What does it mean to create something that stands for a cause? It seems like every company is standing up for something, mostly to get people to buy their products. But occasionally, a brand comes along that actually stands for something. That’s what Sweetgreen is; it’s more than a high-end salad chain.
For co-CEO Nathaniel Ru, Sweetgreen is a way to feed more people better food. So far, the restaurant chain has nearly 50 locations nationwide. Each location integrates itself into the community by offering the healthiest and freshest, organically grown local produce. They actually go to local farms to learn about the produce they’ll use in their salads.
Sweetgreen is a completely original idea; everything was thought of from scratch. Even the way that Sweetgreen uses technology was new when they did it. Now, almost every big restaurant chain has a website and mobile app. Sweetgreen was one of the first to use technology to facilitate transactions.
Ru and his fellow co-CEOs always wanted Sweetgreen to be different. It was important to them that their company has a different management strategy. Every big-name brand has a corporate headquarters; not Sweetgreen. The co-CEOs travel from coast to coast, growing their company with their own two hands.
It’s also important to keep their customers in mind. That’s why they shut down most of their offices at least five times a year so that every office employee gets a chance to work in one of the restaurants. It’s how they stay close to their customers.
Such a personal connection to their business comes from years of experience. When the trio of young men met in their entrepreneurship class at Georgetown University, they never thought they’d be running a national restaurant chain. The trio also has a personal source of experienced advice in their parents, who are all entrepreneurs. Read more: Nathaniel Ru | LinkedIn and Sweetgreen | Wikipedia
When they opened their first restaurant in 2007, they weren’t sure they’d succeed. They had all the knowledge but none of the experience. They faced their greatest challenge: winter break on a college campus. Despite the lack of students, they survived; reassuring themselves and their company.
After experiencing their first success, they became addicted to working. Every entrepreneur struggles to let go of their company’s reins and let others take over. Sweetgreen’s co-CEOs were no different in the beginning.
Learn more about Nathaniel Ru: