Nathaniel Ru and his college friends struggled week to week during their senior year at Georgetown on finding healthy, fun places to dine at. Several years later, they put their struggle to rest. Ru and his friends found a 560 square foot tavern in the middle of the area downtown.
Nathaniel Ru and his three friends contacted the landlord with a business proposition. The landlord declined their proposition at first. But, persistence paid off. Ru and his friends took turns calling the landlord until she agreed to a meeting in person. With three pages ready for their presentation, the landlord must have sensed the potential in their dream.
Nathaniel Ru and his friends business concept and current venture is called Sweetgreen. Sweetgreen is spelled uniquely with one of the e’s flipped backwards and the rest of the lettering lowercase. Sweetgreen is in the vital cities of the Northeast. The locations are New York, Washington, Philadelphia, and Boston. The menu offers fresh food that is healthy. The majority of the ingredients come from local suppliers and farmers.
Ru spoke at the Wharton Marketing Conference on his experience. The conference was titled, “The New Era of Marketing: Globalization, Analytics, and Choice.” Theresea Dold, digital marketing head, stated that Sweetgreen is compared to the company, Apple. The reason for the comparison is that both of the companies looked on the inside then looked on the outside. Sweetgreen’s marketing appeal is similar to Apple too. They want to appear lively, smart, bold, sexy, and local.
The company holds to its values and each restaurant that opens has to live up to those values. That is what pulls them apart from the rest. Sweetgreen doesn’t have a corporate chain to serve, but they do serve the community. At the start of Sweetgreen’s concept, three values came to life. Ru and his friends sat in their dorm room and came up with those three. After some careful thought, 5 core values are now posted in the kitchens at Sweetgreen.
The Five Values
-Win, if a victory is made by one, then it’s a victory for everyone.
-Long term sustaining. Each decision made should be made for the long haul.
-Keeping it real. Meaning that everything should be genuine.
-Adding in the sweet. If employees give the best of themselves, then customers will spread the word.