It’s not easy to get an entire industry to change the way it’s been doing things for decades. It’s a lot easier to start from scratch and show customers a better way of eating. That’s what co-CEOs Nathaniel Ru, Jonathan Neman, and Nicolas Jammet did with Sweetgreen.
From the beginning, they designed Sweetgreen to be different the competition in the most important ways. It wasn’t about the razzle and dazzle, but instead, it’s about feeding more people better food. It’s about constantly moving with social changes and technology. According to Ru, technology is a part of Sweetgreen’s DNA. They used websites and mobile apps to facilitate transactions before most of the big-name chains. Read more: Nathaniel Ru Blazes a Trail in The Height Food Industry | Affiliate Dork and Nathaniel Ru | Dynamic Dialogues
They also applied new management strategies they created specifically to run their company. As the company grew, they feared it would become a big corporation that loses touch with its customers. To prevent that, they close their offices, andtheir employees get to workin the restaurants.
All of their new business strategies, they learned in a Georgetown University entrepreneurship class, where discovered they had numerous things in common. Their commonalities created the strong personal and professional bonds that hold the company together.
That bond was never tested harder than the first time they experienced a dry spell. The first Sweetgreen opened near campus; so much of their business was student-based. During the first winter break they experienced, there wasn’t much student activity. Yet, despite the lack of students, they survived. Learn more about Nathaniel Ru: http://fortune.com/2016/02/18/sweetgreen-entrepreneurs/ and http://nrn.com/power-list-2016-Jammet-Neman-Ru
They’ve come a long way since then. They have 40 locations in New York and California and plan on expanding into Boston and Chicago in the coming year. With all the excitement of their success, Ru’s been doing dozens of interviews.
Fortune wanted to talk to the co-founder about the company’s strategies. The first thing that Ru talks about is deciding where and when to open a new location. With restaurants, it’s not as simple as just opening wherever there’s an available space. Restaurants like to be a part of the community; it’s how they survive.
The smartest thing that Sweetgreen does is open in places where locals like to go. They don’t open restaurants just because there’s a lot of office buildings nearby. The trio’s brand is like no other.