How Young Entrepreneurs Have Transformed their Fast Food Business

Sweetgreen is a healthy food restaurant chain founded in 2007, initially being based in Washington, DC. It was co-founded by three young entrepreneurs Nathaniel Ru, Nicolas Jammet and Jonathan Neman soon after receiving their undergraduate degree from Georgetown University’s school of business. Later the chain expanded and opened numerous stores totaling more than 40 in different states in the United States. The magic behind Sweetgreen’s salads is that they are tasty, delicious and at reasonable price. Compared to other similar food from other brands, you do not feel hungry 45 minutes later. Recently, Fortune wrote that if traditional restaurants would be given the chance to restart from scratch, majority of them would prefer to offer services similar to Sweetgreen’s.


Sweetgreen aims to provide its customers with better food and making its name state above the competitors. The three co-founders of Sweetgreen are restructuring new management strategies, including setting up its headquarters. The co-CEOs have been mainly focusing on growing and expanding the business to a national platform. When the three entrepreneurs decided to establish the first restaurant in Georgetown area, they felt residents did not have wide options of healthy eating. Sweetgreen survived the first challenge soon after starting operations when students at Georgetown University went for the winter break vacation. The students comprised most of their customers, but the business was able to make it through.


About Nathaniel Ru


According to Nathaniel Ru, one of the co-founders of Sweetgreen, demographic analysis and real estate strategies are key elements that determine where they will open the next store. He further explained their focus is not only to serve people lunch, but at dinner and during the weekends. Majority of people feel that the reception they get after entering Sweetgreen’s shops is similar to visiting an Apple store.


About 30% of customers use Sweetgreen app to order their favorite salads, while the rest visit stores located in different states. The process of ordering a dish takes two to three minutes, and a customer can see how ingredients are arranged before being served. Nathaniel Ru and his co-CEOs believe the success of Sweetgreen has been achieved they have embraced technology in their operations. In 2010, Ru and his partners launched an event called Sweetlife, a food and music festival which attracts close to 20,000 visitors. High profile musicians entertain those attending, and being served with food from some of the top chefs in the region.