How a Techpreneur Disrupted the Fast Food Industry with His New Venture

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The name Nathaniel Ru may not be known by many but his company, Sweetgreen, is definitely causing an uproar in the fast food industry. Just 9 years into the business, Sweetgreen is now an established successful brand with a string of investors to its name.


Sweetgreen, a healthy food company, was formed in 2007 by Nathaniel Ru and his two business associates, Nicolas Jammet and Jonathan Neman. The company’s starting product was healthy salads supplied to high-end clientele in Georgetown. Armed with a unique marketing strategy, Sweetgreen was bound to succeed where many fast food brands haven’t.


Venturing into the healthy eating business wasn’t a whim for Ru and friends. It was an idea they formed in their campus dormitory, researched on it and eventually identified the gap in healthy foods around George Town area. Immediately after college, Ru teamed up with his soon-to-be co-CEOs and opened their first outlet for selling healthy salads.


What set Sweetgreen apart is their unique marketing strategy. Coming from a tech background, Ru understood the need for an online platform where clients could access their menu instantly and order from their desktops. The Sweetgreen website was launched with a list of enticing salad delicacies that pulled in the traffic; clients made orders, paid online and had the food delivered to them. The next move for Ru was to capture the smartphone community by developing the Sweetgreen app.


Their strategy worked, profits increased and Sweetgreen can today boast of outlets in Boston, Virginia, Philly, Maryland, Chicago, Bay Area, DC, New York and Los Angeles. Though rival food chains adopted the same tactics to sell, Sweetgreen had one more unique marketing trick up their sleeve.


Ru abolished the need for a headquarter and opted for a bi-coastal schedule with his co-CEOs. Secondly, their corporate office shuts down five times each year to give the Sweetgreen staff an opportunity to serve clients in their 40 food chains. And what would make a consumer happy than to be humbly served physically by the CEO of the food company they love.


About Nathaniel Ru


Nathaniel Ru graduated from Georgetown University where he was a tech student. While at college he noticed the short supply in healthy foods, especially in Georgetown area, and decided to start a healthy salad food chain to fill this gap.


As the co-CEO of Sweetgreen, Nathaniel, and his business partners have managed to grow their franchise to over 40 locations in America. Their menu has expanded as well, and today includes full healthy meal course that is quite pocket-friendly to the corporate consumer.