Meet Kelley Choi, Chop Stop Salad Franchise Owner

The following is the testimonial of an individual franchisee or franchises.
Results described are not typical or guaranteed.
We do not claim, and you should not infer, that investment in the franchise is safe, that failure is impossible or unlikely, or that earnings or profits are assured.

Kelley Choi was a stay at home mom for 18 years. When her two boys grew up, she decided to go back to work. Franchising seemed a natural. Her husband already own three successful Kia Motors franchises. But she wanted a franchise she was passionate about. A lifelong salad fan, she quickly honed in on the salad franchise she believed served the best chopped salads in LA county: Chop Stop. Being entrenched in the community helped her to identify staff and succeed quickly. So quickly, in fact, the former stay-at-home mom will soon open her 2nd salad franchise.

What kind of challenges have you experienced owning a salad franchise, and how have you overcome them?

I’ve experienced a lot of challenges because I was out of the workforce for 18 years. Things were totally new and different. The things happening with computers, I was at home, so I wasn’t really active on that stuff. Also, I hadn’t run a restaurant. I’d worked in them, but I never owned one. I didn’t know anything. Chop Stop held my hand and walked me through it all. I’m still learning to this day, and they’re still teaching. If not for them I don’t know where I’d be. I could not have done it without them.

For instance, there’s a lot of challenges with staffing. You’re dealing mostly with young adults, not necessarily taking it as seriously as they should. I could call and get advice at any time on how to handle certain situations. Actually, I could call them and get advice on anything. Whether it was computer, customer or food related, they would help me. I feel like they wanted me to succeed just as much as I wanted to succeed, if not more. They were amazing. I can’t say enough nice things about what they did for me.

Any other challenges that stand out?

Learning to do the books for a restaurant. I didn’t have any experience, and they were completely and totally supportive when it took me a little bit longer to figure it out. They made me feel like they knew I could do it, and they had faith in me. They were so encouraging. You have to be able to listen and learn. I didn’t know many things, so I had to follow their lead, and I’m glad I did. They set up the policies and procedures, and that makes it a lot easier, if you run the restaurant the way they have. They’ve been incredibly successful; they know what they’re doing. You just have to watch and learn, and they’ll help you and make sure that you understand.

When did you buy your Chop Stop salad franchise?

I signed with them in November 2015, and I opened my restaurant in June 2016. It took a couple of months to get the lease. The buildout was about three months, then we trained. They came down with a “jump team” to help train the staff I hired for about a week. The following week we opened.

How has it been going?

It’s been incredible. I had the biggest opening of any Chop Stop. I had a lot of support from my friends. Being here 18 years I knew a lot of people, but it was amazing from the very beginning. I haven’t been able to take a breath since. It’s just been crazy.

I opened in June. I’ve done so well, by September I was already looking for a second location. I looked for over a year, but I should be signing the lease soon. Hopefully I’ll open in a few months in Upland.

Would you recommend Chop Stop to others looking for a salad franchise?

I’ve had the most amazing experience with Joey, Mark and the corporate staff at Chop Stop. I did six weeks of training, and I would absolutely recommend them to anyone looking for an opportunity. They’re very supportive and just all-around great guys. They wanted me to succeed, and they made sure that I did. They continually encouraged me and told me how I can be bigger and better. If I can do it, anybody can do it.

To learn more about Chop Stop salad franchise opportunities, click here.