How Nathaniel Ru and His Georgetown University Schoolmates Transformed Sweetgreen from a Restaurant Company to a Lifestyle Brand

Nathaniel Ru and his schoolmates at Georgetown University always experienced difficulties when finding healthy food joints. The three students decided to transform a rental tavern into a stylish eatery during their senior year at the university.

The eatery, Sweetgreen, grew in six years from a 21-table eatery to a restaurant chain. Sweetgreen attributed this growth to Ru and his friends. The restaurant branched out to New York, Boston, Washington, and Philadelphia. Read more: Nathaniel Ru | LinkedIn and Nathaniel Ru | Dynamic Dialogues

Sweetgreen continues to serve customers with clean and healthy foods. Ingredients utilized by the restaurant come from local purveyors and farmers. In Sweetgreen’s ad campaigns, one can learn that the restaurant focuses on a lot more of food services rather than salads. Its digital marketing head, Theresa Dodd, believes that Ru and his counterparts drew inspiration from Apple. She also believes that Sweetgreen focuses on changing the norm just like Apple.

Sweetgreen’s marketing approach focuses on depicting the food service company as a social, smart and local brand. According to Dodd, consumers buy the way a service is done rather than the service itself. Sweetgreen’s stores have a shared mission of living up to their parent company’s core values and serve the community as Ru notes. Ru and his counterparts came up with five core values to govern their eatery from their Georgetown University hostel.

Sweetgreen’s Core Values

Sweetgreen operates based on the fact that clients’ victory is also a victory for the company. The food service brand operates with sustainability concerns in mind. This means that every decision made by brand’s executives must be long-term. Ru believes that these core values enable Sweetgreen to not only operate as a restaurant but also as a lifestyle brand. According to Ru, the “keeping it real” principle means that everything at Sweetgreen from food products to employees’ demeanor must be authentic.

What makes Sweetgreen to stand out from its competitors is its musical solution, Sweetlife. Every year, a festival known as Sweetlife takes place to celebrate the good local food and music. The festival is a means of uniting food and music lovers with local chefs and musicians. Since its debut in the entertainment sector four years ago, Sweetlife grew to be a music and food experience targeting everyone.

About Nathaniel Ru

Before Sweetgreen came into existence, Nathaniel Ru was a Georgetown University student majoring in finance. His life changed for good after he met with Jonathan Neman and Nicholas Jammet. The three schoolmates attended an entrepreneurship class together and had the vision to transform the food service sector in Georgetown. Today, they serve as co-CEOs of Sweetgreen, which boasts a large client-base nationwide.