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The Sweetgreens Philosophy, from it’s founder

Eight years ago, Nicholas Jammet, Jonathan Neman and Nathaniel Ru were approaching graduation and trying to decide what to do. With funding raised from forty friends and family, they decided to open the first Sweetgreens in 2007, a farm-to-table salad chain that now has thirty-one locations nationwide and is expected to have 40 by the end of the year.
All three were the children of entrepreneurs, and wanted to avoid the standard institutional model for developing a business. They saw both how most salad options weren’t of very high quality, and how most businesses slowly alienate themselves from their origins, and decided to work by a set of carefully selected values across the whole business.
While the group had the advantage of access to several high-profile investors, they don’t deny the benefits they’ve been lucky enough to have, and tried to focus on quality in the business and having a hands-on approach. The group considers the company to be a “food startup” with all of the components of a tech company and a brand, and a huge part of the business centers on how quickly food and technology are intersecting.
Nathaniel Ru and his co-founders made their way onto the NRN.com power list of 2016, using sharp business savvy to make high-quality and delicious salads that are affordable, where many fancier salads tend to run at a high price point. Carefully curating their locations is a large part of the Sweetgreens business model, as is the strict attention to what Ru refers to as “service design”, or design that’s centered around personalized service to each individual customer. The app for the store is designed carefully to mirror the experience the customer has in the store itself, where the individual ingredients are selected by each customer and put together visibly in the open kitchen.
This design, Ru says, along with carefully developed and maintained relationships with the farmers from whom they source their ingredients, assure that Sweetgreens is able to provide delicious salads to it’s customers at a reasonable price, while providing a comfortable and inviting environment that draws people back time and time again.

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