Nathaniel Ru and his friends often used to have trouble in finding places they could eat healthy food and also have fun while at it. They prospected the 560 square foot tavern which turned out to be their answer.
Six years after their senior year, they eatery they had opened, Sweetgreen, has become a high-quality Salad Franchise. Coincidentally, the landlord of the space was the same landlord of the building where Ru and his classmates lived. In his own words, getting hold of the landlord to explain to her what he wanted to do was very hard. In fact, the first time he called her she just hang up. Read more: Nathaniel Ru Blazes a Trail in The Height Food Industry | Affiliate Dork
This, however, did not discourage him and his friends. They kept on calling the landlord every day for a month until they were able to schedule a meeting with her. At that time, they only had almost three pages of a business plan, and one page of that was the financials. They initially intended to call the place greens.
The landlord, seeing the determination and passion in these students, advised them to look for an architect and business backers who would help them come up with a better plan. Ru and his friends were grateful that the landlord listened to them leave alone advising them. It took them three and a half weeks to find an architect and business backers.
Up to date, Sweetgreen, has been successful despite the initial inexperience of its founders in restaurant and food industry. It has stores in many cities such as Philadelphia, Washington, Boston and New York.
Sweetgreen has a reputation for selling fresh food to its customers since most ingredients are bought from local farmers and purveyors. Sweetgreen has decentralized operations where restaurants are independent of any single headquarters to dispense policy.
For certain weeks in a year, corporate employees are required to work at actual restaurant locations. This allows the headquarters to be fully informed about the challenges restaurant owners face.
Ru has always shown the interest in building a good customer relationship. He, at a conference hosted by PSFK consulting, said that one of the key initiatives of Sweetgreen is to build customer intimacy.
Sweetgreen is unique and different from its competitors because it is based on providing or building a connection between people and the food they eat. Other than this, RU has worked together with top artists and producers to organize the Sweetlife Festival which is a yearly celebration involving music and world-class food.
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