How Sweetgreen Co-founder Nathaniel Ru Used Technology To Create A Successful Business

Like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Apple’s Steve Jobs and Microsoft’s Bill Gates entrepreneur Nathaniel Ru and the business partners that he co-founded the company Sweetgreen started out with a big idea. Nathaniel Ru and his two friends were college students at Georgetown in Washington DC who got together and brainstormed a game changing business idea in their dorm room. What sets Ru and his business partners apart from Jobs, Gates and Zuckerberg however is that their big idea did not necessarily concern becoming the biggest name in technology. In 2007 these young entrepreneurs set out to conquer a totally different sector of the business world: food. Learn more: http://fortune.com/2016/02/18/sweetgreen-entrepreneurs/

 

Ru and his partners launched the restaurant chain Sweetgreen in order to fill what they saw as a dearth of easily accessible healthy food in the DC area. Their restaurant has won many fans by offering restaurant goers affordable, fresh, locally sourced food. The company has managed to open 40 different locations around the country after launching in the Washington DC area. The menu boasts wholesome and tasty menu selections like a warm salad called the harvest bowl which is comprised of goat cheese, apples, toasted almonds, sweet potatoes and roasted chicken. Sweetgreen also offers its customers a dish called the fish taco warm bowl that includes ingredients like cabbage, tortilla chips, a lime cilantro vinaigrette and roasted steelhead.  Learn more: http://www.thehoya.com/nathaniel-ru-jonathan-neman-and-nicolas-jammet/

 

Though Nathaniel Ru and his partners are not tech world savants they are restaurateurs who have figured out how to build a seamless marriage between technology and good food. While many restaurants have had to adjust to the advent of technology by incorporating digital menu options into their site, Sweetgreen started out being aware of how important technology and the digital world is to building a relationship with contemporary diners in the 21st century. The company has focused on building a website and an app that allows customers to place their orders without having to come to a Sweetgreen location in person. Apparently the Sweetgreen app and website is such a success that according to business publication Fortune magazine one third of Sweetgreen’s sales are made through either of these mediums. Learn more: http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/news/2016/09/23/bluecart-simplifying-restaurant-orders-video.html

 

The company has also tried to innovate the restaurant business by throwing out traditional approaches to management. For many restaurants the relationship between corporate and local chains can be a distant one. Not so for Sweetgreen. The company prides itself on breaking down the barriers that typically keep a company’s most senior leadership removed from what is happening on the ground level at their company. They do this by taking time off from their work at the corporate office five times each year to work in their restaurants. This keeps them aware of what is happening with their company and makes them better equipped to make the right strategic decisions for Sweetgreen’s future.