As a Georgetown University graduate, great things were expected of Nathaniel Ru. The university is known for the great minds it produces and he has proven to be no exception to this rule. When he started looking for business opportunities in Washington D.C he was quickly able to see exactly what the crowds around him wanted. They wanted the convenience of fast food but they didn’t want their fast food to take a toll on their health. Attached to their smartphones and always online, customers wanted to be able to order from their phones. Nathaniel Ru took this and created Sweetgreen.
The current model of fast food chains is fairly outdated in a world of smartphones and tablets. Consumers want the ease of ordering food with the swipe of a touchscreen. Realizing this, Nathaniel Ru and his Georgetown University school mates Jonathan Neman and Nicolas Jammet co-created Sweetgreens. A chain of fast food focused on providing fresh salads, Sweetgreen is oriented towards the millennial generation’s love of high tech solutions. Fast food is often taken to mean consuming food rich in calories, carbohydrates, and sodium. Ru wants to get rid of this association and focus on giving consumers a better option. Sweetgreen is fast food, but it is healthy fast food.
The first thing that stands out about Sweetgreen is the convenience it offers. More than 30% of all food orders are made using the Sweetgreen website or mobile app. As a millennial himself, Nathaniel Ru understands the trend towards online ordering and has adopted it into his service. His focus on giving customers healthier menu options also reflects his interest in shifting things into a new direction.
Ru’s approach seems to be working as far as anyone can tell. Sweetgreen has expanded its operation to include 40 locations. Unlike most fast food chains there is no central headquarters for Sweetgreen, but the company is operated bicoastally with offices on the east coast and west coast. Investors have seen the success of this company and are already placing funds into it. When the likes of Steve Case and Danny Meyer, you know you’ve created something special.