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Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes

Operates chain of all-you-can-eat salad bar restaurants.

15822 Bernardo Center Drive, Suite A
San Diego, CA 92127
Employees: 4,000
CEO: David Goronkin

Website: http://www.souplantation.com

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Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes are known for their all-you-can-eat salad bars available for around $10-12 at dinner and lower for lunch. There are 128 company-owned restaurants in 15 states. The restaurants are called Souplantation in Southern California and Sweet Tomatoes in Northern California and other states.

Operated by the Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp., over 300 million guests since 1978 have helped Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes be #1 in fresh produce and salads, made-from-scratch soups, hot-tossed pastas, freshly baked breads and muffins, fresh fruit, frozen yogurt, and more.

The salad bars feature over 50 fresh, high-quality ingredients, including specialty tossed and prepared salads. In addition to salads, they serve original recipe hot pastas, hand-crafted soups, scratch-made muffins and Focaccia breads in the hot buffet.


The very first Souplantation brought delicious, healthy dining to San Diego in March 1978. Industry experts credit the company as being the first casual eatery brand to serve fresh, wholesome menu options.

In 1983, Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp. was founded by Michael Mack through the acquisition of the first two Souplantation restaurants. As the company continued to grow outside of Southern California, the company adopted the name Sweet Tomatoes for new restaurants outside Southern California.

The first Sweet Tomatoes restaurant opened in Palm Harbor (Tampa), Florida in January 1990. During the next several years, the company continued its steady expansion with a focus on refining corporate infrastructure. At the time of Garden Fresh's initial public offering in 1995, the company operated 33 restaurants under the Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes names in three states. After the initial public offering, the company undertook a rapid expansion from 1998 to 2001, adding 44 units in 10 states. In 2004, Garden Fresh returned to private company status.

Garden Fresh was acquired by an affiliate of investment firm Sun Capital Partners in 2005 for $198 million.

In 2012, the company tested a new brand called Sweet Tomatoes Field Kitchen in Arizona which offered fresh-made salads, a carving station and a grilling station for meats. The test did not meet expectations and ended after a few months.


Management - The company offers a total compensation package with a competitive salary, excellent employee benefits and a healthy work/life balance. All corporate employees and operations managers are eligible for the enhanced health & wellness plan on the first month following their employment date.

  • Medical Plan & Health Savings Account
  • Dental & Vision Plan
  • Paid sick time
  • Paid vacation
    • 1-4 Years: 2 weeks
    • 5-9 Years: 3 weeks
    • 10+ Years: 4 weeks
  • Attainable Bonus
  • Life Insurance
  • Short & Long-term Disability
  • AD&D Coverage
  • Identity Theft Coverage
  • Travel Insurance
  • Paid relocation opportunities

Employees also have several voluntary plans to select from:

  • 401(K) Plan
  • Limited Healthcare Spending Account
  • Dependent Care Spending Account
  • Voluntary Life Insurance
  • Ongoing training & career development
  • Free Employee Assistance Program
  • Discount Meal Passes
  • Discount Movie Passes
  • Discount Theme Park Passes

Updated April 15, 2014