Sweetgreens’ Nataniel Ru and What Motivates the Entrepreneur

Published / by TheRugbyUnion

Sweetgreen is what the legacy restaurant companies would emulate if they could start over. This is backed by investors including Danny Meyer, Daniel Boulud, and Steve Case and is a high-end salad chain. It fits in with today’s focus on nutrition with healthy organic fresh local ingredients. This is sought after by diners and seen in the long lines at the 40 locations Sweetgreen’s has.

 

Sweetgreen’s co-CEO Nathaniel Ru said about the restaurant they want Sweetgreen’s to stand for something and to feed customers better food. The restaurant has a different twist with 30 percent of their orders made either through their website or using a mobile app.

 

The co-owners attended Georgetown University and have been breaking new ground in technology including their app to order at Sweetgreens. The three began to rethink management strategies and wanted to remain close with customers to do this they close the corporate office five times a year so everyone can work in the restaurants. Rather than a headquarters the owners are bicoastal while trying to grow the company nationally with the most recent office opened in Los Angeles.

 

The co-CEOs include Jonathan Neman and Nicolas Jammet who along with Nathaniel Ru met at Georgetown University taking an entrepreneurship class together. The three are first generation immigrants and each of their parents started their own businesses. The idea came to the three because there was a need for healthy eating options at the University. In a later interview, the three said they knew during their first winter break with other students gone home that they would make a business thrive.

 

Nathaniel Ru is an executive officer and director of Sweetgreen and one of the founders. He is located in Washington DC and has said in an interview that no matter how many Sweetgreen’s they open each has to live up to the core values of the company and community. He does not want the high-end salad restaurant to become just a corporate giant. Mr. Ru said during their time at Georgetown University they came up with five core values and since posted them in every Sweetgreen’s kitchen. He said they use these in helping to make decisions.

 

The values they decided upon include win, win, win and the company, customers and community all have a part. The second is thinking about sustainability, and decisions should be made for the long term. The third is to keep it real, which is for everything to be authentic. The fourth is adding the sweet, which includes employees giving it their all and customers will tell friends. And the final core value is “we do it together” and Ru said that is why he comes to work every day.