Sweetgreen is a salad fast food chain which features food that is healthy, organic, local, and fresh. It has become a highly successful chain that now has 40 locations in the Northeast as well as in California.
One of the co-CEOs of the company, Nathaniel Ru, has said that their goal is to feed people better food than what is available at other fast food and casual restaurants.
Sweetgreen was the brainchild of Nathanial and two other Georgetown University graduates. They started the first restaurant near Georgetown University during their senior year.
In addition to serving healthy food they are also different from other restaurants in a number of ways. They close their corporate office locations five days every year so that everyone can work those days in the restaurants.
This keeps them closer to their customers and more in tune with what they want. Another way they are different is that they don’t have a corporate headquarters and instead the co-CEOs operate out of a few different locations on both coasts.
Nathanial Ru and his business partners, Jonathan Neman and Nicolas Jammet, came up with the idea of Sweetgreen when they noted that there were no restaurants offering healthy food around Georgetown University.
They launched the first location in the area and it turned out to be highly popular not just with other college students but other people in the area as well. When they continued to be very busy during winter break, when most students are out of town, they knew they had a successful business on their hands.
One of the rules of Sweetgreen that Nathanial Ru set was the all of the food they serve customers must come from local farms. They serve a wide variety of salads, not just those made with regular lettuce.
In California, they sell broccoli greens which are the leafy and very nutritious part of the plant that most people didn’t even know existed.
In addition to Sweetgreen, Nathanial Ru launched sweetlife in 2010. This is a music festival combined with a food festival that is held each year. Nathanial Ru says that, like the restaurants, it is a carbon-neutral affair that features sustainably grown food.
At these events, there are food trucks as well as farmers on hand selling their produce. A large number of musicians take part in sweetlife including both established artists and up and coming bands.