, cilantro, diced tomatoes. Try salsa on the side for a dressing, in case it’s not good.

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