Nathaniel Ru’s Fast Food Revolution

The fast casual food business has been growing in recent years with well-known franchises like Chipotle and Panera Bread, but one restaurant in particular is making a prominent name for itself. Sweetgreen, a high-end salad chain, is revolutionizing the fast casual dining industry. Learn more: http://www.psfk.com/2016/04/psfk-2016-how-sweetgreen-brought-healthy-and-delicious-to-the-busy-psfk-2016.html

 

Sweetgreen was founded in 2007 by Nathaniel Ru and two friends just three months after the young men had graduated from Georgetown University’s school of business. By 2016, Sweetgreen had grown to 64 locations around the U.S. Nathaniel, a first-generation immigrant whose parents also started their own business, wanted to create a company that was committed to healthy food and happy customers. Eating at Sweetgreen is designed to be simple and comfortable. When you enter a Sweetgreen location you are presented with a row of ingredients including kale, arugula, quinoa, chicken, shrimp and tofu among dozens of others. A team-member walks you through the ingredients to create your own custom salad. It’s a quick and easy process that allows customers to get exactly what they want.

 

Sweetgreen, from its earliest stages, has been committed to presenting customers with healthy food options. All of Sweetgreen’s ingredients are fresh, organic and locally grown. Sourcing ingredient’s from local farmers is not only beneficial to local businesses, but it adds a unique variety to different Sweetgreen locations. Before opening a new Sweetgreen location, the company meets with the farmers in that area to see what they are growing. Sweetgreen then incorporates that into the selection of ingredients at the new location. Not only does this cut down on food waste, it also exposes customers to ingredients they may not find at other food establishments. Learn more: http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/news/2016/09/23/bluecart-simplifying-restaurant-orders-video.html

 

In addition to focusing on healthy ingredients, Nathaniel Ru wanted to insure that Sweetgreen would focus on healthy relationships. The company abides by a set of core values, including creating meaningful connections. The company commits to these values through its unconventional business model. Five times per year the company shuts down its corporate offices so that staff members can spend the day working at a Sweetgreen location and connecting with customers. The company is also unique in the fact that it has no main headquarters. It operates with its three co-CEOs living bi-coastal as they work to expand the company nationally.

 

With healthy food options and a connection to customers, Sweetgreen is certainly abiding by one of its core values: leave people better than you found them.