The Role of Nathaniel Ru in the Success of Sweetgreen Casual Salad Chain Business

Although SweetGreen was not popular some years ago, it is it currently a well renowned casual salad chain, especially among Georgetown students. The business was established by three co-founders, Nathaniel Ru, Nicolas Jammet and Jonathan Neman. The three entrepreneurs came across this business idea during their senior school years as they were pondering upon the affordable and healthy food options in Georgetown. According to Neman, their decision to establish this business was based on their love for food as well as their desire to create and solve a problem.

With this in mind, the three graduates developed a business plan, which would turn out to be one of the most successful casual salad chains in the whole country. While their parents are established entrepreneurs, none of the Sweetgreen co-founders had any experience in entrepreneurship and their knowledge of the food industry was also limited. According to Jammet, this lack of experience and knowledge allowed them to come up with new solutions for every challenge they faced. They say that they relied on advice from architects, restaurant owners and the faculty in Georgetown, although Sweetgreen was not a school project.

What Values Did the Co-Founders Apply in Their Business?

According to the three Sweetgreen co-founders, applying much of the skills they learnt during their senior years in school helped much, with regards to establishing a successful business. For instance, the three say that they applied what they learned in their business classes to establish a value-driven business. They were also aware of how the community and culture can influence a business. As a result, they incorporated community service in their fast casual salad chain business. They also incorporated the “Sweetgreen in Schools” program as a part of their business. This program was launched in 2010 and focuses on educating kids on nutrition as well as healthy living. For the years it has been active more than 20,000 kids have undertaken the program.


About Nathaniel Ru

The American-Born businessman, entrepreneur and investor, Nathaniel Ru, is one of the three co-founders of the Sweetgreen fast salad chain business. Ru was born and raised in. Along with his other co-founders, Ru established the first Sweetgreen outlet in Washington D.C in the year Washington D.C. 2007. This was the same year the entrepreneur graduated from the McDonough School of Business in Georgetown University with a BS in Finance.

The investor is currently based in Washington, DC and is responsible for brand strategy, marketing and retail store development within the Sweetgreen business.