Just Salad Receives Investment from Leading Circular Economy Investor Closed Loop Partners; Plans to Expand Geographic Footprint and Zero-Waste Programs
July 20, 2021
Just Salad demonstrates pathway to scale reusables across food service industry with pioneering Reusable Bowl program
NEW YORK, NY–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Just Salad, a fast-casual restaurant concept with a mission to make everyday health and everyday sustainability possible, announced today that it has completed its largest ever capital raise, with participation by the circular economy-focused investment firm Closed Loop Partners, as well as returning investor Panda Restaurant Group, the parent company of Panda Express®.
Just Salad will use the capital to expand its geographic footprint and implement new environmental sustainability and technology initiatives. Currently the brand has 47 locations in New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, and Dubai, and plans to double its footprint over the next two years.
Founded in 2006, Just Salad is the fast-casual restaurant industry’s leading proponent of zero-waste practices. In 2022, Just Salad will expand its award-winning Reusable Bowl Program to digital orders and offer participating customers loyalty rewards in its mobile app, further encouraging sustainable eating on the go.
Just Salad is the first restaurant investment for Closed Loop Partners, a New York-based investment firm and innovation center focused on scaling the circular economy in North America and beyond. Their investments align capitalism with positive social and environmental impact, driving toward zero-waste “closed loop” systems that benefit people, the planet and business. The partnership with Just Salad builds on and complements Closed Loop Partners’ existing work to advance sustainable food packaging, including investments in companies who focus on alternative materials and reuse systems, and their leadership in the NextGen Consortium, an industry partnership that advances the design, commercialization and recovery of sustainable food packaging alternatives.
“We are impressed with Just Salad’s innovative approach to embedding zero-waste principles across their business. They are a pioneer of reuse models at scale, creating the world’s largest restaurant reusable program and illustrating their commitment to extending the life of valuable packaging materials,” said Ron Gonen, Founder and CEO of Closed Loop Partners. “Their continued growth demonstrates the viability, feasibility and desirability of circular business models.”
“It has been rewarding to be part of Just Salad’s journey since the start of our partnership in 2014. Their growth in urban and suburban markets is impressive and is the result of great operations and focus on people development,” said Andrew Cherng, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Panda Restaurant Group, the largest Asian dining concept in the U.S. with restaurant concepts in more than ten countries. “We are looking forward to supporting this next phase of Just Salad’s expansion and the impact they will make through their upcoming initiatives.”
Nick Kenner, Founder and CEO of Just Salad, said of the company’s future, “The white space for Just Salad is truly incredible. Just Salad is on its way to becoming a larger part of the national landscape and that means unrivaled, craveable food and more sustainable eating for America in general. The tailwinds are strong, and it’s about executing at a high level while still focusing on each and every customer.”
About Just Salad
Just Salad is a fast-casual concept with a mission to make everyday health and everyday sustainability possible. Empowering customers to eat with purpose, Just Salad is home of the world’s largest restaurant reusable bowl program and is the first U.S. restaurant chain to carbon label its menu. The company was founded in 2006 in New York City and has 47 locations across New York, New Jersey, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Dubai. Learn more at justsalad.com.
About Closed Loop Partners
Closed Loop Partners is a New York-based investment firm comprised of venture capital, growth equity, private equity, project-based finance and an innovation center focused on building the circular economy. The firm has built an ecosystem that connects entrepreneurs, industry experts, global consumer goods companies, retailers, financial institutions and municipalities, bridging gaps and fostering synergies to scale the circular economy.
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