Another twist on Chipotle-style fast casual – CHOP5 Salad Kitchen debuts in Columbus

CHOP5 Salad Kitchen may be just four months old, but it is eager to grow and that includes sites beyond Central Ohio. The Columbus-based fast-casual salad eatery opened at 2044 Polaris Parkway in November. “Our original plan was to do four stores in four cities,” Allen Hertzman, one of five partners in the business, told me. The goal was ambitious because that ownership group is spread across the U.S.

“We want to be involved with people with the same DNA,” Brian Mills, one of the partners, said. “We can grow rapidly because we can go to people we already know and like who will follow the pillars of our business — business relations, friends. We don’t have to be a franchisor.”

“We wanted to start something of our own, something that would be different,” he said. “As franchisees, how would we want to start a brand?”

The partners have decades of franchised restaurant experience with a variety of brands including Papa John’s International Inc. Hertzman’s Johncol Inc. is the Central Ohio franchisee for that Louisville, Kentucky-based pizza chain.

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