Sweetgreen is a fast casual restaurant chain founded in August 2007 in Georgetown, Washington, D.C. It was founded by a trio of the Georgetown University undergrads, just months after their graduation. The chain has over 40 sites in New York, California, Chicago, and Boston. It offers healthy food that is very delicious and reasonably priced.

 

Nathaniel Ru is one of the co-founders and co-CEO of Sweetgreen alongside Nicolas Jammet and Jonathan Neman. They all bonded over food. Even though none of the three had prior experience, they set out their ideas and came up with a business plan. They started out with the single shop in Georgetown and sourced initial funds from over 40 friends and relatives. According to Fortune, most legacy restaurant companies would emulate Sweetgreen if they were to start all over again.

 

Part of Sweetgreen’s real estate strategy is the timing of store openings. In New York, the company’s first store was at 28th and Broadway, far from the customary fast food chain strip along the 23rd strip. This strategy not only targets lunch traffic but dinners and weekend treats as well. The chain has been designed in a way to create a sense of relief that patronizes a retailer in a nice way. According to Ru, it is called service design that is brought about by the culmination of technology, storytelling, and design. Inside the restaurant, the first thing that catches the eye is the open kitchen that enables guests to see the ingredients, kitchen, and the processing behind. Sweetgreen has spent its time on food photography because they want their app to resemble the amazing store experience. The app has big images of its ingredients that give it a more visual experience than just ticking boxes.

 

Sweetgreen sources its food from farmers who use organic and conventional methods. In a new area, they usually meet farmers to see if they can come up with a supply chain before opening some stores. Rather than requesting for a particular crop, Sweetgreen asks farmers what they usually grow. Therefore, they reduce food wastage as well as exposing their customers to new veggies that they may not have tried out before.

 

The farm-to-table salad chain increasingly long queues and its sustained growth over the years clearly shows there’s more to lunch than just burritos and burgers.