Sweetgreen is offering a healthy alternative for men and women who eat out every day and want food that tastes good, is healthy and reasonably priced. Sweetgreen customers have found that for about the same price they pay for a hamburger and fries they can enjoy a healthy, and nutrition filled meal.
Nathaniel Ru, the co-founder of Sweetgreen, believes that how and when the company enters a new market is just as important as the number of locations they open. After the general demographic studies, Nathaniel feels the timing is critical to the companies real estate strategy. As an example, he cites the timing and location of their first restaurant in New York. They opened the first Sweetgreen in a chic neighborhood close to where several tech and media companies had already located, not in the usual strip of fast food chains, making Sweetgreen stand out among its competitors. Not necessarily only looking for convenience and hoping to build a dinner and weekend trade the company opened three more stores in affluent and upbeat neighborhoods in the New York area.
Sweetgreen uses only farm fresh produce and will often meet with local farmers, to make sure they can establish a reliable supply chain, before opening a cluster of new locations. Nathaniel Ru states that by relying on the farmers to deliver what they are growing, rather than asking them to produce certain items assures their customers of a wider variety of vegetables, including some they might not try usually. Nathaniel hopes the first thing patron’s notice is the open kitchen; he wants customers to see the ingredients used, and the cooking process. He feels it is better for a client to see the kitchen process rather than trying to explain it to them. The atmosphere is friendly and helpful; an associate will guide you through the ordering process this should take no more than two or three minutes for the walk-in customers. The company has developed an app, that roughly 30% of its customers use, that will cut the wait time dramatically.
Nathaniel Ru is a 2007 graduate of the Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. Less than three months after graduation Nathaniel and two college friends founded Sweetgreen. Since opening its first location in Washington, DC in 2007, the new restaurant chain is now operating in forty locations in New York and California and plans on expanding into Boston and Chicago. Their idea of a new concept in fast-casual dining, focusing on sustainability and local produce has created an environment where the company wins; the customer wins, and the community wins.