There is a new wave of innovation rolling through the fast food industry and Sweetgreen co-founder Nathaniel Ru is leading the charge. Sweetgreen is one of the hottest new restaurant chains out of the northeast portion of the United States. Sweetgreen offers high-end salads that utilize locally sourced ingredients with a menu that rotates based around the season.
Sweetgreen is bringing healthy food at a great price to people who are on the go. The success of Sweetgreen thus far has been electric to watch and a big part of it is due to how Nathaniel Ru has avoided the pitfalls that are so common of other startup companies. Let’s take a look at how Nathaniel Ru and his team are creating the Sweetgreen Experience.
First of all, Sweetgreen was conceptualized by a trio of Georgetown University students which included Nathaniel Ru, Nicolas Jammet, and Jonathan Neman.
The three students took an entrepreneurship class together and it was there that they began to ruminate on potential business ideas that had a high ceiling for exploration. The trio looked at their own college campus and realized quickly that there were few healthy options available for students on the go.
They looked at an immediate problem and created a solution for it. The first Sweetgreen location would open up on M Street in downtown Washington D.C. Now, there are more than 40 locations around the country with much more on the way.
Nathaniel Ru would be the first to admit that his team got lucky in the early-going with a great location and grassroots support, however that isn’t why their success has been sustained. Ru cites their mission statement as a dominant reason for their continual success.
Ru says, “We’re creating a brand that stands for something. We want to feed more people better food.” Ru goes on to point at companies like Under Armour and Nike as examples of companies that have embraced becoming so much more than simple businesses and this, he believes, is what Sweetgreen is angling to become.
What makes Sweetgreen particularly special is not just their great food, but also their attention to customer service. Sweetgreen feels, in many ways, like an Apple store when you first walk through the doors.
There are easy-to-access menus, clean and simple restaurant layouts, and employees eager to help you get the perfect meal for your lunch or dinner.
Ru makes sure that he and his corporate employees work at locations often enough to stay grounded and connected with customers.
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