Nowadays it takes a true visionary to fundamentally change an industry. Steve Jobs changed the mobile phone world forever and McDonald’s changed fast food as we know it. Now, Nathaniel Ru is looking to leave his mark on fast and healthy eating at an affordable cost. Nathaniel Ru is one of a trio of co-founders and co-CEOs behind the hottest fast food chain in the upper northeast: Sweetgreen.
Sweetgreen offers tasty salads at an affordable price while sourcing all of their ingredients from local, organic and all natural sources. Nathaniel Ru may look young, but he has been pioneering a real shift in the zeitgeist that is the fast food industry.
For Nathaniel Ru, the goal with Sweetgreen was never to become an overnight wonder. Instead, Ru wanted to create something that would last while offering meals that helped people both with their wallet and their diet. Ru simply says, “We’re creating a brand that stands for something. We want to feed more people better food.”
Ru may speak simply, but the charismatic CEO of Sweetgreen has been working harder than anyone else in the industry in order to impart some change on the field.
What makes Sweetgreen special, outside of their high-quality food, is their attention to the customer. Sweetgreen wants to stay as close to their community as possible and that has led Ru to forego the traditional corporate culture that is so popular with other young entrepreneurs.
Ru and his team have essentially shifted away from the idea of a corporate headquarters and they are instead focused on staying immersed in the day-to-day operations.
Several times per year Ru will send out all of his high-level employees, including himself, in order to work the counters at the more than 40 locations that currently dot the United States.
Of course, Sweetgreen isn’t just succeeding because they serve great food with a smile, they are also catering to changing the DNA of a traditional restaurant chain. How is Nathaniel Ru doing this? Well, he is focusing on integrating technology as much as possible into his company.
More than a third of all orders are made at Sweetgreens through their mobile app or website, which means that people are shopping for the food before they even see the building. Ru says, “Technology has always been part of our DNA.” Pretty soon, it looks like Sweetgreen will be a part of the DNA of American fast-food culture, as well.