Case 003: Sweetqueensfiled September 8, 2019
Illusgaytion by Tura Oliveira
Earlier this summer, The InQueery was approached by the sales team at Sweetgreen corporate with an…interesting proposition. Last year, the data analysis firm LexisNexis reported that Sweetgreen’s highest revenue streams were from LGBTQIA+ customers, specifically in the custom salad sector. It was a game changer: Sweetgreen execs were surprised to find that queers had outspent the previous top demographic of emotionally-shattered white women who work in comms. Raquel Sosnowski, director of Sweetgreen Special Salad Projects (SSSP), approached our R&D team with a challenge: How can Sweetgreen create a bespoke menu of fresh creations that speak directly to the concerns of their newfound fag faction all while keeping the salad queue as efficient as possible?
Sweetgreen has been delighted by the high-grossing custom orders of the gay community, and is even considering collaborations with Equinox gyms and & Other Stories to streamline the experience of its customer base. But assembly workers are having trouble keeping up with the specific demands of this niche community—it seems that the gay clientele have broken the menu down to the last sesame seed with the analytical fervor typically reserved for a new Ariana Grande album. “We knew gay people liked subway tile and seasonal offerings,” Sosnowski exclaimed, “but we had no idea they were this into customization…” Our head of R&D, Jake Jenson, called a meeting with our test kitchen staff to discuss the proposal, and we set to work creating a new menu guaranteed to satisfy. If our salads could double efficiency and sales, perhaps gays, straights and everyone in between could live the “sweetlife”. Though the Sweetgreen’s suits were wary of our rather colorful creations at first, they’ve since agreed to implement a full rollout in all 75 of their restaurants nationwide later this autumn. Now, queer salad culture can thrive long beyond the bounds of corporate Pride season. Queer customers can look forward to the following menu created “just for them” in a lab:
Kale Me By Your Romaine – Peach and burrata on an un-made attic bed of shredded kale and romaine, topped with a soft boiled egg with cracked shells, with a certain je ne sais quois garnish (cigarette ash). Will be rolled out in conjunction with Sufjan Stevens’ new exclusive Sweetgreen playlist.
Graindr – A concoction that fills you up and leaves you feeling famished an hour later. This online exclusive hosts a mélange of spicy quinoa, hot curry chickpeas and bulge-ur doused in a savory tahini-yogurt dressing. Comes with a side of unsolicited dill pickles. It’s warm, creamy, indulgent, and you’ll never want it again.
Toxic Mesculinity – A hot load of shroomami mushrooms dumped over organic mesclun. Silicon Valley-based members of the radical queer fairy community will go absolutely playa-loco for this one!
Somewhere Over the Grainbowl – For metro-based bisexual women, we’ve designed a creation that corresponds to a lifestyle of chakrubs, coffee enemas, and astrology email newsletters. A beige base of wild quinoa for groundedness, sprinkled with a soaring medley of pink watermelon for sexuality, red tomatoes for life, orange sweet potatoes for healing, raw corn for sunlight, green basil for nature, etc. This energetic fusion hits the target areas of “wellness” hard.
The Bibbs Are Alright – A salad made for the complicated, messy, but ever-endearing contemporary queer family. Delicate julienned vegetables mixed with sweet and tender bibb lettuce celebrates the indelible Julianne Moore, and clash with the ruggedness of undressed, Ruffalo-inspired arugula. Adorned with a hearty, Annette Bening avocado and a can of red wine, it’s perfect for an anniversary picnic in Sonoma.
Blue is the Warmest Rice Bowl – Butterfly pea flower (blue) rice, warm local butternut squash, blue cheese, local tuna and French dressing ensure a day of viscous, languid Parisian relaxation, and a stimulating digestive journey worthy of a three-hour romantic film.
There were two salads that ended up getting the chop; Sweetgreen felt our Umami Dearest and What Ever Happened to Baby Spinach wouldn’t appeal to Gen Z customers and their ever increasing buying power.
Our Conclusion: The best salad is the one tossed all year long.
Queer Rating: Gwenyth Paltrow’s Instagram flower crown filter.