Nathaniel Ru is Co-Founder of Sweetgreen – A New Healthy Food Model

Nathaniel Ru, Nicholas Jammet and Jonathan Neman are the co-founders of Sweetgreen, a high-end salad restaurant chain. Sweetgreen is a model that is a first of its kind. In the public food industry, Sweetgreen offers healthier food options that are fresh, organic, and locally grown. Learn more about Nathaniel Ru: http://fortune.com/2016/02/18/sweetgreen-entrepreneurs/

To figure out if this chain is successful, all you need to do is to count the number of people lining up to get in at any of its 40 locations. Its investors believe in this unique model of dining also: Daniel Boulud, Steve Case, and Danny Meyer.

Mr. Ru and his co-CEOs came up with the idea of serving fresh salads and food while attending Georgetown University in Washington, DC. The three founders stated that their town, Georgetown, did not have enough health dining options.

The three friends took courses together in how to be your own entrepreneur. Their interest in owning your business indeed was part of their DNA because each of their parents also were entrepreneurs, plus all three are first-generation immigrants.

After graduation, Nathaniel, Steve, and Danny focused on the restaurant business and what they wanted its menu to consist of. They opened their first restaurant in 2007. In a Fortune interview, the co-CEOs said that they knew that their business venture would succeed, and they were right for their business has grown exponentially.

The background experience of the three founders gave them a base in which to work. They use the latest technology by conducting 30% of their transactions through a website or a mobile app.

Nathaniel Ru said that technology was the basis for all their management decisions. Ru further told Fortune that their business method will always be to keep the customer’s need in the forefront of their ventures.

The Sweetgreen administrative design is different because Nathaniel, Danny, and Steve don’t believe in working out of large corporate headquarters. The co-CEOs recently opened a small Los Angeles office. The three partners are growing their company in a bicoastal relationship.

In Fortune’s informal interview with Nathaniel Ru, fun questions were asked, like what would you tell your 20-year-old self? – he said to read a lot. What is hard about managing? – build a good team and let them help you. What CEO do you admire? – Kevin Plank with Under Armour. Your favorite restaurant other than your own – Ru said Johnny Monis’ Little Serow in DEC.

Read more: Sweetgreen | Wikipedia and  Nathaniel Ru | Crunchbase

How Nathaniel Ru of sweetgreen Helps People Lead Healthier Lives

As one of the founders of sweetgreen (intentionally not capitalized), Nathaniel Ru has made a commitment to running a sustainable business.

This means not just in regards to the environment but the overall operations of the company. He has said that the things you build in your life should outlast you, something that sweetgreen has as one of its core value.

Nathaniel Ru and his two business partners came up with the idea of sweetgreen while living in Washington D.C. and attending Georgetown University in their senior year.

They had all individually noted that there were no restaurants in the area that offered healthy food while also being a fun and convenient place to eat. They decided that what was then a bar in the downtown area would be a great place to try out their idea for a new type of restaurant, sweetgreen.

Under the leadership of the three co-founders of the company, sweetgreen has expanded in the last nine years into a company with restaurants across the U.S.’s Northeast as well as restaurants located in California. They practice the farm-to-table practice of serving fresh food purchased from farmers local to each restaurant location. Read more: Nathaniel Ru | Dynamic Dialogues

The company was built from the ground up with the idea of “why” at its center. Why did they want to serve fresh food? Why did they want this food bought from local farmers? It was only after answering these questions that they moved on to the “what” of the business concept.

Today, Nathaniel Ru is one of the co-CEO’s of the company. He says that at sweetgreen they do not have a headquarters and instead operate the chain in a more decentralized manner so that they stay close to their customers. He says that each restaurant in the chain is designed to appeal to the community in which it is placed rather than having one overall design for the locations.

Nathaniel Ru holds a degree in finance which he earned at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. In addition to running an environmentally sustainable business, he also uses his college education run a financially successful and sustainable one as well.