Nathaniel Ru and the Sweetgreen team have been focusing all of their time and energy on making sure that their restaurant chain offers something different than the rest of the competition. At face value, Sweetgreen is a chain of salad restaurants that dots throughout the America’s Northeast.
Walking into a Sweetgreen isn’t unlike walking into an Apple store. Everything is clean and efficient and everyone is on their A-game making sure that your needs are serviced. Sweetgreen didn’t just sprout up overnight like this. Rather, the company was carefully and meticulously nurtured by its trio of co-founders, led by the work of Nathaniel Ru.
At a glance, Nathaniel Ru is relatively unassuming. You’d assume that he was just breaking into the industry based on his age but the reality is that he has been at the top of his game for nearly a decade.
Ru is one of the three Georgetown University students who helped to establish Sweetgreen and he has been credited with much of its recent success and growth. Ru occasionally works out of the new offices that were established in Los Angeles but he is as hands-on with the operation at every level, including back home in the Northeast.
Nathaniel Ru, as an entrepreneur, wanted to approach Sweetgreen with an inventive mindset. He wanted to take your average restaurant chain and then completely flip it on its head. As a result, Sweetgreen has become almost a cultural part of the communities that it is sitting in. With 40 locations around the country, those are a lot of communities being introduced to the ‘Sweetgreen Experience’.
However, as much as Sweet has ingratiated themselves with their communities they have also made sure to innovate within the industry as well. Sweetgreen has consistently pushed the limits on what is expected on the technological front.
A big part of Sweetgreen’s success has been tapping into and mobilizing a digital workspace. Nearly a third of all Sweetgreen orders are placed online so that means that a large portion of their customers are ordering and interacting with Sweetgreen while still at home. Even with all of this action at home lines are typically still out of the front door when you get to a location.
Nathaniel Ru points to the company Under Armour as a source of inspiration. He believes that Under Armour operates like a business that is ‘more than just a business’ and he sees a similar future and build-up with Sweetgreen.