Nathaniel Ru takes on the healthy food industry with Sweetgreen

With the wave of healthy living, one high-end salad restaurant, Sweetgreen, has cracked the code. The salad chain’s focus on organic, healthy, fresh and local as the main ingredients for its salads attracts a lot of customers.

Started by three Georgetown graduates, the salad chain Sweetgreen is revolutionary in the food industry and is backed by top-notch investors such as Danny Meyer, Daniel Boulud, and Steve Case.

Nicolas Jammet, Nathaniel Ru and Jonathan Neman, all descendants of first-generation immigrants met when they shared at entrepreneurship class at Georgetown University. After graduating, they decided to open a restaurant that offered healthy food choices which they felt was lacking in the area.

Aiming to create a brand that stands for something and feeds people better food, the co-founders incorporated technology in their transactions with 30% of all sales taking place through the chain’s website and mobile app. Learn more about Nathaniel Ru:

They also took a different approach to management. To keep close contact with customers, the CEOs are bi-coastal, and the company does not have a main headquarter. The salad chain also closes its corporate offices five times a year so that each employee can work at the restaurants and interact with diners.

After surviving the winter break when their primary customers, students are on break, the trio knew they would survive.

Nathaniel Ru attended George town University where he graduated from in 2007 with a Bachelors degree in finance. Nathaniel along with two of his classmates had a passion for entrepreneurship. While at the institution, he struggled to find a fun and healthy eating joint in the Georgetown area.

He and his friends often eyed a 560 square-foot tavern and wondered if it could be the solution. Upon graduation in 2007, Nathaniel and two of his classmates embarked on starting Sweetgreen, a salad restaurant aimed to be fun and easy.

He found out the owner of the tavern on M street and called to request a meeting. The landlord did not trust them and therefore rejected their offer, but Nathaniel and his friends never gave up. Every day for a month they called the landlord until they finally got a face to face meeting.

Ru is the best known of the three co-founders and featured on Forbes top 30 under 30. He looks up to under armor CEO Kevin Plank, and his favorite restaurant beside Sweetgreen is Little Serow that offers Nothern Thai food and excellent service.

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