Sweetgreen has enviably grown exponentially over the last few years. The company’s heads attribute its growth to strategic planning and being different. Its fast casual salad stores get long queues not only during lunch time, but also all other meals, even during holidays and weekends. Nathaniel Ru, Sweetgreen’s CEO, gives an insight on the strategies they have used to gain such popularity.
– Sweetgreen has a strategic way of picking the locations it wants its stores to be built. They not only consider the demography of the area, but also the timing of stores openings. For instance, Ru points out that their first store in New York was built at 28th and Broadway, where the chic NoMad population was growing. This way, the store would target the affluent.
– One of Sweetgreen’s main focus is to make sure that there is no much food wastage. This goes in line with their objective. For this reason, Sweetgreen meets landlords and farmers within the region that they want to build a store. This enables them to establish if the supply chain would be sufficient enough. To add to this, the store doesn’t order food from the farmers. It asks the farmers what they have, and then absorbs that. This was, produces by the farmers are utilized fully. Ru gives a case example of how they started preparing broccoli leaves. He visited a farm in Salinas and found the farmer burying the leaves. He asked him why he was doing so, and the farmer made it clear that no one has ever been interested in taking the vegetables, despite them being overly nutritious. This way, Ru gave the farmer a deal to supply broccoli leaves.
About Nathaniel Ru
In 2016, Ru’s food chain, Sweetgreen, was valued for over $95 million. When asked if they intended their business to grow to such levels, Nicholas Jammet, Sweetgreen’s co-founder, states that they had no idea that they would be controlling one of America’s biggest food stores. Ru founded Sweetgreen with the help of two of his fellow graduates, and University classmates. They started it in 2007, with a single store next to their University.
Ru’s entrepreneurial skills are certainly unmatched. Growing this the company, which currently has built over 40 stores countrywide in less than 15 years, requires a high level of planning. His innovations don’t seem to stop. Recently, Sweetgreen started sweetlife, a food festival that has grown to be among the biggest in America. It sees over 20,000 people attend it. Top chefs and popular music artists also don’t miss the festival.