Nathaniel Ru is co-founder and co-CEO of Sweetgreen, a successful fast casual restaurant chain that serves seasonal healthy food. Recently, Nathaniel Ru spoke at the Wharton Marketing Conference. The theme of the conference was “The new era of Marketing: Globalization, Analytics and Choice.” Nathaniel narrated why and how they came up with the idea of Sweetgreen. During their final year at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, Nathaniel and his two friends, Jonathan Neman and Nicolas Jammet realized that it was difficult to find a restaurant that was serving healthy food. They turned this problem into a business opportunity. The trio decided to start a simple eatery that serves fresh food from the farm.
After several rounds of convincing the landlord to let them space, the landlady finally gave in and rented out the 560 square-foot tavern on M Street. They started Sweetgreen, which is now a successful farm-to-table restaurant chain with 31 stores in the major cities of Northeast and their suburbs, including Boston, Philadelphia and New York. The restaurant serves fresh and healthy food, where most ingredients are locally sourced from farmers and purveyors. Sweetgreen operates on five core values, which are applied in all stores. These values ensures victory for everyone involved in the business, long term solutions, authenticity, sweet touch and making an impact in the society.
Sweetgreen is not just a restaurant but also a lifestyle brand due to their music and food experience called “Sweetlife,” where they host music festival events that attract over 20,000 people and numerous local food purveyors. Through their mobile app, clients can connect to the community by accumulating up points worth $100 to get the green status where part of their purchases can be donated to the company’s program to educate undeserved students on healthy eating. This strategy is also used to get referrals through their partnership with businesses that promote healthy lifestyle like gyms and fitness clubs. The company has a culture of servicing its employees since they believe that the community starts with them. This information was originally reported on [email protected] as outlined in this link http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/sweetgreens-nathaniel-ru-everything-last-longer/
About Nathaniel Ru
Nathaniel Ru graduated from McDonough School of Business of Georgetown University with a BS in Finance in 2007. As the co-founder and co-CEO of Sweetgreen, Nathaniel Ru bears his entrepreneurial roots from his parents who are both entrepreneurs. Initially, Nathaniel and his two friends raised money through their investors, parents, Seth Goldman, Joe Bastianich and Latino Economic Center of Washington. The company has also received funding from Revolution Growth and T. Rowe Price. Sweetgreen supports different philanthropic initiatives.