Sweetgreen’s, Nathaniel Ru, and His Partners

Sweetgreen is a high-end, extremely successful salad chain backed by investors, Steve Case, Danny Meyer, and Daniel Boulud. Founders Nathaniel Ru, Jonathan Neman, and Nicolas Jammet Co-CEO its 40 locations all over the nation. The co-CEOs met while all three were taking an entrepreneurship class at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. together. It was then that they first formed a fruitful partnership that would lead them to become pioneers in using technology for business. Today this digital department is headed by Theresa Dold, Sweetgreen’s head of digital marketing. Learn more: http://www.thehoya.com/nathaniel-ru-jonathan-neman-and-nicolas-jammet/

They found that they shared a common concern that the Georgetown area was greatly lacking in healthy eating options. So they decided to open their own salad-based restaurant. The trio decided on a 560 square-foot tavern in downtown. However, when they told the owner their intentions, they had a hard time winning her to their vision. She eventually relented, however, and another partnership was formed. They then found the investors and an architect. Right after graduating from college, they opened their first restaurant in August 2007.

 

It was such a booming success that by 2014 they had expanded to 21 locations in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington. Today, more than 30% of company transactions take place either over its website or mobile app. A successful a business strategy they have already clearly had, the three founders are trying to figure out ways to make it even better. The three began and continue to run their company without a main headquarters in their quest to keep their company decentralized. Keeping it decentralized will help the stores mentally. They will be better able to stay focused on pleasing their community rather than feeling they have to please headquarters. Ru says that he wishes he could go back in time and tell his younger self to read more books. Learn more: http://www.forbes.com/pictures/ekeg45fe/nicolas-jammet-nathaniel-ru-jonathan-neman-co-founders-sweetgreen-262627/

 

However, he has few regrets concerning his business life. He says that they made an extremely good decision early on in building a team so that they didn’t have to do everything. But he does look to other CEOs for examples of how to conduct his leadership style. He particularly admires Kevin Plank, CEO of Armour. Sweetgreens is proud to have all of its ingredients extremely fresh, purchased from local farmers and purveyors. In addition to its many salad ingredients, Sweetgreens has a long list of fresh juices and has an annual music festival.

 

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