Nathaniel Ru Changes The Face Of Fast Food
When you think of fast food the words “delicious” and “healthy” probably do not come to mind. Nathaniel Ru, co-founder of Sweetgreen, is determined to change all that. The high-end salad chain has hit on a business model that could one day become the standard for all fast food chains to come. They focus on fresh, organic, and locally sourced ingredients that their customers line up for.
According to Ru, Sweetgreen is a brand that “stands for something.” The chain currently has 40 locations and is looking to expand throughout the nation. Their clientele not only love their food but also the values the company governs itself by. With a focus on sustainability, Sweetgreen is dedicated to making decisions that will benefit the community for years to come.
High-quality ingredients s not the only thing driving the growth of Sweetgreen. The company has also embraced technology in a big way. Ru, along with co-CEOs Jonathan Neman and Nicholas Jammet, has been heavily involved in tech since graduating from Georgetown University. Currently, 30% of Stwwetgreen’s transaction occur through their website or mobile app. According to Ru, technology has always “been part of our DNA”.
Ru and Co. are also turning traditional management practices on their head. Five times per year the Sweetgreen corporate office is virtually shut down so that everyone can take a turn working in one of the restaurants.
Along with his classmates, Ru opened the first Sweetgreen restaurant in 2007, shortly after they graduated from Georgetown. Immediately they knew that had hit on a winning concept. The company has since attracted high profile investors like Steve Case, Danny Meyer, and Daniel Boulud.
The co-founding trio have also given back to the Georgetown community with the music and food festival known as Sweetlife. The annual festival routinely draws crowds of 15,000 people and has musical acts such as Calvin Harris and The Weekend performing.
Under the guidance of Ru, Neman, and Jammet, Sweetgreen will continue to grow, but more importantly, it will continue to influence the industry in a positive way.