If someone would have told the average consumer that dines out on a regular basis that a restaurant that was focused on fresh vegetables and healthy meals would a hit, most people would be skeptical. Many restaurants have been able to include healthy meals, but there are only few restaurants that have been able to thrive with a whole menu that is based on healthy items. This was just the way that things were. That, of course, was before Nathaniel Ru got people to talking about SweetGreen.
It is the restaurant concept that few people would have thought would survive that has turned into a multi-million dollar empire. Nathaniel Ru has somehow gotten investors to believe that this would be a company that would be able to grow. Venture Capitalist have been interested in investing in this budding business that Nathaniel Ru has built. He has hit a home run with consumers, and there is no doubt that this is one of the best new restaurant concepts around.
There is talk about getting more of these meals from SweetGreen into the school system. The most popular item, the warm bowls, have become the talk of the town in places like Los Angeles and Philadelphia. There is still a lot of room for growth, and this is what the funding from venture capitalists will be able to do. Nathaniel Ru and his partners started with the east and west coast, but SweetGreen is a restaurant craze that is bound to penetrate the south. The $98 million dollars that has been put into funding these restaurants is the work of venture capitalists. They believe that there return on investment in inevitable with a budding business such as this.
It will definitely be a good idea to have a business like this to penetrate the south. The obesity rates in the south are much more common than these rates are in the north. SweetGreens has the potential to grow in major ways in these areas that may not have this type of healthy eating restaurant alternative.
This is also something that will help a lot of farmers. The ingredients in these restaurants mark a selection of fresh vegetables that keep farmers in business. SweetGreens can serve a stimulus for the economy in so many ways. That is why venture capitalists were so interested in investing. This business has already proven to be successful.
The company Sweetgreen was founded by three students from Georgetown University. They got together one day and pondered what to do with their lives after graduation. The 3 men were Nathaniel Ru, Jonathan Neman, and Nicolas Jammet. Their first shop opened back in 2007 at Georgetown and they raised funds by depending on 40 of their closest relatives. They have blown up nationwide and as a result they have 31 shops located across America. They plan to have 40 restaurants open by the end of the year. With the help of venture capital funds, they have brought in a grand total of $95 million to their business empire.
The three founders recently gave an interview about their amazing success story. It turns out they were all the children of entrepreneurs and so they knew that they wanted to be their own bosses someday. They did not see the appeal of being employees. They feel that what made their concept unique was their personal discipline. They looked at the market and saw that competing restaurants were not healthy and the food met a low standard of nutrition. The key was to form key partnerships with local farms and once that part was done everything else fell into place.
They had their act together from the beginning and as a result the original business plan they formed years ago is still useful to them today. They felt passionate about what they were doing and their infectious passion allowed them to bring in investors. With every passing year they add value to their company’s offerings. Sweetgreen represents a core set of values about the quality of food they serve and the way they treat their customers.
Nathaniel Ru said he is creating a brand that stands for something. He wants to better quality food to more people. In an interview, he said that technology is part of his DNA and that is why online transactions account for 30% of their profits. Nathaniel likes for his company to be decentralized because he does not believe in having an oversized corporate headquarters. Nathaniel Ru has worked his way to a position of prominence and success at a young age. He looks up to Kevin Plank the CEO of Under Armour because it is a company that stands for something other than itself. His favorite restaurant is a little Thai food ship located in Washington, DC.
At Georgetown University in Washington, a group of friends were having trouble finding places to eat that offered a healthy menu. They were looking for a healthy menu with a fun and easy atmosphere to enjoy their choices in. When they discovered a tavern on M Street in the middle of the downtown area of Washington, they thought they had an answer. Part of this group of friends was, Nathaniel Ru and the tavern they found would turn into a farm-to-table style restaurant chain.
Six years later
Six years after the dream took hold, the farm-to-table style restaurant chain, Sweetgreen became a reality. Nathaniel Ru states they were very blessed with how events fell into place for him and his friends. He feels it would never work out the same way again- the timing was perfect.
Ru’s first core value of Sweetgreen is the idea of winning. A victory for the restaurant should be a victory for the community it exists in. The second value is to make every decision, one that is for the long run. The third value is to keep things real and everything authentic. He expects this from the employee’s demeanor to the sources of the food served. The fourth core value is to add the Sweetgreen touch and the fifth is to make an impact.
Nathaniel Ru says the signature moment for Sweetgreen came when they decided to connect music to food. It was an emotional connection and created an experience for customers to come and enjoy their food while listening to music. They used a parking lot next to a Farmer’s Market where they purchased their food and began creating music. This event became so popular they named it, Sweetlife and has become one of the largest music and food festivals in the region.
Employees and customers get good experience
Ru finds that the best financial results come from stores that have created teams that stay together the longest. He not only wants his customer’s experiences to be great, he wants his employee’s to be also. He states that this may be the digital age, but the best marketing is personal.