While some people take months or even years to brainstorm and come up with viable business ideas, Nathaniel Ru and his friends Jonathan Neman and Nicolas Jammet did not take that long. The idea of starting Sweetgreen came as a result of a gap that existed in the campus food industry.
The three could not find a place to buy health salads or food in general. This was the genesis of Sweetgreen, a chain of salad selling joints that is now operating in most cities throughout the USA. The company is known for its sweet, healthy, local and organic salads.
Besides the fact that the food is healthy, it is also very affordable. Nathaniel and his other friends, who are also co-founders of the restaurant, hail from families of business parents. The three were also studying business courses at Georgetown University when they set out to start their venture. The trio started the restaurant business when they were in their final semester.
Nathaniel and his colleagues are tech savvy entrepreneurs, who have embraced technology to help serve the customer more effectively. About 30% of their business transactions is made through a Sweetgreen application.
The three do not believe in a big corporate kind of business model. Instead, they focus on opening more joints to reach out to as many people as possible.
Sweetgreen’s success has attracted many restaurant owners, who with no doubt have a lot to learn from the chain. The restaurant has also been backed by big investors like Case Steve and Daniel Boulud. Sweetgreen now has branches in 40 locations, and all of them have people lining up every day. The restaurant opened the newest joint in Los Angeles this year. It is important also to note that, all the three co-founders are first-generation immigrants.
In an interview conducted by Fortune, Nathaniel Ru said that, had he known better, when he was still twenty, he could have read more books. He also said that entrepreneurs or CEOs should learn to delegate duties to their teams. You cannot manage a business and run it all on your own.
Nathaniel attended Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business where he graduated with a BS in Finance back in 2007. It is during the same year that the trio founded their now very successful salad chain. Nathaniel is a big fan and admirer of Kevin Plank of Under Armour. His favorite restaurant is Johnny Monis’ Little Serow, which serves delicious Northern Thai food in DC.