Join us as Darden Coors, CEO of Salad Collective, shares her journey from law to leading fast-casual brands, emphasizing the power of guest experience and a positive employee culture.

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In this episode of Give an Ovation, host Zack Oates sits down with Darden Coors, the CEO of Salad Collective. With over a decade of experience, Darden has been a driving force behind better-for-you fast-casual brands like Mad Greens, Snappy Salads, and Tokyo Joe’s. As a fifth-generation Coors and a former lawyer, Darden shares her unique insights on building a successful restaurant brand, the importance of guest experience, and how to balance cautious legal strategies with entrepreneurial spirit.

Here are some highlights:

What’s the most important aspect of the guest experience these days? (7:58)

“I think it kind of depends on the brand and what they’re trying to deliver. These days, the guest really is valuing customization and sort of that personalized experience, whether that’s the greeter remembering your name or your order.”

What is a tactic you’ve used to improve the guest experience? (9:14)

“We’ve really tried to educate our team… educating and having tools available for our team as well as our guests, on being able to give them the experience that they want from a food perspective and that lends itself to the interaction with the guests.”

Who’s someone that deserves an Ovation? (13:54)

“Simon Sinek is sort of my sort of latest guy that I like to follow about his philosophy around sort of the long game… So not an industry guy, but maybe somebody outside the industry that’s providing some really interesting insight into what should be, maybe, modern leadership philosophies.”

To learn more about Salad Collective and their brands, visit Mad Greens, Snappy Salads, and Tokyo Joe’s. Follow them on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok for updates and fun content.

Thanks for reading! Make sure to check out the whole episode, as well as other interviews with restaurant gurus by checking out “Give an Ovation: A Podcast For Restaurants” on or your favorite place to listen to podcasts.

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