Nathaniel Ru Explains How Sweetgreens Is Different Versus Other Restaurants

The high-end salad chain Sweetgreen is quite different from older chains in the quick serve industry. It now has 40 locations that feature food that is fresh, organic, and locally sourced. Sweetgreen has a number of big investors behind it including Daniel Boulud, Steve Case, and Danny Meyer.

One of the co-founders and co-CEOs of the company, Nathaniel Ru, has said that the brand they’re building stands for something, which is to provide their customers with better food than they can find at any other quick serve restaurant.

In addition to providing better food, Sweetgreen is also a company that has embraced technology. Indeed, about 30% of the transactions that are handled at a Sweetgreen restaurant is initiated on either their website or mobile app.

This allows people to get in and out of the restaurant faster and more convenient. Nathaniel Ru also commented about this, stating that technology is at the core of their brand and they stay on top of the latest tech advances. Read more: Nathaniel Ru | Dynamic Dialogues

The three co-CEOs of Sweetgreen have also differentiated themselves by pursuing a new type of management strategy. This includes shutting down corporate office five times every year so that everyone works in a nearby Sweetgreen’s restaurant instead.

This helps to keep management closer to what is happening in the restaurants and what the community thinks of them. Nathaniel Ru and friends also don’t have any centralized headquarters and instead the co-CEOs work on both coasts of the United States. This helps them to grow the company with plans to one day have locations in all 50 states.

When thinking about advice he would have given to his younger self when starting Sweetgreen, Nathaniel Ru has said that he would have told himself to read a lot more books. He has also said that he realized it was hard to let other manage certain aspects of the company as it has grown.

Ru said that he now understands how important it is to build a team and let them do their jobs even when initially that doesn’t feel very comfortable at all.

While building up Sweetgreen, Nathaniel Ru has been instrumental in developing some of the relationships the company has established in order to come up with new salads.

These partnerships include such culinary luminaries as Mark Bittman, Dan Barber, and David Change. These salads feature new and unique creations that are exclusively sold at Sweetgreens locations.

Learn more about Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin:

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