The Cali-based Fast Casual on the Rise: Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop

Foodable WebTV Network

Foodable WebTV Network

The fast casual focused on providing the consumer with healthy, yet affordable menu options, Greenleaf continues to expand in the California. With four wildly popular restaurant chains and two more new ones on the way, one in Hollywood and another Pasadena , Cali foodies can't seem to get enough of this healthy fast casual. But what makes this restaurant chain different than all the other green and healthy restaurant options in Southern California?

The Gourmet Aspect

The fast casual segment has changed how consumers eat and how they view dining out. Fast casuals are appealing, especially to the millennial generation, because the food options are seen as better quality, but the speed of service is almost on par with quick-serve. Greenleaf has proven that the LA market, known for being both health and eco-conscious, was just the environment for the chef Jonathan Rollo to bring gourmet cuisine to the masses. With a culinary background in fine dining, Rollo aims to provide flavorful, yet healthy dishes. "We are for healthy everyday eating, you don't only come here on a diet," said Cissy Baldwin, Director of Marketing at Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop. This is symphonious with the healthier lifestyle of the LA residents. 

Customer Service Focused

Foodable WebTV Network

Foodable WebTV Network

The fast casual segment is by far my favorite, I am an impatient millennial, who still wants to eat quality meals and have some extra service. There has been an increase of customer service at fast casuals. Greenleaf wants their consumers to get their meal quickly, but to also have a dining experience. That is part of the fast casual appeal. Greenleaf brings the customer's meal to their table, but the servers also walk around to refill beverages and ask if customers need anything else. Once flavorful dishes are paired with excellent customer service– this makes for a fast casual success. 

However, the LA market is saturated with healthy dining options, so to keep that success momentum going, restaurants have to keep consumers interested. Greenleaf focuses on bringing the consumer a different experience every time they dine at Greenleaf. They change up their menu every two weeks, depending on the seasonal ingredients available and then offer seasonal specials. The fall provides a lot of fun consumer ingredient favorites, such as pumpkin. "You can come in every two weeks and try something different," said Baldwin. 

Foodable WebTV Network

Foodable WebTV Network

Eco-conscious 

With the green movement and the more educated consumer, Greenleaf sees it as their responsibility to be eco-conscious in all parts of their business. They make sure that all vendors they work with are also eco-friendly. The menu features organic and local ingredients and all their to-go products are biodegradable. "We try to leave the smallest footprint possible," said Baldwin. 

Smartdining at Greenleaf

Restaurant technology has became a huge part of the fast casual dining segment. Greenleaf has implemented technology with their mobile ordering app, Greenleaf loyalty program, handheld POS terminals, and by connecting with consumers via social media. In the last six months, Greenleaf has made a conscious effort to interact more with customers through social media, especially Twitter. 

The Future Of Greenleaf 

Foodable WebTV Network

Foodable WebTV Network

Where will Greenleaf be in the future? Right now they are focusing on expanding in the California market. The Hollywood location will be opening at the end of this month and a few days ago, Greenleaf signed a lease to open a store in Pasadena. "But we still are not going to stop there," said Baldwin. 

Maybe the rest of the country isn't exactly ready for Greenleaf. But with the health food trend spreading to all parts of the country, consumers soon may be just looking for a fast casual option to satisfy their new healthier lifestyle.