We celebrated our first Austin MAD Greens with a huge party
Opening the first MAD Greens in Texas doesn't happen every day, so we wanted to make it a BIG deal. As big as the great state of Texas. So we pulled out all the stops and threw the most epic free salad party in the state's history on April 7, 2016.
Pictured: Our epic Free Salad Day recap video!
To celebrate our first Austin restaurant, we wanted to do what we do best and WOW our new Texas guests the only way we knew how: make them a lot of tasty salads. To pull off such an epic salad free-for-all (literally), our MAD team members began preparing some of the food days in advance to ensure we'd have enough tasty ingredients to feed thousands of people. Some fun Free Salad Day ingredient stats include:
624 heads of Romaine
600 lbs. of chicken
120 lbs. of tomatoes
100+ gallons of various scratch-made MAD Greens salad dressings
80 lbs. of marinated steak
36+ loaves of Wheat Montana bread used for our homemade croutons
Pictured: The MAD Greens Austin - The Domain salad artists working their magic on Free Salad Day.
In addition to giving away free food, we also wanted to use Free Salad Day as a way to give back to the local community. We teamed up with Austin's Sustainable Food Center (SFC) to collect donatons in lieu of charging for food. What is SFC? They are involved in every step of the local food system in Austin. SFC's mission is to cultivate a healthy community by strengthening the local food system and improving access to nutritious, affordable food. SFC envisions a food-secure community where all children and adults grow, share and prepare healthy, local food.
Pictured: Free Salad Day guests helped to raise $1,000 for Austin's Sustainable Food Center! (P.S. See the guy in the hat? We caught restaurant General Manager Josh Harmel making sure our guests were happy and that everything was tasting good. Nicely done, Josh!)
Free salads for all...Raising money for a wonderful charity partner...Making our new Austin guests happy...What else could a Free Salad Day possibly need? Music and photo booth fun, of course!
Pictured: The amazing singer-songwriter-guitar talent of Pete Minda kept the line energized earlier in the day.
Pictured: Later in the day, DJ Quickdraw gave Free Salad Day guests a jolt of energy with his amazing mixes and mashups. (On the right is the SFC information table where Free Salad Day guests could learn about how the Sustainable Food Center contributes to the Austin food chain.)
Pictured: Free Salad Day guests had some fun at the MAD Greens photo booth.
We were curious which salads our guests craved most during Free Salad Day so we ran the numbers. We discovered that our Don Quixote was the most popular with 296 orders. Our Texas-inspired Bonnie Parker was the second most requested salad during Free Salad Day followed closely by our Ty Cobb.
Pictured: No matter which salad our guests chose, everyone was giving us two thumbs' up!
Pictured: They were crazy busy all day and the MAD Greens team members STILL had ear-to-ear smiles.
Pictured: Our first 'MAD' work of art on the exterior of our new Domain restaurant. We worked with local artist Mike "Truth" Johnston to create this tribute to Austin and local sourcing!
In total, we fed more than 1,300 people, raised $1,000 dollars for charity and had a great time doing it! Thank you Austin for being such fun people to party with! We look forward to seeing you soon at our flagship Texas MAD Greens in the Rock Rose District at The Domain!