Entrepreneur Jeff Appelbaum took his company, Salted, to the Sharks on ABC’s Shark Tank to see if he could get an investment in his food-delivery-service company.
Salted is a company that allows restaurants to eliminate the dine-in part of restaurants, making their foods available for delivery or pickup only. They currently have six separate restaurants as part of the business, and they have locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Columbus with goals to be up and running in 20 markets in 2020.
Appelbaum pitched his business to Sharks Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Kevin O’Leary, Lori Greiner and guest shark Rohan Oza. This is Oza’s last appearance in Season 11 of the show.
Here’s what you should know about Salted from Shark Tank:
1. They Currently Have Six Separate Brands
At the time of writing, Salted has six different brands under their Salted umbrella. The brands include Cauliflower Pizza, moonbowls Korean Cuisine, Ginger Bowl Chinese Cuisine, the $5 Salad Company, F/ck Gluten and Thrive Kitchen, which consists of low carb keto-style food.
Each of the brands have different types of food and standards. For instance, the Cauliflower Pizza brand specializes in plant-based pizza without the guild, so they sell cauliflower-based crust that is about half the calories and a third of the carbs of regular pizza.
The ginger bowls company, however, has taken the Americanized Chinese takeout menu and given it a makeover with dishes like Orange Sesame Cauliflower and Sweet Potato and Mushroom Potstickers. Their menu is completely soy and gluten free.
2. Salted Believes Successful Restaurants Will Not Exist Within Four Walls
According to the company website, Salted believes that the restaurant of the future doesn’t include the usual dine-in service that requires a building and seating.
Instead, they believe that “the most successful brands will exist outside four walls and will develop meaningful customer relationships through exceptional food and service, authenticity, and omni-channel marketing and storytelling.”
That’s what they based their brand on, as they have no restaurants with dine-in services. Their foods are only available for take-out or delivery services.
3. They Are Funded by Venture Capital Partners
Currently, Salted is funded by Venture Capital (VC) partners, which may prove to be a problem to the Sharks since they often stay away from companies that have earned a lot of capital.
The Salted website says that they currently are funded by “Top VC partners including Valor Equity, Vy Capital, Craft Ventures, and Wonder Ventures.”
With so many other investors having a stake in the company, it’s possible the Sharks will swim away from this deal even if they like the idea behind it.
4. All the Food is Prepared in a Professional Kitchen
Just like restaurants as consumers think of them, all the food sold by Salted is prepared in a professional kitchen. They save money, however, by sharing this “Ghost Kitchen” and not investing in a brick-and-mortar location.
These ghost kitchens, which are also known as shadow, dark or cloud kitchens, are facilities set up only for the preparation of restaurant meals, and it’s a trend particularly among new chefs.
The draw to the foods sold by Salted are their priorities on healthier and more sustainable food options including calorie-conscious, balanced, and savory foods.
5. Appelbaum is a Serial Entrepreneur
Salted is not the first company started by Appelbaum. The founder has a background in e-commerce and customer acquisition.
He previously founded and was the CEO of DealQuad, a leading commerce site for college students, and he co-founded and managed Buzzpoint, a social media and integrated marketing agency where he developed strategies for Fortune 500 companies.
The strategy for Salted is to establish lasting relationships with consumers through exceptional food and service and then engaging with them on social media.
Tune in to Shark Tank on May 13, 2020, at 10 p.m./9 p.m. central on ABC to see if the Sharks are interested in Appelbaum’s company.