If you could go back in time to start up a business as a fresh-faced college graduate, you might consider following the lead of Sweetgreen co-founder Nathaniel Ru. Nathaniel Ru is the charismatic frontman for one of the most exciting new restaurant chains in the industry.
Sweetgreen is an all-salad, all-natural and locally sourced restaurant that focuses on giving customers the food they need at a price that they can agree with. Read more: Sweetgreen Founder Interview – Nathaniel Ru | Business Insider and Nathaniel Ru Blazes a Trail in The Height Food Industry | Affiliate Dork
Sweetgreen has over 40 locations throughout the Northeast and now they are on the edge of a massive national expansion. Let’s look to Nathaniel Ru in order to see just what has inspired him to be the leader that he is today.
When Nathaniel Ru partnered up with Nicolas Jammet and Jonathan Neman, they were all students at Georgetown University. Jammet, Neman, and Ru all shared an entrepreneurship class together and it was through this class that they started to develop the idea that would become Sweetgreen.
They knew that they wanted to bring something special to the world but they wanted it to have an impact far beyond just serving people a product. Ru ends up saying, “We want to feed more people better food.” That’s ultimately what they did. Learn more about Michael Lacey: http://nrn.com/power-list-2016-Jammet-Neman-Ru
Sweetgreen has been a customer-first experience ever since the very first location was opened, down on M Street in Washington D.C. Nathaniel Ru and his team saw the need for a health-oriented restaurant for students who wanted to eat healthy while out on the go. From day one, Sweetgreen was able to make a difference within their community.
However, there was still the worry that Sweetgreen would struggle when college wasn’t in session. This turned out to be an unfounded worry and that was the final test for the company.
Nowadays, Ru and his team maintain their hands-on approach to developing the company despite their explosive growth over the better part of the past decade. Ru and his fellow co-founders wanted to avoid turning into corporate drones and as a result, they decided early on to forego the big corporate headquarters and the corporate-drone employment style.
Instead, Ru and his fellow CEO’s spend time at the locations int he company so that they can stay grounded and personally involved in the day-to-day operations. Ru says, “We don’t believe in big corporate headquarters. We wanted to decentralize our headcount.”