Category Archives: Healthy Eating

Nathaniel Ru and Sweetgreen

Nathaniel Ru, a Georgetown University graduate, brought his vision to “bring people together as a community around food” to life with his chain restaurant, Sweetgreen. He started the business in 2007 with fellow Georgetown graduates, Nicolas Jammet and Jonathan Neman, only 3 months after graduation.

 

Sweetgreen has developed a solid reputation for providing tasty, affordable, and filling farm to table salads with fresh ingredients. The chain began in Washington, DC but has expanded to over 60 locations in New York, California, Massachusetts, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Illinois, employing over 1,700 workers.

 

Ru discusses what he calls “service design” which he describes as “the culmination of storytelling, technology, and design itself. Elevating simply selling a product to a personalized, consistent service to each customer”.

 

Walk into any Sweetgreen location and it’s immediately clear that this is not your typical fast food joint, even though the prices are comparable. The open kitchen design allows patrons to see the entire process. Customers can either wait approximately 15 minutes in line and another 2 or 3 minutes to order, or, like about 30% of Sweetgreen customers, they can download and use the app to place their order, which aims to provide a quicker, more convenient experience that is similar to ordering in the store.

 

It’s not just about the convenience of being able to order quickly on lunch breaks, Sweetgreen sees customers returning for dinner and on weekends because they can’t get enough of the delicious offerings on the menu. Delicious, in part, due to the fact that everything Sweetgreen sells they make themselves, including their salad dressings.

 

Their produce is delivered every morning from local farms, so everything on the menu is always fresh. The focus on fresh fare from local sources is important to the business model and beneficial to the farmers they work with. Ru meets with the farmers personally to find in season, already available crops instead of requesting they grow certain ones and tries to find uses for some ingredients that would typically not be sold. Practices such as these make Sweetgreen a more sustainable chain restaurant than those that came before it.

 

Nathaniel Ru: The Future Of Fast Food

Nathaniel Ru has given us a glimpse of the future of fast food. One thing that he imagines is that people are eating healthier. They are choosing foods that are prepared in a more careful manner. The types of ingredients and methods used to prepare the foods are healthier and more natural. As a result, people are not only able to fight off the excess weight that they have put on, but they are also able to deal with some of the other health issues that have been plaguing them and other people recently because of the breakdown caused by overly processed foods.

 

As a result, people will feel better after eating the foods that are offered to them. They get to enjoy some of the different types of vegetables and fruits that make up some of the best salads that they will get to enjoy. They will get to enjoy so many different types of salads. They will also get to discover new salads.

 

One thing that could be said about the salads of Sweetgreen is that they are bursting with flavor. The boring tasting salads that people are used to are not present here. Nathaniel Ru has a wide variety of dressings for the salads. Sweetgreen encourages people to try the many different salad dressings so that they will find a new favorite to go along with the current dressings that they enjoy.

 

Sweetgreen has been such a success that people are requesting to have a location open up near them. Fortunately, there are plans for expansion which include opening up new locations throughout the markets. Nathaniel Ru has a lot of work ahead of him when it comes to bringing forth his vision of the future. However, he has the vision to bring it to pass. Sweetgreen will soon be one of the major chains in the restaurant industry.