Souplantation Premium Toppings – Dumb Idea

I have patronized Souplantation restaurants as long as I can remember, late 1980ies or so. Needless to say, I like their concept, their food and I go back at least two or three times a month, usually for lunch. After I go to Europe or on an extended trip back east, I make an extra point of stopping at Souplantation.

Souplantation features a huge fresh salad and vegetable bar, as well as an assortment of eight different soups and lots of bread and fruit items. The price is below $10 per person, and it’s all you can eat. You get great value and good food for the money. I try not to go during rush hour time for lunch or dinner, as they tend to be packed and chaotic sometimes. Mid-afternoon, for a late lunch or early dinner is excellent and you get great value.

Recently they started featuring an area in the salad bar called “Premium Toppers.” There is a four-foot section of the salad bar that has what they figure special items, like artichoke hearts, mandarin slices and the like. If you choose one or more of them, you pay a Premium Toppers surcharge of $2.49. They make a point that you can’t go back for seconds either, as if  the stuff was gold or something.

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

I can’t figure out why I would want to do that. I don’t want any of  this stuff in quantity. And I can definitely live without a few cubes of tofu on my salad and save a whopping $2.49 surcharge for the pleasure.

I wonder if they measure their revenue off the Premium Toppers. I have never seen anyone take any. Is the company really that hard up for more revenue? Incremental sales?

I would not mind paying another 50 cents with every meal and keep the concept simple. Souplantation is good value already. But messing with a good thing by trying to nickel and dime repeat customers of 25 years has me flummoxed.

I hope they figure out their folly and get real – scrap the Premium Toppers.

One thought on “Souplantation Premium Toppings – Dumb Idea

  1. Not long after I wrote this entry, the Souplantation discontinued the “premium toppers” section. Apparently I wasn’t alone thinking this was a truly dumb idea confusing customers and not adding value. Kudos the the Souplantation for recognizing this quickly and stopping it.

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