Making Salads Work: Michelle Landis Becomes Saladworks\' Youngest Female Multi-Unit Franchisee - Forbes.com 2010-06-24
Posted Date June 2010
BusinessWire - It's 4 p.m. on Friday at the Oxford Valley Saladworks in Langhorne, PA. Customers are lined up for late lunches and early dinners, the staff is mixing and tossing the variety of salad creations with franchisee Michelle Landis, 27, right alongside them.
Landis is the newest and youngest multi-unit franchisee of Saladworks, the nation's first and largest fresh-tossed salad franchise concept. With over 100 locations coast to coast, Saladworks is a quick-service concept on the rise. Founded by former chef, John Scardapane, in southern New Jersey in 1986, Saladworks serves fresh, made-to-order, entree sized salads as an alternative food offering to consumers on-the-go.
Landis joined the Saladworks team in 1998 at 15 years old as an hourly employee at the Greentree Square store in Marlton, NJ, working for franchisee, Paul DiFillippo. "Michelle is one of the hardest working people I know. There is no task that she can't handle; she thrives on challenges," said DiFillippo. In 2003, DiFillippo approached Landis about managing his team's location in Oxford Valley, PA. Landis, a businesswoman to the core, turned him down. "I said the only way that it would be worth my time was if I owned the store," she said. Six months went by before DiFillippo approached her again about managing and taking over the store. This time, Landis accepted and in April, 2004, the Oxford Valley Saladworks was hers.
Since then, Landis has helped the location sky rocket to success. The store's operational performance review scores are well above system-wide average, based on standards of quality, service, and cleanliness. Additionally, Landis' store was awarded the Silver Club award at Saladworks' 2010 Franchise Convention; an impressive status held by stores with annual sales above $850,000.
In May, 2010, Landis became a multi-unit franchisee after purchasing an additional Saladworks location in Warminster, PA with her own funds. "It's exciting, overwhelming, and interesting," Landis says about running two locations. "I feel strongly about the brand and that's why I purchased a second store. You need people you can trust and rely on, and I have that here," she said.
Sierra Corbin, 24, of Bristol, PA, is one of those people. Corbin has been an employee of the Oxford Valley location for two years. "Michelle is honest and trustworthy," Corbin says of her boss. "She's no-nonsense and gets down to business. I've enjoyed working with her. I wouldn't be here if I didn't!" Corbin says, and Landis, the no-nonsense boss blushes at the compliment.