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Michelle Bythewood, president of Houston-based Salata Salad Kitchen, speaks about ghost kitchens and drive-thru lanes on this week's episode of Extra Serving.

Salata president Michelle Bythewood says ghost kitchens can act as a low cost way to ‘seed’ new markets for brick and mortar growth

The fast-casual chain’s digital investments ‘saved our lives’ during the pandemic, Bythewood says in NRN’s latest Extra Serving podcast.

The last time I talked to Michelle Bythewood, president of Houston-based Salata Salad Kitchen, we were attending a technology conference in Austin, Texas.

That was about 13 months ago, but we both agreed it feels much longer than that. During that time, Houston-based Salata was escalating its digital strategy that included finding the right partners to executive delivery without hurting profits.

It was no easy task. But having made that investment upfront put Salata in a much better position when COVID-19 forced restaurants to rely solely on off-premise ordering channels at the onset of the crisis.

“It's really kept us alive during all of this,” Bythewood said during our latest Extra Serving podcast.

During our chat, she talks about the 15-year-old brand’s winning digital strategies, future growth for the near 90-unit chain and how stores are adapting designs to meet on-demand consumer behaviors accelerated by the pandemic. 

Hint: It involves drive-thru lanes.

Click here to listen.

Contact Nancy Luna at [email protected] 

Follow her on Twitter: @fastfoodmaven

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