Nathaniel Ru, Sweetgreen, and the Rise of the Lifestyle Brand

There are different ways to run a business and no clear cut way to find success. However, there is never anything wrong with seeking to change some of the industry cliches that have become so common.

This is what Nathaniel Ru and his team of founders and developers have done at the company Sweetgreen. Sweetgreen is one of the Northeast’s fastest growing restaurants.

Their focus is on bringing in local, high quality, organic salad dishes to people while also ingratiating themselves within the community. There are locations all over the Northeast now and you never would have known that the company almost didn’t make it!

People in college have more faith in their ideas than sense and that is what gave Nathaniel Ru and his co-founders the sort of bravery needed in order to try and make Sweetgreen a reality. While attending Georgetown University Nathaniel Ru would meet a few fellow students who shared his dream of opening up a company.

Over their class periods and then eventually back at their apartment the group would eventually develop the concept that would become Sweetgreen. Focusing on being a ‘why’ company as much as a product based company allowed Sweetgreen to immediately differentiate themselves at the get-go. Learn more about Nathaniel Ru: https://www.bizjournals.com/losangeles/potmsearch/detail/submission/6435405/Nathaniel_Ru

Sweetgreen would open up their first location in downtown Washington D.C. after a long back and forth with the building landlord. The landlord fundamentally held the keys to their success and it took several phone calls and a convincing conversation before they would allow Sweetgreen’s team to take up residence.

Since then the company has been firing on all cylinders and now we are sitting a decade into the project and there is no sign of slowing down. Still, that doesn’t mean that the Sweetgreen team has forgotten where they came from. Sweetgreen’s Theresa Dold says it best, “From the beginning, the company was more than just about salads. Sweetgreen was started with a deeper purpose.”

Nathaniel Ru has stayed hands on with his company since the beginning and now more than ever they are focused on their core concept: the ‘win, win, win’. Ru wants to create a victory for the customer, the company, and the community wherever a Sweetgreen opens up its doors.

After that their core focus is on bringing great food, branding, and sustainability to what they are doing. Ru says simply, “It has allowed us to be not just a restaurant company but also a lifestyle brand.”

Read more: Nathaniel Ru | LinkedIn