Valley-based Salad and Go is changing the game of the drive-through and expanding to its 12th Valley location this year.

A press release stated that this past year, Salad and Go grew from six locations to 10, and one more will be opening by the end of the year. Nine additional locations are already planned to open in 2018.

“Salad and Go developed a business model that enables it to offer its consumers a large 48-ounce salad with organic ingredients for $5.74 and smoothies with organic ingredients for $4.50, not $8,” said Public Relations Director of Salad and Go, Michael Ingalls.

Although the prices are lower, Salad and Go’s revenue continues to increase. Salad and Go is headquartered in Gilbert, Arizona. A business tactic they use is to buy building space that is a smaller square footage, to help save money on location and focus the revenue on the fresh ingredients.

“They re-engineered the restaurant model to create a micro-footprint and focused menu that would help balance their high costs of food,” according to their website.

“My husband really enjoys the portion sizes and quality of the salads,” said Gilbert resident, Arnella Dean. “He was surprised that the price was so affordable for the freshness of their products.”

The concept came from co-founders and husband and wife, Tony and Roushan Christofellis. They were in search of a fast food restaurant that offered healthy, quality meals for an affordable price.

Christofellis, a former elementary school teacher was inspired to get into the restaurant business after she and her husband found it very difficult to eat well on a hectic schedule, filled with errands and everyday stresses.

A series of family health scares left the Christofellis’ reflecting on their personal health and motivating them to start something that would benefit the health of other families too.

“She (Christofellis) has had enough of the “business-as-usual” food industry bluster that puts profits before accountability and making healthy eating something for everyone,” said Ingalls, in a press release.

Since opening their first location in Gilbert in 2013, the Christofellis have been able to upgrade much of their conventional produce to organic without raising any of their prices.

Salad and Go believes that short-term profit is not the answer, and any business efficiencies gained should be invested back into their food for more organic offerings and back into their team on the front lines for higher wages, according to a press release.

“Being a college student, it’s nice to have something so affordable and healthy come in such a big portion size,” said Gilbert resident and ASU sophomore Nathan Hayes. “I really feel like I am getting the best bang for my buck.”

Hayes is not the only one who enjoys eating at Salad and Go, on their first day open in Gilbert, they completely sold out. Salad and Go is thriving while balancing price and freshness.