Sweetgreen’s co-founders know a thing or two about creating healthy food and ultimately attracting a large demographic. The gourmet salad chain has expanded to 40 locations, with each location outsourcing ingredients locally. How did an original salad restaurant start up grow to such a caliber? Sweetgreen founders Nathaniel Ru, Jonathan Neman and Nicolas Jammet took an entrepreneurship class together at Georgetown University.
After discovering a lack of healthy dining options on campus, the trio decided to take action. The co-founders opened their first Sweetgreen location upon graduation in August of 2007. Since then, Sweetgreen has transformed into a high-end salad chain with ordering available through its website or its very own mobile application.
Nathaniel Ru reported at least 30% of Sweetgreen orders are placed online rather than in person. With an eye for combining healthy ingredients and integrating local communities together, its no wonder Sweetgreen has been so successful.
The management style employed by Sweetgreen proves traditional management wrong as Sweetgreen shuts down corporate offices at least 5 times a year in order to work at physical locations. Customer-CEO interaction isn’t usually heard of, however this is what makes Sweetgreen different.
Nathaniel Ru graduated from Georgetown University with a Finance degree from the McDonough School of Business in 2007. After graduation Ru started Sweetgreen with fellow classmates. However, the journey has not always been easy for the co-founder. Ru stated being authentic is what has allowed his brand and company to take off.
What exactly does Ru mean by this? Starting from the source of ingredients all the way to the employee-customer interaction at restaurants, authenticity is maintained. Ru believes that authenticity isn’t the only thing responsible for Sweetgreen’s success.
Nathaniel Ru also attributes the success of his salad startup to teamwork as Nicolas Jammet and Jonathan Neman make up the other part of Sweetgreen’s co-founder team.
After coming up with the idea to produce healthier food together, the trio raised $35,000 from friends and family to open their first Sweetgreen Restaurant.
Through the savvy salad chain restaurant’s journey, Ru believes passion and the ability to execute is how he captured the company’s early and original investors. Since 2007, the restaurant chain continues to expand and explore opportunities for growth.
Read more: Sweetgreen Entreprenuers | Fortune