Have you ever wondered why healthy fast food was so overpriced? Have you ever wondered why no business seems to see the need for affordable, healthy, fast food? Have you ever felt so frustrated because though there are restaurants that serve healthier foods, you’d have to sit down to a $30 or more meal just to eat there; or even if they offer carry out or delivery as a convenience, you’re still paying $30 plus?
Well, if you’re wondering these things, chances are you haven’t heard about Sweetgreen. Founded by Nathaniel Ru, Jonathan Neman and Nicolas Jammet during their senior year of college at Georgetown University, Sweetgreen provides healthy food at an affordable price point for people throughout many major metropolitan areas. The business has grown significantly over just 6 short years.
During their studies at Georgetown University, the 3 learned how important it was to have a value-driven business model. They also learned how the community was the biggest contributor to the successful development of a brand. In order to achieve the success they have they emphasize:
- Customer service,
- Consistent product quality, and
- Business development out of shared needs
When asked about what prompted them to found Sweetgreen, Neman shared that, “We bonded over: one, a love of food; two, a wanting to create something; and three, a wanting to solve a problem in our own lives.”
Their first location was in the luxury shopping community of Georgetown, Washington, DC. However, the location was only 500 square feet and critics doubted the team would find success. However, they couldn’t have been more wrong. The team decided to focus on providing only sustainable and quality ingredients throughout their menu, something no one in the fast food industry was doing at the time. Through diligence, hard work and a commitment to quality, they achieved enough success to expand to major cities throughout California and even in New York City as well.
In addition to working to make their own pockets fatter, Sweetgreen also believes that community service is an important part of any successful business equation. Therefore, in 2010, Sweetgreen began the, “Sweetgreen in Schools,” program.
Representatives of Sweetgreen go to local schools to discuss healthy eating and living a healthy lifestyle overall. The students can participate in interactive games and workshops so that the learning will stick, and not just be another lecture they might forget. The program has so far educated over 20,000 kids.