There's always such palpable excitement in the air the morning of a MAD Greens Free Salad Day. On Sept. 29, 2015, the excitement can most definitely be felt at our newest Arizona restaurant at 7th Ave. & McDowell in Phoenix with its bright and shiny new interior full of the delicious smells of roasted chicken, marinated steak, fresh-diced onion and just-chopped greens.
Dozens of team members, rookie and veteran, bustle through the kitchen, down the salad line and amongst the tables cleaning and finalizing last-minute details before the doors are set to open at 10:30am.
Pictured: Kaylee Spangler, General Manager of MAD Greens 16th St. & Stout
in Colorado flies in the week before each Arizona Free Salad Day to help train team members and prep the restaurant.
Everyone's been working behind-the-scenes for several days getting everything ready. And it's not just the 7th Ave. team members who have been scrubbing, cutting, blending and stocking to prepare. A cross-regional crew from several MAD Greens restaurants in Arizona and Colorado have joined together to make another day of free salad MADness a reality.
Pictured: The line of excited guests started wrapping around the building before the doors opened.
One of our favorite components of the day was our partnership with the Phoenix Children's Hospital (PCH). In lieu of charging guests for food, we collected donations for the hospital's Hope Fund. The Hope Fund helps launch critical new programs, purchase essential equipment, conduct cutting-edge research, provide charitable care and much more to Valley youth. (We also partnered with PCH to collect Hope Fund donations during our Sept. 15 Free Salad Day at our newest restaurant in Scottsdale at The Shops at Hilton Village!)
Pictured: MAD Greens team members have fun raising money for PCH at Free Salad Day.
Supporting healthy lifestyles and the well-being of local youth has always been near and dear to our hearts, so teaming up with Phoenix Childrens Hospital and raising money for their Hope Fund is a perfect fit for us because were both working to improve the health of our community," says MAD Greens Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer Marley Hodgson.
1,036 guests attended the Free Salad Day festivities helping to raise more than $1,200 dollars for PCH.
Pictured: After the ribbon was cut, team members formed a massive salad assembly line to custom-make guests' salad creations as quickly as possible.
Free Salad Day By The Numbers:
- 1344 hours of restaurant construction
- 80 hours of team member training
- 34 trips via motorized golf cart between the restaurant and the refrigerated truck we set up in the parking lot
- 26 hours of vegetable prep
- 2 thumbs up for a great opening in central Phoenix