Creating a New Model for Fast Food; the Story of Sweetgreens

Experts in entrepreneurship say that the ideal entrepreneur should bank more on their idea when investing than financial or human capital. Sweetgreen is one legacy restaurant company which has proven this statement to be true. What started out as a simple idea by three Georgetown finance students has become one of the most popular high-end salad chains in the country. The brand has received endorsements from celebrities like Danny Meyer, Steve Case, and Daniel Boulud. Their recipe is so popular that the lines are always long in the 40 locations of Sweetgreen across the country. Learn more:


The one thing that Nathaniel Ru, the CEO of the company feels has led to their growth and success is the fact that they created a brand which stands for something. Their main aim is to feed people with healthier and better food options. While eating fresh, local and organic products, has been a fad, and many restaurant chains have switched to accommodate the trend, few have the technological edge that Sweetgreen added to their product packaging. Nathaniel states that more than 30 percent of their customers make orders through the company’s mobile application. Learn more:


The three co-founders of the chain have been planning their management techniques. To stay as close to the customer as possible, they have done away with corporate headquarters, and they shut down their offices five times each year so that the managerial team can meet and interact with their customers in the restaurants. Ru and the other co-founders, Jonathan Neman and Nicolas Jammet met at an entrepreneurship class they took in Georgetown. They came up with the idea because the school lacked healthy eating options. They state that after they had survived the first winter with no students in college, the trio knew they could make it in business. Learn more:


About Nathaniel Ru


Nathaniel Ru is a graduate of the Georgetown University’s McDonough School of business, where he studied finance. In 2007, he started Sweetgreen with his two friends. Nathaniel is a first generation immigrant, and his father was also an entrepreneur like him. Other companies that he has made investments in include LOLA, Bond Street, EatPops, and MeUndies. He currently resides in New York, the headquarters of Sweetgreen.


In addition to co-founding Sweetgreen, Nathaniel and his colleagues went ahead to create the Sweet life festival, an annual event which celebrates music and the high culture that Sweetgreen and the whole Sweet Life venture advocates. The popularity of their business model shows how far an entrepreneur can go when they base their business ideas on the values of their clients.