Nathaniel Ru, the co-founder and co-CEO of Sweetgreen, is creating new trends in the fast food industry with his high-end salad chain firm. Through Sweetgreen, he and other co-founders are ensuring that people are getting organic, fresh, local, and healthy foods which are considered to be of superior demand in the recent years. Interestingly, the recipes of the foods are resonated to the visitors in all its units. Ru states that he wanted to feed better food and the brand should be seen as different. There are some interesting takeaways from the business model as all the co-CEOs are tech enthusiasts and more than 30 percent of the firm’s transactions are received through its mobile app or website.
They also shut down the corporate office of the firm five times a year to make sure that each of the employees is working in its restaurants. Though Sweetgreen opened offices in Los Angeles recently, it works without headquarters and the co-CEOs among various offices as the brand grows across the country. Ru points out that he and his colleagues do not think the need of big corporate headquarters and wanted to decentralize the headcount. Interestingly, the co-CEOs, Ru, Nicolas Jammet, Jonathan Neman met each other at Georgetown University, where they attended an entrepreneurship program together. They felt that Georgetown has no healthy eating options and found it as a great opportunity for entrepreneurship. They opened the first branch of Sweetgreen in 2007, and the trio worked hard and ensured the success of the business model. Ru confirms that all the three are ready to every role in the firm and understand the importance of building a great team.
Ru completed his Bachelor of Science in Finance from McDonough School of Business – Georgetown University before starting his venture. He is very passionate about “food that fits” and quality service, which made Sweetgreen grow into 64 stores across all the major cities in U.S. In 2010, he and the partners devised a new concept of translating the healthy food habits called sweetlife – the largest food and music festival in the region. Ru also played a strategy of directly connecting with farmers for the supply of raw vegetables and fruits for the restaurants and keeps a good and long-lasting relationship with them. Interestingly, the firm follows a procedure of connecting with farmers and enquiring what are they cultivating rather than demanding a particular vegetable or fruit and uses it effectively in its dishes.