It became a staple of just about any restaurant you went to. After you ordered your entrée, you could take a stroll up to the salad bar and load up your plate.

Look, most places didn't offer the fanciest salad bars, but it usually came with your meal and the best part was you could shovel that food on the plate like you were going to the chair. There were even a few places in the Greater Danbury area that had such a good salad bar that you could just order that as your entrée.

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Even every grocery store had a salad bar and in some supermarkets, like Stew Leonards, they had a full food bar with dozens of choices so you could just swing by and get a lunch or dinner fast.

Well those days may now be over for good due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Once the virus hit, salad and food bars completely disappeared from sight and with good reason.

Now that more and more people have been vaccinated and people seem to feel more comfortable inside stores and restaurants, some food retailers have made the decision that the days of the salad, food and wing bars are a thing of the past.

Ironically, it really has little to do with the perception of not being sanitary, but more so it's an economic decision.

According to, analysts say there are a number of factors that might keep salad bars away for good. One of the main factors is that customers are now buying more groceries online and since more and more people are working from home, there's no need for them to rush out for a quick lunchtime trip to the salad bar. Then there's the lower percentage of people who, since the pandemic, have sanitary concerns.

At Stew Leonards in Danbury, they shut down salad bars last spring and have found that pre-made salads are selling better than salads from the bars once did.

According to the article, the CEO Stew Leonard says his store now does all the work for the customer by pre-packaging some of their most popular salad bar offerings and the customers seem to like it better. In fact, the store has seen an increase in sales in some of the items since the salad bar shut down.

Now does this mean we may never see the salad bars again? The answer to that is we probably will. There are some stores, like Whole Foods, who are bringing back the self serve offerings for their prepared food, but the full salad bar just may not make the cut this time around. Only time will tell.

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