Nathaniel Ru and the team at Sweetgreen have been doing something special. They have taken a stagnant industry, fast food, and improved upon it by creating an innovative customer-focused company.
Sweetgreen is the high-end, salad-focused restaurant that focuses on giving customers healthy food without sacrificing affordability or that great taste. Sweetgreen started out in Washington D.C. and has since spread to more than 40 locations around the United States. Learn more about Nathaniel Ru: https://www.bizjournals.com/losangeles/potmsearch/detail/submission/6435405/Nathaniel_Ru and http://bitsylink.com/2017/07/27/nathaniel-ru-talks-about-sweetgreens/
Sweetgreen recently opened up their corporate headquarters in Los Angeles, CA and a Sweetgreen expansion across the nation could be underway. How did Sweetgreen get to this point? How was Nathaniel Ru, one of three co-founders, so instrumental in the success?
To start out with, Nathaniel Ru met his fellow co-founders while taking an entrepreneurship class at Georgetown University. Nicolas Jammet and Jonathan Neman round out the three co-founders and they all have a similar background. The trio of co-founders are all first-generation immigrants who come from families with business backgrounds.
You could say that they all had it in their ‘blood’ to find success as entrepreneurs, but that was no substitute for hard work and a great idea.
Ru and his co-founders came upon the Sweetgreen concept, originally titled just ‘Greens’, when they realized that there were no healthy food options available near campus that students could realistically be expected to eat at while balancing school.
Nowadays, Ru and his team are still fixated on their core goals. That is why Sweetgreen only serves all natural, organic, and locally sourced ingredients. Each salad is made from the ground up with high-quality ingredients that are in season. This means that Sweetgreen routinely rotates their menu in order to stick with the seasons, always serving fresh food to their customers.
Not only is their fresh food impressive, but so is their commitment to changing with the times. Ru says, “Technology has always been part of our DNA.” What Ru means is backed up by statistics, too. Nearly 30% of all Sweetgreen orders are made via a mobile application or the internet. This tech-based integration is something that other companies are going to need to follow.
While Nathaniel Ru and his team have experienced success, they still haven’t backed down from their work ethic. Ru knows that there is much he can do and much he would have done differently if he could go back in time.
Most importantly Ru says that they’ve learned how to team-build and that has had the biggest impact on their success.