Nathaniel Ru was an aspiring entrepreneurial student at Georgetown University just six years ago. Today he one of three who co-own the up and coming success known as Sweetgreen. Ru, whose parents were also entrepreneurs, had one semester of college left when he and two friends decided to try their own business venture. The now million dollar restaurant line was a success and Ru and his two business partners are eager to keep the company moving forward.
The company has been making headlines from coast to coast. Unlike many large restaurant chains, Sweetgreen has no corporate headquarters. The founders, Ru, Jonathan Neman and Nicolas Jammet, all agreed that the key to their business success would be to keep the process easy going and real. Each one of the restaurants has to maintain the ethics of the company individually and all employees are held to a certain level of expectation.
The food that is served at Sweetgreen is generally purchased from local farmers and producers. The mainstay of the company is that the products sold are both healthier than traditional restaurant meals, and are organic. The fact that this company was founded by three young college students and has achieved such a great success is extraordinary. Statistically most first time endeavors are not as successful.
Nathaniel Ru admits that at first they had what might have seemed to most as a “major setback” but instead of panicking or giving up the response that they chose was to be proactive. They set up speakers and played popular music to draw attention, and the tactic worked. Now with 21 locations the chain couldn’t be doing better. Aside from providing a healthy alternative to fast food, Sweetgreen also gives back to the community by hosting a music festival every year and by offering incentives to their customers that provide donations to charitable causes.
What started as a viable solution to a lack of healthy food choices in a 560 foot tavern in downtown Washington D.C. has since become the catalyst to a major endeavor. Nathaniel Ru and his co-CEOs never saw their idea as a short term project. In fact the chain is so customer service oriented that they provide things such as umbrellas and seat covers for bicycles when it rains. The company has shown that the best way to sell your product is with your actions, and they have proved it true.