Last Updated on June 28, 2023 by Morgan Beard
Life Before Occupier:
- Salad and Go used spreadsheets, paper files, and manual data processes.
- With growth on the horizon, the need for a system of truth and document collaboration solution was necessary.
Life After Occupier:
- Custom reports power decision making on due diligence periods.
- All critical lease data is stored in a cloud platform that our entire team can access.
- Between 2020 and 2022, Salad and Go grew its lease portfolio by 528%, from 14 to 88 properties.
Since its inception in 2013, Salad and Go has established itself with an innovative concept. The regional eatery specializes in combining fresh, healthy fare with the traditional fast food drive-thru model. Its success has earned public acclaim and kudos. Scaling a regional restaurant concept comes with its own set of real estate challenges.
Salad and Go takes a creative approach to leasing its properties’ locations. Rather than securing triple-net leases, the brand signs ground leases. “Most of the properties we lease are vacant, and it’s construction from there. We are not leasing someone’s existing building. Instead, we are leasing vacant land and building it out. Often, the landlord will bring utilities to the site like plumbing, electrical, and water. And, we take it from there to build out,” says Doug Lister, Asset Manager at Salad and Go.
The opportunity to build from the ground up creates the ability for the Salad and Go team to design a cohesive look and feel across all of its establishments. On the flip side, there is the added challenge of tracking the due diligence milestones associated with ground leases. “We will commit to leases, and they have not yet commenced, the due diligence timelines are starting to tick,” according to Lister.
Creating a Single Source of Truth for Salad and Go
“One of the un-intended values of Occupier is that we have a central place for all of our documents. In my previous role, we had an office with endless rows of fireproof filing cabinets. With Occupier, our teams can be remote, even all over the world, and access leases, legal documents, and pertinent lease information,” says Lister. Salad and Go relies on Occupier’s proprietary system and features to maintain the highest degree of control and confidence over its real estate contracts. Here are some of the ways Occupier has helped Salad and Go make smarter business decisions and ultimately grow faster:
1. Central repository of documents.
Salad and Go’s workforce, including its executive team, is spread across geographic locations. Occupier allows all authorized users to access leases, legal documents, legal notices, and more to give real-time data visibility.
Being able to see any document or record in a cloud environment instantly removes the friction of sifting through physical files. It also ensures that data can be retrieved from anywhere in the world.
2. Second set of eyes on documents.
“After Salad and Go’s real estate managers have gotten leases negotiated and approved, the leases are processed with the Occupier team for abstraction and data upload into the software. They’re entered into the system and can be interpreted through Occupier. The Occupier system reviews and logs legal terms and conditions, as well as other data points,” says Doug Lister.
This serves as another set of “eyes” looking at all important documents. This is an added benefit for Salad and Go to know that important contractual elements are being triple-reviewed for clarity and accuracy.
3. Milestone and timeline tracking.
Each of Salad and Go’s land leases has different timelines. These include both due diligence and permit timelines. According to Lister, “with the expiration of a due diligence period is often the expiration of our ability to terminate that agreement. In addition, we are tracking permitting timelines and working closely with our construction teams to ensure build-out milestones will be met within our permit period.”
The Occupier system keeps the Salad and Go team on top of critical dates, so they can make certain not to miss key timeframes. Reports can be run anytime, giving all stakeholders the chance to sidestep timeline-related headaches or terminate an agreement in which build-out doesn’t seem viable.
4. Options tracking.
Commercial property leases all have options. Either the options renew automatically, or they need to be exercised via written notice. Overlooking a date for an option could mean the difference between having a property tied up for another 15-plus years or losing tenancy. Neither possibility is attractive for a company like Salad and Go.
“Occupier keeps future-focused options secure regardless of employee changes. Twenty years from now, property options data that’s been entered into Occupier’s system will remain there and automatically notify our team when an expiration or renewal is coming up,” says Lister.
Occupier has become Salad and Go’s single source of truth. By automating everything from lease deals and critical dates to options tracking and simplified reporting, providing a user-friendly system to meet Salad and Go’s real estate needs. As Salad and Go has noted, Occupier’s advantages have allowed this growth-minded brand to keep serving up great food and experiences for its burgeoning fan base of health-conscious customers.