Souplantation, also famous as Sweet Tomatoes outside of California, is a buffet-style restaurant chain with locations in American West and Southwest. The company has also lately been expanding into Southeast America. Souplantation restaurants operate under the banner of Garden Fresh Corp., a company incorporated in 1983. Garden Fresh Corp. went public in the year 1995 and by 2004, it had been taken private again. Today, the company operates over 104 Souplantation restaurants in the United States.
Souplantation restaurants are popular among bon vivants for their vast selection of delectable soups and garden-fresh salads made from an assortment of fresh vegetables, nuts, fruits, seeds, and various salad condiments. Apart from their massive and distinctly diverse salad bars, all Souplantation restaurants also boast of a small bakery and a dedicated dessert section. These all-you-can-eat-style restaurants also offer a wide selection of sumptuous pasta recipes in appetizing sauces as well as oven-fresh pizzas if you wish to convert your light lunch into a three-course lavish meal. All Souplantation restaurants also maintain a standard menu that remains unchanged alongside a featured menu that changes based on the cuisine being served in the restaurant.
If you are a regular at Souplantation restaurants or Sweet Tomatoes and have feasted on their healthy recipes, here are a few things you should know about this famous American buffet restaurant chain:
1. The idea of a buffet-style restaurant serving farm-fresh food was conceived by two surfer friends in San Diego in late 1970s. One of these two friends was Dennis Jay, a bartender based out of El Cajon. Dennis was the pioneer figure behind the first Souplantation restaurant opened in San Diego in 1978.
2. Souplantation can be very budget friendly. Not only is it all you can eat so you can fill up even the largest of appetites but they offer great coupons to help you save even more. The best place we have found, and our go to, is CouponDad.net for Souplantation coupons. They always have the latest coupons ready to print.
3. Souplantation’s San Diego office, which is also its headquarters, is often used as a test market to study customers’ reaction to new and innovative menus as well as ideas. Most Souplantation restaurants are generally only open for lunch and dinner. However, all San Diego Souplantation restaurants are the only Souplantation restaurants that also serve breakfast on Sunday mornings. Similarly, when in 2011, Garden Fresh Corp. decided to foray into the quick-serve restaurant world, it decided to start its first Souplantation Express in California.
4. Souplantation has not only survived bankruptcy but resurged right out of it. In 2016, Garden Fresh Corp, the owner company of Souplantation restaurants, reported between $1 million and $10 million in liabilities and a debt mounting up to $175 million. The company filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Post-filing for bankruptcy, the company also announced its plan to close 20 to 30 of its outlets. Though in January 2017, the company was already looking at the possibility of resurging out of bankruptcy, full respite came when Perpetual Capital Partners and CR3 Capital came together to acquire Garden Fresh Corp.
5. If you are new to Souplantation, you will perhaps stick to the delicious combos laid out by the masterful people at Souplantation restaurants. However, once you become a Souplantation regular, you will understand the importance of bringing your own creativity to the plate. Consider adding bacon or cheddar to your forever gratifying mac and cheese to further elevate your gratification quotient. Red pepper flakes are an absolute favorite of most Souplantation regulars and can spice up any bland item on the menu. If you are not going bonkers with your food and trying all the different combinations possible, you have not learned to enjoy this buffet restaurant yet.
6. Souplantation has never wavered from its focus on quality food. The tossed salads available at the salad bar are prepared fresh every 20 minutes. In most Souplantation restaurants, diners will get to savor at least 8 different types of soups. The company sources top-notch ingredients only from farmers and farms that use ethical and sustainable practices to grow crops.
7. Back in the 1970s, when most people preferred cooking at home to make ends meet and deal with arching inflation, Souplantation seemed like a concept unlikely to succeed. However, as inflation eased and the United States economy resurged, Souplantation caught people’s fancy and became a symbol of American convenience. This restaurant chain has, over the years, retained its charm as it has been able to successfully portray itself as a healthy eating joint. With people becoming more conscious about eating healthy, the appeal and charm of Souplantation restaurants will only further increase in the near future.
Souplantation restaurants, in many ways, have time and again been directly responsible for changing the dietary landscape of many American cities. If you are a fitness enthusiast with active and demanding taste buds, this place is a must visit.