There are a lot of things business owners underestimate when it comes to their customers. Often, whatever the founders think is important usually isn’t. When it comes to food, people care as much about where the food comes from just as much as they care about how it tastes. Read more: Sweetgreen Founder Interview – Nathaniel Ru | Business Insider
Opening a restaurant isn’t as simple as having good food anymore. Modern diners care a lot more about the environmental and economic impact a restaurant’s menu has on their community.
Therefore, it’s in the best interest of new restaurants to start from scratch. That’s exactly what Sweetgreen did, and it’s the most successful salad chain in the world.
Sweetgreen is a big name in the food industry. Founded by three Georgetown University graduates, Sweetgreen swept across the nation; now with 40 locations. The salad chain’s unique approach to food service attracted some big-names investors after their first year.
Of the trio, Nathaniel Ru is kind of the spokesman for the company. He’s often doing most of the interviews and explaining to people what Sweetgreen is all about. In his words, Sweetgreen is on a mission to feed more people better food. It’s also about taking a stand against bland future food made by machines.
Management is another big part of a company’s success. Ru often explains the unique management strategies he and the other co-CEOs implemented at Sweetgreen. For a start, they want their company to remain close to customers at all times. That’s why they shut down most of their offices and make their employees work in the restaurants.
Now the company has offices in Los Angeles, the trio operates with a bicoastal strategy. They fly from coast to coast, continuously growing their company one location at a time. This is also a brilliant way to decentralize their headcount.
The first step to opening any business is identifying marketing opportunities. That’s not so easy in the food industry because there are countless restaurants serving all categories of food. For Sweetgreen, it was easier because Georgetown didn’t have any healthy eating options at that time.
Despite the huge advantage of being the only healthy option in the area, they were still nervous about failing. They conquered that fear after surviving their first winter break on campus when all of the students went away.