Sweetgreen: Proving that Salads are More Than Food

It’s always refreshing to see a new restaurant in the neighborhood. Usually, the new restaurant is a chain restaurant, as they’ve become more popular. Sadly, most chain restaurants are all the same; even their food can taste the same. However, that can’t be said for Sweetgreen.

Sweetgreen is what every chain restaurant would look like if they were totally original. Sweetgreen is the first high-end salad chain to find national success in America. The restaurant’s co-CEOs spent months looking for the healthiest, freshest, locally grown organic produce possible. That innovative approach won customers over.

The genius behind Sweetgreen doesn’t stop at their ingredients. Sweetgreen was one of the first companies to embrace mobile technology as a way to facilitate transactions. The co-CEOs are tech pioneers from Georgetown University, so they knew how to use technology to their advantage. Now, Technology is a part of the company’s DNA.

Another brilliant strategy implemented by the tech pioneers was a new management strategy. Because their customers are so important, five times a year, they shut down their corporate offices to allow every employee a chance to work in the restaurants. It’s their way of staying personally connected to customer-needs.

All three of the co-founders met at Georgetown University in an entrepreneurship class. They immediately hit it off, realizing they shared many of the same ideas. All three also have parents who own their own businesses. With so much bonded them together, it was fate that they all open their own business together. Read more: Nathaniel Ru | Crunchbase

The first step to starting any business is identifying market opportunities. At that time, Georgetown had no healthy eating options. It only made sense to try to bring some healthier food choices to the area. Their restaurant opened in 2007 after they graduated.

Though they had trained to open their own business, and their parents gave them plenty of advice, they were still unsure that they’d succeed. It wasn’t until their first winter break that they were truly tested. During winter break, the campus in empty, yet, they survived while most of the students were away.

Looking back, there are a lot of things that Ru would tell his younger self to do. The main thing would be to read more. It’s a fact: there’s no such thing as being too prepared.

Learn more about Nathaniel Ru: http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/news/2016/09/23/bluecart-simplifying-restaurant-orders-video.html


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