How Nathaniel Ru and Sweetgreen Are Changing an Industry

To understand the work being done at the high-end salad chain, Sweetgreen, you would have to take a close look at the people running the show. Sweetgreen has been in operation for nearly a decade now and it has been run by a trio of Georgetown graduates since inception.

Nathaniel Ru, one of the three Co-Founders, has been much of the public face of the company since they established their first restaurant in 2007.

Since then the company has truly exploded with popularity as it has become something of a force in America’s northeast. Now, Sweetgreen is aiming at becoming a national brand that offers high quality food, an innovative approach, and a chance to become part of a real community.

New companies would do well to model their future after the start that Sweetgreen skyrocketed with. Sweetgreen was invested early on by names like Danny Meyer, Daniel Boulud, and Steve Case.

The company has rocketed from a single location near their Georgetown University campus to spawning more than 40 stores across the United States. Nathaniel Ru, perhaps the most vocal of the trio of founders, says: “We’re creating a brand that stands for something. We want to feed more people better food.”

What Sweetgreen has done is pretty fundamentally astounding. They have taken the core concept of a ‘fast food chain restaurant’ and they’ve completely turned the idea over on its head. Sweetgreen focuses on high end, locally sourced, organic food. They offer salads that intend to fill you up rather than convince you to buy another dish.

More than anything else, however, Ru and his team have turned to the local Zeitgeist in order to become forces within the communities that their shops operate. A big part of their local success is that Sweetgreen, for as large as they are, refuses to centralize into one corporate location. Ru says, “We don’t believe in big corporate headquarters.”

Of course, it also helps that Ru and his team have been impeccable at incorporating the internet and technology into their platform. A full 30% of all Sweetgreen orders are made online through their website and mobile application.

Customers know what they are getting before they even step through the front door of their nearest Sweetgreen. As a result, the company is able to constantly deliver high quality, fresh, and delicious food. Ru and his group are focused now on bringing Sweetgreen to both coasts of the United States.

Read more: Sweetgreen Entreprenuers | Fortune

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