America’s Best Salads Meets America’s Worst Service.
Saladworks – Blackwood, NJ
1484 Blackwood-Clementon Rd
Blackwood, NJ 08012
Meal: Dinner / Weekend / 6pm
Price: $19 (For Two – No Tip)
We were passing through Blackwood on a recent evening and decided it was a good time to try the relatively new Saladworks store wedged between a T-Mobile store and Venuto’s. For a Friday night around 630, the joint was sure dead, with but three or four other people in the dining room. Perhaps that should have been our first signal to run for the hills.
Inside the spacious Saladworks we thought the new in-wall salad displays were cool, if not a bit icky. I’d be interested to know how long they refresh those salads on display. With the lack of patrons, we had no problem quickly coming up to bat with an order of the old Newport Salad and a do-it-yourself’er for Autumn. The girl working the ‘salad creation’ station wasnt certain what was in the Newport, but got it right. Unfortunately, she skimped on just about all the toppings. A scant amount of tuna, shrimp, and (3) small diced tomatoe wedges later, my frustration was clear and she noticed. When she asked if she put the wrong ingredients in, I just asked for more tomatoes. Autumn did much better with her salad, as she was able to direct and supervise each ingredient. Overall, the portion size seemed painfully small compared to other salad places, even other Saladworks locations.
We had brought a coupon with us to the store, $3 off of a $15 purchase, and presented it for use when our orders hit the register. Unbeknown to us, the cashier notified us that the coupon was only applicable in the Deptford store. Considering the fact that I was already annoyed by my skimmed-down salad, I asked the cashier to honor the coupon. When she declined, I told her that I was willing to walk away and just leave the salads there. She responded that she’d ‘get in trouble’ and appeared as frustrated with me as I was becoming with her. When I asked her if throwing away two salads was worth the headache over a $3 coupon, she simply shrugged and again refused to honor the coupon. Since they surely couldnt serve the salads to anyone else and we weren’t the kind of people to see good food wasted, we conceded to purchase them at the regular price. The cashier clearly didn’t care one way or another, which was pretty amazing.
As far as the food went, the portion size left me a little bit hungry afterward. The wheat rolls were cold to the touch and do not appear to have been freshly baked or at least recently warmed up. In summary, I got 80% of a salad, day-old rolls, and a cashier that wouldnt find a way to offer in compromise if they truly couldnt just hit a button to give us a few bucks back. We won’t ever return. This situation is very indicative of what’s wrong with the economy right now. When people have less money (less jobs = less money) and you can’t increase the quality or quantity of your product (quantity is sure less!), the only reasonable thing you can do is to increase your service. Instead, management of this Saladworks is content to retain people who are clearly not passionate about providing service and would rather would risk throwing away what would still no doubt be a 100-200% margin after a small coupon was applied.
We recommend avoiding this venue and sticking to other Saladworks locations or competitors.
Guru’s Score: 1.95 Chews
Subjective rating: Doesnt work.
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