Nathaniel Ru: Innovating the Food Industry Through Healthy Options

One restaurant is changing the way in which the food is served. They managed to balance all the aspects of a good restaurant in today’s food industry – they offer fresh, healthy, organic and locally made food! The restaurant and fast food giants could learn something from this growing food business, and these multinational companies would possibly want to go back to stage one just to be like Sweetgreen – a chain of high end salad restaurant that has attracted big time investors. The restaurant became popular in a short amount of time, with queues forming outside their 40 strong locations. The restaurant, established in 2007, is currently being managed by three chief executive officers; all of them were the original founders – Nicolas Jammet, Jonathan Neman and Nathaniel Ru. They were classmates from the Georgetown University, and the idea of opening a salad restaurant came in when they were still in college and they found out that their university does not have that much healthy eating option because only a few students tend to eat healthy foods. This became their inspiration in opening Sweetgreen right after graduating from college, and this idea became an instant hit. Nathaniel Ru stated that they created the brand in order to stand out among the rest, while providing people with better food and healthy options. They have also transformed the way they transact with customers, as they developed an app and a website where people could directly order, and these digital transactions made up 30% of their total sales. They wanted to showcase the future of the food industry by intertwining technology with traditional food service.

 

 

Aside from combining technology with food service, Nathaniel Ru and his colleagues are also thinking about overhauling their management strategies and become closer to their customers. Sweetgreen has been shutting down its corporate office a couple of times per year, in order for the upper management, including the CEOs, to work at the restaurant. They wanted to oversee what’s going on inside the restaurant, so that they could think of new ideas on how they can improve customer service. The company also does not have any headquarters, and the CEOs are working from coast to coast. Nathaniel Ru believes that by decentralizing their company, their reach could be greater, opening up a lot of opportunities for them. Sweetgreen is expected to grow more and new stores would be opened in the future, as the demand for healthy food increases.

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