Savvy fast food diners in the northeast will have noticed a sprinkling of high end salad restaurants in their neck of the woods. These restaurants are called Sweetgreen and they’ve been steadily gaining steam over much of the last ten years as their young trio of CEOs, led by Nathaniel Ru, continue to innovate within a classic marketplace.
Right now people are looking for ways to get more out of their fast food dining. Nobody wants to be content with greasy sandwiches and faceless corporations rolling into town. Nathaniel Ru and his team are trying something different. They are trying to do things the Sweetgreen way.
Sweetgreen was established in 2007 right off of campus of Georgetown University. Nathaniel Ru, Nicolas Jammet and Jonathan Nemen are the three that conspired to create the company while attending school together at Georgetown.
They were taking an entrepreneurial class together when they started to dream up the idea of taking the fast food model and shifting it toward healthy alternatives.
Their initial idea was to create a salad chain called ‘Greens’. This quickly morphed into Sweetgreen after a chance meeting with a property owner that gave them the opportunity to open up their first location on M Street in downtown Washington D.C. From there on out everything has been moving at a rocket pace and the company continues to change the way things are done.
The reason that Nathaniel Ru and his team approached a salad chain as their idea was simple and obvious. They wanted healthier eating options while out and about during school. More than that they also wanted to introduce people to the concept of a community oriented eating experience.
Sweetgreen doesn’t just pop up into a community and start taking cash, it ingratiates itself to the area and throws events and such to feel like it belongs. Ru has always wanted Sweetgreen to be part of the public zeitgeist, an extension of the community.
Not only does Sweetgreen make an impact on their community, they also have been shifting how people approach eating out by embracing the technological side of things. Sweetgreen to date gets about 30% of their orders from their website or via their mobile app.
The company is dramatically shifting how they approach business and departing from the way that other contemporary rivals are approaching the same thing. With ten years behind them it is looking like Sweetgreen has another ten years of explosive growth ahead.
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