It is said that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. This can never be more true for Nathaniel Ru, Jonathan Neman and Nicolas Jammet. Food did not just get to their heart but it also got into their wallet.
These three gentlemen introduced the world to Sweetgreen, the leading chain in the food industry. They source their products from green farmers who use organic methods in growing crops and animal husbandry. All their products are flavored naturally.
Ru says that they were strategic on how they entered the market. Their focus is not just lunches but weekends and diners as well. He goes ahead and adds that their establishments are the same as Apple stores where the customers are greeted with smiles and good hospitality. It will feel good to visit, he concludes.
According to Ru, Sweetgreen is a reliable eatery whether or not customers order via the app. If a customer walks in, the first thing that could command their attention would be the open kitchen. They will see the ingredients, the kitchen and note the process of meal preparation. Everything is prepared from scratch and it would be better to let the customer see what is done than go to lengths trying to explain.
These three men had one worry about food and that is how they could eat healthy. This was a problem that they were facing in Georgetown and in their senior year they started working on a plan. Apart from their love for good healthy food, they had no prior business experience plus they knew nothing when it came to the food industry.
But as they say, experience is the best teacher, because lack of it worked in their favor. According to Jamment, they were able to approach each aspect with a new perspective or fresh eyes. They sought advice from architects, restaurant owners and of course the Georgetown faculty. They applied what they learned in class; the importance of a value driven business plus how a community’s culture influences a brand.
Culture and business
And indeed the three have gone ahead to ensure that they incorporate community values in their company. For instance in 2010 they launched the Sweetgreen in Schools program to educate kids on the importance of eating healthy. There were a number of workshops and activities. This program has grown into a weekly activity done across states with over 20,000 children taking part.
For the three founders there is more to Sweetgreen than it just being a salad. The values behind the product go ahead and have an impact and nothing can make them more proud. The values are winning, sustainable thinking, keeping it real, adding a sweet touch and of course making an impact. These same values apply to every decision the company makes including how they hire and celebrate success. They believe that theirs is a marriage between a brand and values striving to connect with people.