Join Club Veg
Get $75 in savings this year!
Follow Us
Facebook Twitter Our Blog

MORE OPTIONS AT SOUPLANTATION SALAD BAR

by Tracy M. on Friday, June 10, 2011 · 28 comments

in Company News

Starting this month, Souplantation locations in Los Angeles and Orange County are expanding their Premium Salad Toppers test to various locations between June 8-18, adding two  restaurant locations every other day totaling 10 additional stores to offer Premium Salad Toppers.

Premium Salad Toppers offer high quality salad enhancements including a protein for a low price. Our intention is to offer the freedom of choice to each of our guests to choose Premium Salad Toppers to add to their dining experience. Premium salad toppers include the following options:

  • Grilled Chicken – seasoned with a salt and pepper rub
  • Herbed Chicken – white meat. The seasoning consists of rice wine vinegar, lime juice, Dijon mustard, shallots, basil, oregano & mint.
  • Hearts of Palms
  • Sliced Almonds
  • Artichoke Hearts
  • Shelled Edamame
  • Protein Packed Tofu
  • Mandarin Oranges

Prices vary upon location and can range from $1.99 – $2.49

The following Souplantation locations will see these new offerings very soon:

Garden Grove                      Fountain Valley

Costa Mesa                           Irvine

Foothill Ranch                   Fullerton

Camarillo                            Northridge

Simi Valley                        Palmdale

As a buffet concept, we are all about giving our guests more CHOICES and respecting needs and wants. Souplantation is excited to offer these premium salad toppers as they have been a frequent guest request.

Tweet This

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Baleka Thursday, June 16, 2011 at 11:36 am

I was at the SP in La Mesa, California last weekend. I saw the premium toppers sign,
but thought it was only for the meat.
I took about 8 sliced almonds and was informed by the cashier that the normal charge for that is $2.49. A little ridiculous.
Luckily she only gave me a warning, and did not charge me.

Reply

Darlene Saturday, July 16, 2011 at 8:41 pm

“Premium toppings” – a ridiculous idea. It’s a buffet, you’re supposed to have choices. Not be charged for some of the things that used to be part of the 55 feet of freshness, now it’s really only 52 feet plus $2.49 for the last 3 feet. We stopped going altogether until this bad idea is removed. Such a shame, any way to make more money!

Reply

Stephen Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 7:43 pm

I basically agree with Darlene. I can -understand- charging a little more for chicken, esp considering some people would load their plate up with it, but edamame? They’re just soybeans, people, and should be sitting out on any decent salad bar anyway.

Reply

Rob Saturday, October 8, 2011 at 6:56 am

I took an older gentleman to your restaurant store #076 Stafford and was flabbergasted when reviewing the receipt the next day (today) that I was charged and additional $2.49 for a “premium salad topper”. Obviously, this is your way of gaining back the 10% discount you give to us over 65 people. Whatever your purpose in this charade you should at least MARK THE PREMIUM CHARGE ITEMS, WITH CHARGE INCURRED AT THE SPOT IN THE LINE. Then regular customers like 88 year old Harold and I can decide whether we want to pay an additional 30% for something you are unwilling to include in your listed price.

Thank you …and we’ll give serious thought before returning to or recommending your establishment again.

Reply

Tracy M. Monday, October 10, 2011 at 8:38 am

Rob,
We are sorry to hear about your experience at the salad bar. We appreciate the feedback and understand that our Premium Salad Toppers are not for everyone. We added our Premium Salad Toppers to our salad bar toppers as they have been a frequent guest request. As we did add these toppings to the bar we made sure that we did not take anything away from our salad bar and all the offerings available. We hope that you will dine with us again soon and we hope to see you soon. We will check with our Stafford location on their signage because we have sent each restaurant extensive materials to display surrounding the Premium Salad Toppers area.

Reply

John H. Monday, October 10, 2011 at 7:59 pm

What a lame idea. And its pathetic that your trying to pass off old items in your regular serving as if they are “new”. I always grabbed Artichoke Hearts on all of my visits to Souplanation. Today when I was looking for them, I was wondering where had they gone. Then as I got to the very end of the line, I spotted them. I was just about to toss a few on my plate when I noticed the sign stating there was a $2.49 additional charge. Totally stupid.

If you want to make more money, just charge more per plate. I would be fine paying $1.00 more for my entire meal. But its pretty easy to pass on the 30% upcharge for a couple of items I can live without.

Souplantation really needs to rethink their business strategy. This is an all around horrible idea. If you noticed, you have not had one positive response to it. And more so, I highly doubt it has been a profitable venture, as most people pass on it immediately after noticing the upcharge.

Reply

Marj Saturday, October 29, 2011 at 10:35 am

Just came from Sweet Tomatoes. I was very disappointed by the extra charge for the “premium” toppings. I used to get the tofu; now they are adding this to the Premium Salad Toppers and calling this new? We’ve been going to Sweet Tomatoes since it opened and always enjoyed the restaurant, but you if you continue to take away from us, yuou are going to lose us! Very bad idea!

Sarasota, FL

Reply

Frank Saturday, October 29, 2011 at 5:34 pm

This is not going to go well, Sweet Tomatoes. All of the above comments are right on. I am offended to thin that slivered almonds, canned artichokes, canned mandarin oranges and edamame are considered premium. You want charge extra for the chicken go ahead, but tofu and the rest ought to be on the buffet, like they used to be. I notice it says ‘One time through” on the premium topping zone. Seriously, this is a bad idea. Fix it, fire the dimwit who thought it up. Soon.

Reply

Steve Griffiths Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at 12:27 pm

I have been going to Sweet Tomatoes for many years, and this so called “premium topping” racket is a bad idea. The toppings are nothing special, and it makes you just feel like it is a marketing way to squeeze more money out of you. Whoever came up with this idea is clueless and should be fired for the negative impact it will cause. I already now feel cautious in going back, where I always wanted to go before, without hesitation.

Reply

Beth Friday, December 2, 2011 at 10:38 am

The “premium” toppings are a terrible idea! I am especially angered over the inclusion of tofu on the premium bar. Who is going to eat tofu? Vegetarians, of course! In my mind, vegetarians should get a discount considering there are only a limited number of items on the buffet that we can eat. But not at Sweet Tomatoes– here, vegetarians pay more! Totally unfair to charge extra for tofu to people who aren’t eating a single meat item. So much for “Club Veg”.

My family will not be back until this nonsense is gone.

Reply

Julie Thursday, January 5, 2012 at 3:08 pm

This idea is stupid ….my boyfriend and I came here for lunch with the 6.99 lunch coupon. We didn’t see the sign and he got three pieces of tofu n a few pieces of chicken, which are small bite size pieces. When we got to the register the lady the asked us and charged it and I looks at the sign and realized we were getting charged 2.49 for that those three pieces of tofu and a couple pieces of tiny chicken. Then we were just like whatever he can get more later than… To our surprise you can only get it the first time through!!! Ummmm isn’t this a buffet…. And obviously we didn’t see the sign maybe the cashier should have asked if he possibly wanted more since its a one time thing!!!! So basically the discount and the extra charge balanced out so the coupon was useless….. If souplantation wants to do this mb they should look at the amount and vary it that way…..2.49 for that I could go out and buy more chicken for that price

Reply

Jak Sunday, January 8, 2012 at 6:39 pm

First ever time at your restaurant tonight. All was well and good until we encountered the “premium toppings” – of which my boyfriend mistakenly took 3 cubes of chicken thinking it “all you care to eat” (on the sign at the front) MEANS “all you care to eat.” I saw the signage and was horrified that a $10.27 salad bar (already WAYYYY pricey) had a $2.49 up-charge for items that are already on any self-respecting salad bar. Canned mandarin oranges? Tiny cubes of white meat chicken? SLIVERED ALMONDS? Reading still further -I realized this was PER TRIP. Absolutely unforgivable. It felt like a nasty money-grab and marred the whole experience. With “gotchas” like that, we shan’t be returning to this restaurant. Totally disappointing. (And don’t give me the whole oh we want to offer choices to our customers and keep costs down blah blah blah garbage, I managed a restaurant for years and I know a scammy pricing system when I see one.)
Very unpleasant.

Reply

Pamela H Sunday, January 8, 2012 at 8:33 pm

My friend treated me and my Husband to a Birthday lunch today at the Monterey Park location. As I started to put on a artichoke heart, which in the past I had gotten for free, I noticed the RIDICULOUS $2.49 premium topping sign… You got to be KIDDING….!! I then stopped and put it back where it came from ( the OVER PRICED container!) The cashier gal with pink color on the side of her hair was watching me like The GESTAPO! When we got to the register she was extremely RUDE! She first started to charge us extra, and acted like she was doing me a favor, by just giving me, my Husband, and friend a warning! Wow! What a Relaxing, Appetizing, and Welcoming Experience!!! NOT!!! P.S. NOT a good idea! Really STUPID & CHEAP!! Say “GOODBYE TO CUSTOMERS”!! No wonder so many of your venues are GOING OUT OF BUSINESS!!

Reply

Trina Jones Sunday, January 22, 2012 at 6:05 pm

My husband and I went to the Palmdale location today. At first I was surprised by the lack of cars in the parking lot. Soon enough, I realized the reason. Not only is the $2.49 for so-called premium toppings a rip-off to start with, but the Palmdale restaurant didn’t even have some of the items listed above as premium toppers. There was NO CHICKEN. The premium toppers DID include CROUTONS, RAISINS, and SUNFLOWER SEEDS. How classy and generous to give us the option to have croutons for $2.50! This is the most egregious breach of customer confidence I have ever seen.

Reply

Tracy M. Monday, January 23, 2012 at 1:46 pm

What location were you dining at? The Palmdale location should have chicken and other options. The croutons, raisins and sunflower seeds are part of the salad bar and not an additional charge. We will check on this with the manager and make sure that the proper signage is at this location so you and others are not confused. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

Reply

Michael B. Sunday, April 15, 2012 at 2:11 pm

I’ve been a loyal customer for 10+ years now, took my sick mother of whom I’m now a primary caregiver to my local Sweet Tomatoes for a meal on our small budget. I’m at the register paying and am told that my mom used premium toppings, I turn around and see that she put 2 small pieces of artichoke hearts. I was charged $2.49 extra for this. The empty trays of pasta, and the dry, cheese-less focaccia make the up-charging scream at me.

I’ve helped so many people discover this place as it has been one of my favorites for years, but you won’t find me in a Sweet Tomatoes anymore.

Reply

Tracy M. Monday, April 16, 2012 at 8:20 am

Thank you so much for your email and feedback on our Premium Salad Toppers. We appreciate the feedback and understand that our Premium Salad Toppers are not for everyone. We added our Premium Salad Toppers to our salad bar toppers as they have been a frequent guest request. As we did add these toppings to the bar we made sure that we did not take anything away from our salad bar and all the offerings available. We hope that you will dine with us again soon and we hope to see you soon. Thank you!

Reply

Kim Monday, April 16, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Are you telling me that if I put 3 mandarin orange slices on my plate I’m going to be charged $2.49?!?! Haha that’s hilarious! In this economy, that kind of mark-up just makes people feel ripped off. Maybe 10 years ago when things were booming people might have been inclined to go along with paying $2.49 for canned oranges and artichoke hearts, but these days it just makes customers feel nickel-and-dimed to death. And on top of it, I can only get one pass at these “premium” toppings??? So I can’t even go back a second time for 3 more orange slices?! You won’t give me a special wrist band or hand stamp that says I’m a “premium toppings subscriber” for that day? Seriously, this whole thing is just insane. Thanks but no thanks.

Reply

Sheila Wednesday, April 18, 2012 at 9:03 am

The Premium Toppers are a constant request bc they are things folks enjoy on their salads and as this is a SALAD bar you will hear those requests. I highly doubt you hear folks say they would gladly pay $2.50 for a handful of slivered almonds EACH time they make a trip through your salad bar. An upcharge for free range Chicken would be reasonable, as Italian restaurants do the same for adding chicken or shrimp to a pasta dish.

Reply

Aren Cambre Friday, April 20, 2012 at 2:29 pm

I agree with the above comments. You need to ditch this premium salad toppings. It’s just ancillary revenue, which is a flatly dishonest tactic anyway.

Reply

Robin L. Friday, April 27, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Count me with everyone else. A friend and I are planning to go to Sweet Tomatoes for dinner tomorrow, but if this is still true about the “premium toppings,” it’ll be my last visit. I used to go quite regularly until these were introduced. I love artichoke hearts and some of the other things, but they should be included in ALL salad bars. I’m certainly not willing to pay $2.49 for a couple of artichoke hearts. Maybe I should just bring my own!

Reply

Jeff Stephan Wednesday, May 9, 2012 at 10:44 am

I have eaten at Souplantation for a long time. In the beginning I did not care for it because there is no meat to speak of (other than the chicken in the chicken noodle soup). But my wife has always really liked it, and so I’ve gone repeatedly. And over time I have found that the chicken in the soup is enough meat for me for a meal, and the place has grown on me over the years to where I do like it now.

I appreciate what it means to use only foods that have never been canned or frozen, and what a cost that would represent to the company to provide that level of freshness. Still, I have always found Souplantation’s prices to be a little too high for what still amounts to “just a salad bar”.

When the “Premium Salad Toppers” thing began, I was VERY offended. Since the experience is a buffet — and a somewhat high-priced buffet at that — the whole “Premium Salad Toppers” thing just SMACKS of a pure money-grub. I have continued to patronize, because the food still is good, but every time I go there, I am reminded of how offensive the whole “Premium Salad Toppers” thing is.

Further, until recently, the items that are charged “extra” are spaced out along the buffet, where I have to see them several times during a trip through the salad bar, which I find to be additionally dis-tasteful.

I have never seen cobbler for sale separately, but I have seen cookies. I think that cobbler and cookies should be a normal part of the experience if they are offered at all. If you want to offer take-home portions of these things also, that would be a very reasonable add-on sale. But I think it is wrong to offer those items at all if you are not going to include them in the meal charge, when the experience is a BUFFET.

The grilled chicken is the only exception. Everyone understands that if you want to add chicken (or shrimp or steak) to a salad, you expect to pay extra for that part. I’ve always thought that the chicken should be placed in one place, with the charge for it displayed prominently in that one place, and everywhere else, the entire experience should be free of “sales pitchy” signage reminding you to spend more money at every turn. That’s SO tacky. SO tasteless.

And I’ve also thought that it would be MUCH better to use items other than meal components for the add-ons altogether. For example, offer sippy-cups, or imprinted coffee cups, or t-shirts, or things like that. No one is offended at seeing those items offered for sale.

NOW WITH ALL THAT SAID –

I was in the location in Foothill Ranch, CA this past weekend. I expected to see the “Premium Salad Toppers” displayed throughout the buffet, with price tags on them, as I am accustomed to seeing in the San Bernardino, CA location, which is my usual location.

But I was very pleasantly surprised to see that all of the “Premium Salad Toppers” were now in one single area, and that everything except the chicken was now INCLUDED in the meal price (marked on the sign that it applies to this location only).

I think that’s a terrific step in right direction!

There was also a separate display of add-on stuff, and that was all stuff that is very understandably NOT a part of the buffet. There was a “Sweet Tomatoes Kitchen Timer”, a stuffed Sweet Tomato koosh, some plates we could buy and take home with decorative design on them (that probably had Souplantation or Sweet Tomato slogans, which would be cute), and there was some Lemon Drops, some Trail Mix, and some sort of energy drink that was made of 21 fruits and vegetables.

THIS DISPLAY IS A PERFECT ADD-ON DISPLAY! It had interesting things, things that are not out-of-place for a Souplantation; but mostly, things that nobody expects should be included as part of the buffet.

I understand wanting to capitalize on every possible dollar that someone brings into the restaurant. Add-on sales is a great revenue maker for a restaurant, I know. I just think it’s truly tacky to ask add-on money for food items that should be a part of the buffet or not available at all.

If this was a “pilot” program being done in just a few locations, I would like to cast a vote for the idea that the way you are doing it in the Foothill Ranch location is the way you should do it in ALL locations.

I had not meant to go so long-winded, but I wanted to praise what I saw in the Foothill Ranch location, and let you know that I think that is a much better way to go.

Jeff

Reply

Tracy M. Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 9:06 am

Jeff,
Thank you for your comments. I have shared your post with our VP of business development, who implemented and changed a few things with our Premium Salad Toppers as well our our merchandising coordinator who handles our retail display. We appreciate your feedback and glad you enjoyed the way Foothill Ranch is now set up. We are still in a learning and testing phase so any feedback is appreciated. We look forward to seeing you again soon at Souplantation.

Reply

Daniel Jackson Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 11:07 am

I will never visit Souplantation again–not until “premium salad toppers” is gone.

Reply

Nicolas Vega Friday, July 5, 2013 at 12:21 am

I would be at souplantation everyday if the premium toppers included grilled chicken (many locations in san diego dont have grilled chicken) some shrimp, or streak! WHERE’S THE PROTEIN?!

Reply

admin Friday, July 5, 2013 at 8:55 am

Hi Nicolas – Try visiting our Point Loma, Rancho Bernardo, or Del Mar location – we have chicken and steak skewers available.

Reply

Jessica Rubio Saturday, September 28, 2013 at 6:11 pm

My boyfriend and I are always looking for quick healthy eats where we can get protein for a good price. We where so happy to see the chicken as an option for salad toppers! We have no problem paying the additional fee in order to actually have some meat at Souplantation. We went into our local location at the Beverly Connection and made it to the premium topper section and the chicken was GONE! The cashier told us you will no longer be carrying it! We are very. I understand all the other comments from people who don’t want to pay extra but please don’t forget about the people who are more than happy to pay extra for a healthy meal with affordable protein (not tofu- eek!) If you are in fact getting rid of the chicken as a premium topper, will there be other options for your meat loving guests? We would hate to have to stop going because there is no healthy protein for us!

Reply

admin Monday, September 30, 2013 at 10:02 am

Hi Jessica – Thank you for your input. Sadly, our premium toppers are no longer available due to lack of interest from the majority of our diners.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:

Discover Fresh Abundance


Let's just say within 24 hours of being in the ground, it's on a refrigerated truck on its way to us. Our food is made from scratch every day. Our salad bar buffet features over 50 fresh ingredients, including specialty tossed and prepared salads. In addition to salads, we server original recipe hot pastas, hand-crafted soups, scratch-made muffins, and Focaccia breads in our hot buffet. Create. Indulge. Enjoy.


© 2014 Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp.
All Rights Reserved.

Explore Our Site


Online Community


Join Club Veg
Fresh Ideas Blog
Facebook Twitter