A restaurant company can be many things to many people (http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/news/2016/09/23/bluecart-simplifying-restaurant-orders-video.html). It can be the place that a married couple remembers as their first date. A space for celebrating an occasion like a birthday or for commemorating the end of a long productive career by serving as the site of a retirement party. Good food, after all, has a way of bringing people together and serves as an activity that can build community. Restaurant industry newcomer and venture capital darling Sweetgreen knows this better than anyone. Founded by Georgetown alumni Nathaniel Ru and a group of his good friends, the company has successfully brought healthy and tasty salads to communities across the country including to areas like Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, New York City, Virginia, Maryland and the Bay area in the state of California. The company has been able to launch approximately 40 different locations. Learn more: http://observer.com/2016/04/jobs-report-sweetgreen-co-founder-jonathan-neman-lives-the-sweet-life/
The company started because Nathaniel Ru and his partners recognized that there was a need for food that would be nutritious for the people who bought it, taste good and also be as easy to access as a cheap hamburger and a side of fries were at McDonalds or Burger King. With that goal in mind Nathaniel and his friends set out to create a business that could come to define what it means to be a restaurant in the new millennium. One of the things that Nathaniel Ru and his team have done to make Sweetgreen a success is to create a restaurant atmosphere that delivers on a superior customer experience. They go out of their way to train their staff to treat guests like family and to do things like helping a customer who comes through the door with her hands full carry her heavy bags or like covering the seats of bikes belonging to customers with shower caps to keep them from getting wet on rainy days. These are just a few of the things that put the “sweet” in Sweetgreen according to the company. Learn more: http://www.psfk.com/2016/04/psfk-2016-how-sweetgreen-brought-healthy-and-delicious-to-the-busy-psfk-2016.html
The other factor that sets Sweetgreen apart and makes it a restaurant company to watch is its emphasis on being as much as lifestyle brand as it is a restaurant brand. According to Ru, one of the ways that the company has accomplished this is by hosting a music festival called sweetlife. The music festival has served to successfully build a strong relationship between Sweetgreen and its customers and, according to Nathaniel Ru, built an “emotional connection” with the people that eat at the restaurant. While companies frequently sponsor music festival there are not very many that can say that they actually started one organically in a way that makes perfect sense for its brand.