Who thought that a healthy salad business in the US could become a $100 million business? Well, no one. Even the owners of Sweetgreen, Nathaniel Ru and his two friends, didn’t believe that it could become as big as it is when they started. All they did was start a store next to the university they had graduated from. Their main objective was to remain sustainable, and promote local farmers by sourcing ingredients from them. As at now, it is perfectly normal to find long queues in any Sweetgreen store, not only during lunch times, but also dinner times on the weekend. Below are a few strategies that Ru states the company employees to ensure that this is possible:
– The location of their stores is determined by two major things. The availability of farmers and their will to supply ingredients, and the demography of the area. Before a store is established, agents visit the target location to see if there are enough farmers. This is because Sweetgreen specifically deals with local farmers only. If the produce by the farmers is sufficient enough and matches the demanded supply, the agents go on to establish the kinds of people living in the area. The affluent people are the most targeted. For instance, the reason that their New York store is located at 28th and Broadway, instead of the normal 23rd street where all other fast foods are located, is because there is a hip neighborhood there.
– As mentioned before, Sweetgreen only deals with local farmers. For this reason, instead of demanding for supply, the chain store asks the farmers what type of farm produces they have and, utilizes that. This also helps avoid wastage, which is in line with Sweetgreen’s policies. For instance, the reason there are broccoli vegetables in Salinas, California, is because a local farmer was found burying the leaves, since people did not want them.
About Nathaniel Ru
Unlike other entrepreneurs who build their managerial skills before deciding to start their own business, Nathaniel Ru, the founder of Sweetgreen, did not have to do this. Immediately after graduating from University – after taking a tech course – the young entrepreneur formed a team with two of his fellow grandaunts, and started Sweetgreen. They built a single store, which people loved. This lead the opening of over 40 other stores across the US.
Every step Ru takes is based on sustainability and healthy living. To keep the business and his beliefs sustainable, his firm started a festival known as sweetlife 6 years ago. The event, which is graced by close to 30,000 participants annually, serves to promote good living, communism and healthy living. People attend it with the aim of partying with a purpose. It has become one of US’ greatest festival.