Sweetgreen, just like other successful ventures, has an inspirational story behind it. The company which now boasts of 77 stores in operation across the U.S was founded by three forward-thinking entrepreneurs, Nicolas Jammet, Nathaniel Ru, and Jonathan Neman while in their senior year at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
Getting an address for their first restaurant was a challenge for the three. Ru explains that he and his friends approached a landlady who turned them away advising them to polish up their business plan, get some business backers, and contract the services of an architect.
Ru is proud that the landlady gave them a chance; they proceeded to do as instructed, and the landlady offered them space for their first restaurant. Since then, the sky has been the limit for the fast-casual restaurant chain.
Theresa Dold, head of Sweetgreen’s digital marketing, and Ru emphasize that Sweetgreen is more than a place people go to buy food. Always, the company founders seek to answer the question that many customers ask themselves, “why.” And other questions like “what,” follow after that. According to Dold, Sweetgreen is not only social, sexy, and smart, but also local.
What’s more, the restaurant has a great line of juices, and it organizes a music festival every year. With 77 stores, some clients may wonder if Sweetgreen can live up to the core values of the company, but Ru is optimistic that the measures they have in place ensure that Sweetgreen maintains simplicity and not appear as some corporate giant.
According to Ru, Sweetgreen espouses five core values. The values include,
- “win, win, win.”
- “keeping it real.”
- thinking sustainably
- adding the sweet
- making an impact
All the values speak to Sweetgreen’s desire to be a modern brand that has a deeper connection with its clients and to be socially conscious.
Sweetgreen’s “music and food experience,” sweet life, is the region’s most significant music and food festival attracting over 20 thousand people. However, many people may not be aware of what triggered Sweetgreen to use music as a marketing tool.
Ru explains that one of their restaurants lacked customers for close to two weeks and the owners suggested that they woo customers with music; it worked. And that marked the start of Sweetgreen’s love for music.
Ru’s parents, just like Jammet’s, and Neman’s are business owners. That explains why Ru is a business-minded individual who is sought after for his insight on creating brands that stand the taste of time.
Learn more about Nathaniel Ru: http://fortune.com/2016/02/18/sweetgreen-entrepreneurs/