Nathaniel Ru on What Makes Sweetgreen Stand Apart

Sweetgreen is a fast food restaurant based in the United States. It is a fast-casual salad chain where people are always willing to queue and wait for their turns to order. Those who don’t wish to wait on the line may use Sweetgreen app to help them skip the line. You just make your order and then get it at a designated pick up station.


The magic behind the excellent reputation of Sweetgreen is its focus on the provision of not only healthy but also delicious and reasonably priced food. The chain has given its customers accessibility to nutritious meals for about the same cost as a burger and fries. During an interview with Drake Baer, published on Business Insider, in March 2016, Ru said that apart from the usual demographic analysis, the timing of store openings is in line with the larger real estate strategy of the company. He explained that the manner in which they enter a market is as important as the number of stores they open.


Nathaniel Ru also attributed Sweetgreen’s success to its “Service Design.” Customers are greeted with a warm welcome and an open kitchen plan that allows them to see the process of preparing their meals. All the dressings are prepared from scratch, and fresh products are brought every morning. Rather than just tell the customers about their services, Sweetgreen makes it visible to them.


A customer gets in a line that takes about 15 minutes. When it is his or her time to order, he stands in front of a row of ingredients, as it happens in Chipotle and a member of the team walks him or her through the whole process. The ordering process takes approximately 2-3 minutes.


As far as sourcing ingredients is concerned, Sweetgreen asks the local farmers what they produce instead of requesting for particular products. This way, consumers are given the opportunity to eat what they would not otherwise have eaten. The fast-casual salad chain shows its consumers that there is more to eat than the usual vegetables they are accustomed to such as kales.


About Nathaniel Ru

He studied Bachelor of Science in finance in McDonough School of business, Georgetown University where he graduated in 2007. In the same year, he co-founded Sweetgreen together with his two fellow graduate friends. The company focuses on sustainability and local product sourcing. Sweetgreen’s first location was in Georgetown, but today it has its presence in 27 other locations in six states.



One thought on “Nathaniel Ru on What Makes Sweetgreen Stand Apart

  1. Nathaniel Ru and his business partners share a passionate belief in eating food that fits a person’s values, budget, tastes, imagination, as well as the community. Nathaniel Ru is one of the great brains behind Sweetgreen, and also works as a co-CEO. It is very cool and good for grademiners to admit that is not possible for them all.

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