Sweetgreen is a national salad chain with a mission of attempting to make fast food healthier. Some of their investors include major ones such as Steve Case, Daniel Boulud, and Danny Meyer. Nathaniel Ru is one of the co-CEOs of Sweetgreen. He has stated that Sweetgreen’s main mission is to “feed more people better food”. Read more: Sweetgreen Founder Interview – Nathaniel Ru | Business Insider
Part of Ru, Nicolas Jammet and Jonathan Neman’s secret, however, is their education in technology from Georgetown University. As a result, they are always thinking in terms of innovating the ways in their management strategies and in which their customers order from them. So far, about 30 percent of their orders come through mobile apps and main website.
Another strategy of theirs is to shut down their corporate offices about five times a year so that their higher-ups don’t lose touch about what’s going on in the trenches. Ru states that they are trying not to grow into a big corporate headquarters and are trying to maintain their de-centralization.
Ru stated that yet another secret of theirs when they founded Sweetgreens was that they were working every role themselves. However, Ru advises to always hire a team as soon as the comfort level reaches that state.
Sweetgreen has been in business since 2007. Ru, Neman and Jammet felt that the Georgetown area was seriously lacking in availability of healthy food and made that their main focus when they founded Sweetgreen.
Ru was in his senior year at Georgetown University when he and some of his friends sought to found their own healthy eating restaurant. First, they sought out the landlord of the tavern space on M Street who also happened to be landlord of the apartment building in which Ru and his friends were residing. Ru states that it took a full month of persuasion before she finally agreed to meet with him and his friends face-to-face.
During the business meeting, the landlord advised them to seek out an architect, some backers and to come back with a real plan in place. It took them only three and a half weeks to do so and only three months to open the first restaurant location.
Sweetgreen has since grown to 72 locations in eight states, mostly on the east coast but also in California. The business does not celebrate only food but also includes music, philanthropy and space for various lifestyles.
The business hosts the Sweetlife Festival every year celebrating food, music, and community. Considering how popular it has become, it will likely continue to grow as time goes on.
Learn more about Nathaniel Ru: