Cult salad chain Sweetgreen just debuted some funky-looking bowls at its Financial District location — and they’re huge. According to a sign at the 67 Wall St. outpost, the DC-born chain is testing out some honeycomb-shaped bowls so that it can ditch its steel mixing bowls.
The hexagonal bowls appear to be much wider than the existing ones, so that food can be mixed directly inside; a sign notes that this highly ambitious new dining ware is intended to both speed up the line and save water by cutting down on the number of dishes that Sweetgreen uses.
The bowl is being used for both warm and cold dishes, which caused some confusion at the restaurant as customers tried to figure out which meal was theirs. One Sweetgreen employee remarked that the new bowls were a surprise after returning from a weeklong vacation.
Eater has reached out to Sweetgreen for more information, but until then, here are some initial reactions from Vox Media headquarters. “This is an embarrassingly huge bowl to carry around,” said Emma Alpern, copy editor at Eater.
There’s more. From Eliza Brooke, senior reporter at Racked:
It’s just that it’s really large. When you’re walking down the street, it’s like ‘Here’s my tray of salad.’ When I walked in, people said, ‘Are you going to a potluck?’
Now, I’m a little embarrassed to go. It looks like you’re bringing lunch back for your whole family. I get why they're doing it, they’re mixing it in the bowl. But there’s the issue with that: You have to really restrain your mixing motions. They used to really get into it. Your salad would be flying everywhere. Now, because they are mixing it in the bowl, they have to keep their motions small. You’re not getting as good as mixing. It didn’t taste as good.
From Matt Buchanan, features editor at Eater:
It ruins the whole bowl economy, which is designed around allowing one to be productive while consuming sustenance. The wider, shallow bed depth prevents one-handed consumption, meaning you can’t read email or look at ads on Facebook, reducing one’s potential to be productive in the current information economy. Also the shape is truly annoying since the hexagon doesn’t seem to provide additional structural integrity to the wimpy compostable bowl.
From Susana Polo, entertainment editor at Polygon:
I am DEEPLY interested in the new Sweetgreen bowls to see if they are big enough to easily toss your own salad without making a mess. Because if that’s the case, then I’m ordering online for pickup, 100 percent. F that line.
From Dan Frommer, editor-in-chief at Recode:
I think they’re fine but make it seem like there’s less food. Also because there’s one fewer bowl transfer, it might mean a little more dressing than you’d get before. Mostly I’m still angry they won’t let you order pre-dressed online, which I complain to them about every time I can.
From Corri Skinner Levine, senior product manager:
I'm a fan. More room for mixing, since I refuse to wait in that line and have to mix it myself. It’s easier in this bowl. [But] for the record, I always liked that there was a lot of greens. This was the first time that I ran out of lettuce and had too many toppings, so so I don't know if it was not enough lettuce or too much topping.