Sweetgreen has steadily turned into one of the most prominent high end, healthy food chains in the entire Northeast. Established by Nathaniel Ru and a pair of friends, Sweetgreen has slowly been warping the way that customers approach their needs and definition of what ‘fast food’ really is. Learn more about Nathaniel Ru: http://fortune.com/2016/02/18/sweetgreen-entrepreneurs/
Sweetgreen is as much a mission statement as it is a place to get great eats, and Ru is one of the primary reasons why it has had so much success. As a businessman and an entrepreneur Ru’s efforts have been widely regarded as innovative within an industry that doesn’t always allow fort hat sort of thinking.
Nathaniel Ru met Nicolas Jammet and Jonathan Neman while attending Georgetown University. The trio were all taking a class on entrepreneurship together and it was during this time that they began to come up with the concept that Sweetgreen would eventually morph into.
They saw firsthand how little healthy food options there were in and around the Georgetown campus and they saw that there could be a market to fill if they approached it the right way.
While building up the idea during school they were also making plans to put the concept into action. Right after graduation, in 2007, Ru and the rest of the team would open up their first restaurant right near the Georgetown campus. Since then their growth has only been upward.
Sweetgreen’s success hasn’t been all about their approach as a high end salad eating operation. It is true that a big draw to Sweetgreen is how healthy they are, but it isn’t the only thing.
In fact, one of the biggest reasons for Sweetgreen’s prolonged success is their willingness to cater to technology and embrace the turning of the times. Sweetgreen has embraced technology in all of its facets in order to speed ahead of the rest of the pack.
The Sweetgreen restaurants, all 40 of them, acquire nearly 30% of their orders over the internet or over their mobile application. This huge number is a true departure from the rest of the casual dining world. It just doesn’t happen this effectively.
Nathaniel Ru has also been leading the ‘no corporate’ policy at Sweetgreen since the company first started. Sweetgreen wants to be a communal experience, not another corporate structure littering the various cities that they open up shop. For a week every year Ru and his team shut down their head offices in order to work hands on at any of their various locations.