Feeding more people better food is an admirable goal, and that is just what Sweetgreens is trying to do. The restaurant chain is putting a new twist on fast food. They focus on healthy, fresh, organic, and local ingredients to give their customers good food at reasonable prices.
Co-CEO, Nathaniel Ru says that he and partners, Jonathan Neman and Nicolas Jammet, are “creating a brand that stands for something. And it appears that the market agrees with them.
The high-end salad chain had been backed by heavyweight investors like Steve Case, Daniel Boulud, and Danny Meyer. They are also supported by a loyal customer base who flock to Sweetgreens’ 40 locations around the country.
Nathaniel Ru and his partners were classmates at Georgetown University and have always been heavily involved in technology. That interest in tech has spilled over into the daily operations of Sweetgreens. Currently, 30% of all orders are placed through the company’s website or mobile app.
“Technology has always been part of our DNA,” Ru states.
The trio are always trying to find new ways to operate more efficiently. To accomplish this, they nearly shut down the entire corporate offices five times a year so executives can work in different positions in the restaurants. Learn more about Nathaniel Ru: http://observer.com/2016/04/jobs-report-sweetgreen-co-founder-jonathan-neman-lives-the-sweet-life/
While at Georgetown, the trio realized that there was a lack of healthy food options near the university so they decided to take the matter into their own hands. They opened their first restaurant in 2007 shortly after graduation. They found an empty 560-square foot tavern and called up the landlord. It turned out that she was the same landlord of his apartment building. It took some convincing, but Ru and his partners finally closed the deal and their Sweetgreens was born.
Nathaniel Ru received a BS in Finance from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University in 2007, just before opening up his first restaurant.
In 2010, Ru and his partners started their own food and music festival, Sweetlife. The festival is attended by more than 20,000 attendees and attracts some of the top rated musical acts and chefs from around the world. Ru also makes sure that the festival has a carbon-neutral footprint. In every venture, Ru makes sure to think of sustainability first.