The Success Story of Nathaniel Ru

In the course of their senior year at Georgetown University, Nathaniel Ru and several friends always struggled to get healthy spots to eat that were also fun and simple.

The group wondered whether the solution to the problem was in a tavern located on M Street at the center of the downtown part. Six Years later, the restaurant they began in the area has turned into the 21-eatery chain Sweetgreen.

Sweetgreen now owns stores in the major cities of Northeast and their suburbs: New York, Boston, Washington, and Philadelphia. The food offered is always fresh and healthy, and most of the ingredients purchased from local purveyors and farmers.

The food company markets itself not only as a place to buy food but as a brand committed to feeding people with better food.

The founders of Sweetgreen liken their company to Apple which focuses on the “why” before considering the “what.” The strategy Sweetgreen uses in marketing is similar.

They strive to be smart, sexy, social and local. The company owns a great line of juices as well, and they also throw a music festival annually. Ru’s co-founder, Dold says that people do not purchase what you do, but they buy how you do it.

Ru noted that as their company grows, it has to contend with the probability of being just another salad-chain company. Hence, every single store has its unique architect and a design that exhibits local tastes.

In each store, there is a food-sourcing blackboard to indicate the ingredients acquired from the local vendors. He also says that it is vital that Sweetgreen services its staff.

The community starts with the staff, and the company hires not only excellent but wonderful people using the snowball effect, employing the friends of their best employees.

Sweetgreen noted that the most incredible financial results came from those stores where the employees had been together for a long time, so they are attuned to not only giving their customers but also their staff, great experiences.

Nathaniel Ru graduated in 2007 with a BS in Finance from McDonough School of business, of Georgetown University. In 2007 Ru and his two co-founders started Sweetgreen, a fast seasonal and casual eatery with local sourcing and sustainability as their primary focus. Sweetgreen has grown considerably with 27 locations in six states.

In 2010 Ru and his co-CEOs launched Sweetlife, the most fabulous food and music festival in the district. The trio believes passionately in foods that will fit your budget, values, imagination, tastes, and community.

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