Sweetgreen’s CEO Nathaniel Ru, together with Nicholas Jammet and Jonathan Neman knew they were not the institutional types. The guy that graduates and gets institutional jobs, it was pretty obvious for them to go the entrepreneurial way given that their parents are entrepreneurs. One thing is clear; they are pacemakers and trendsetters if the traffic flow at the Sweetgreen app and Sweetlife Festival is anything to judge from. Just a few months to graduation, and tired of searching for healthy food joints, they challenged themselves, therefore, plunging deep into the idea only to emerge with a four-paged business plan and a meeting with the landlord who was hard to impress.
Nathaniel Ru believes that passion, discipline and the need to have win-win situations for all stakeholders is part of every business success story. This strategy though common is efficient and productive. Together with his co-founders, Nathaniel came up with five core values that have proved to be tried and tested over time. Active inclusion of the employees in providing suggestions on how to improve the service experience, working with the produce suppliers, and engaging the community in more than just selling them salads is what sets Sweetgreen apart from its competitors.
Mr. Nathaniel Ru graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Georgetown University, Mc Donough School of Business in 2007. His only work experience was that of founder and next CEO of Sweetgreen for the past nine years. He lives in Soho, Newyork in a posh bachelor’s pad that is commonly referred to as sweet digs with his friend, co-founder, and dorm mate, Jonathan Neman.
Nathaniel, Nicholas, and Jonathan have a thing for healthy food and the scarcity of which led to them starting up the Sweetgreen stores at the corner of M Street, George Town. Initial capital funding was from 40 friends and family members, but they presently stand at $95 million with heavyweight financial backing from Steve Casey, Danny Meyers through venture capitals. Nathaniel Ru discloses that it’s more than about salads but also about real estate. Every location is strategically located in a high-end part of town, away from other food chains clutter.
Long queues over salad are just curious enough but what is better is being able to jump the queue when you make an order using the app while accumulating green points that can be redeemed later. Nathaniel says they are both into technology and restaurant business as a combination of which brings out the Sweetgreen experience.