by Todd Madlener
After more than 40 years in the restaurant industry, Curt Paulsen knows just how special Coolgreens‘ operational process is compared to other concepts. While operating a restaurant is never easy, Coolgreens – the fast-casual restaurant that established itself 10 years ago as a healthy, lifestyle eatery that provides quick, fresh and delicious food – took the initiative to simplify operations for its employees. The concept’s ease of operations has proven to be a huge incentive when attracting prospective franchisees.
As Paulsen put it, “Having previous restaurant experience will help a franchisee, but Coolgreens will equip you with the knowledge you need and then provide you with support so that you succeed.”
Coolgreens starts with a six-week training program that covers everything about its operations, including how to prepare the food and interact with guests.
“The quality of life that you gain compared to other restaurants with more complex operations is enormous,” said Paulsen, a general manager of two upcoming Coolgreens locations in Omaha.
Training to fuel communities
Because the Coolgreens menu requires less equipment compared to other fast-casual restaurants, the training process for team members is minimized. To create dishes that “Feed Your Life,” Vice President of Operations Amanda Powell introduced Hot Schedules along with its Schoox platform for training its hourly team members and managers. Hourly team members are certified in a position within three shifts. The MIT training program is between four and six weeks depending on the level of experience the new manager brings with him or her. These technologies reduce training costs while also reducing turnover.
“The Hot Schedules and Schoox platforms allow team members and managers to access schedules and training content straight from their phones or tablets, keeping everything they need only a swipe or tap away,” Powell said.
“Coolgreens has done its homework on the ground to make sure we have the best systems in place, enabling us to truly get to know our guests while delivering fast and friendly service,” Paulsen said. “The leadership team wants our focus to be on offering our signature salads, wraps, sandwiches and bowls with ‘the coolest hospitality.’ We strive to consistently give guests an excellent experience that makes them want to keep coming back for more.”
Efficient Equipment Package Offers Advantages
Coolgreens uses cutting-edge ventless cooking and reheating equipment, including Convotherm Combi ovens, Turbo Chef Double Batch, induction burners and drop-in food warmers. Plus, it has high-quality food processors, label makers and blenders for preparing house-made salad dressings. Coolgreens President Todd Madlener said the menu is not at all limited by the minimal equipment.
“Our equipment allows us to work with a wide variety of proteins and ingredients without the complexity that many of our competitors deal with,” Madlener said. “We work quickly and effectively without forgoing flavor, which puts us ahead in the industry.”
“These operational efficiencies, along with the incredible menu offerings, are what attracted me to the brand,” said Vice President of Franchise Development Kathy Davidson. “I have worked with multiple brands over my restaurant career, and Coolgreens offers everything a franchisee could ask for – great quality food with an operation built for speed without the high build costs and complexities seen in other brands.”
Aligning with the Brand’s vision
To truly sow the seeds of health in every community, Coolgreens streamlined operations so team members can connect with guests as they order their food. This ease of operations is often a huge selling point for both franchisees and team members. The efficient work in the back of the house is what allows the brand to create meaningful moments on the front line with its guests.
“Even though we’re not full-service, we strive to deliver a personal experience for guests,” Paulsen said. “We want to build relationships and make sure our guests’ experiences feel full-service from when they enter the restaurant to when they leave. Our smooth operations ensure we are able to do that.”
Coolgreens’ intention is to simplify operations without sacrificing quality or the guest experience. The brand strives to go above and beyond what a normal fast-casual restaurant offers, and its ease of operations is one way Coolgreens is proving its commitment to creating “more than” experiences for its guests.
“We have established ourselves as more than just a high quality, fresh dining experience,” Madlener said. “In order to make that true for our guests, team members and franchisees, we had to ensure our operations are frictionless so we can stay true to our brand’s vision. We are most interested in people who share our values and are committed to being stewards of the communities they live and work in. We believe our operating standards and programs are comprehensive and straightforward enough that anyone with a passion for great food and superior hospitality can be successful with Coolgreens.”
For more information about becoming a Coolgreens franchisee,