As with many startups, the founders are committed, hardworking, and very disciplined. Such is the case with Nicolas Jammet, Jonathan Neman, and Nathaniel Ru, the founders of Sweetgreen. The Bloomberg article about the stunning success of these three entrepreneurs showcases the drive and determination of these men, and their desire to provide a better, and healthier product that apparently, everyone wants. The group, together as students at Georgetown University, was growing tired of the campus food offerings, and while looking for better food elsewhere struck on the idea of opening their own restaurant. So, in 2007 with the funding help of some 40 friends and relatives, that’s just what they did. The rest, as they say, is history. What started out as a desire to find better food to eat has now blossomed into a chain of 43 restaurants, with more scheduled to open soon. Sweetgreen offers a menu of food that is grown by farmers sourced by Sweetgreen who use only organic, local, and antibiotic-free cheese and poultry. The company emphasizes simpler recipes that feature natural flavors with natural sweeteners such as honey and agave for a finishing touch.
Thanks to several rounds of venture capital funding, they were able to realize their goal of expansion. Their business plan consisted of selling a dream, and focusing on the outcome, which by all accounts was the key to their success. Other intangibles are the group’s innate ability to make the right decisions and then knowing when to act on them. Nathaniel Ru, one of Sweetgreen’s co-founders and co-CEOs, speaks of passion and purpose in his restaurants. This passion that drives the company’s success is part of a shared bond of entrepreneurship that all three founders shared from the beginning, and today, they remain the best of friends.
Mr. Ru also talks of how the use of technology enhances their operational efficiency to keep everyone connected at all times. Due to his busy travel schedule, Mr. Ru relies on technology to maintain the close relationships between his employees and the principals of the company, which adds to the company culture of teamwork. Perhaps a main reason why the company’s vision is centered around teamwork and values is because all three founders are the children of entrepreneurs themselves. From that beginning not so long ago, a dream is now a reality for these three men. They’re creating magic among their employees, too. Mr. Ru and his partners are dedicated to their employees and they’ve structured the company in such a way that if someone leaves the company, they want to know why. The relationships between their farmers are just as important, as well as with the app developers. It’s obvious to even a casual observer that Mr. Ru and his partners have something special in Sweetgreen, and they’re happily changing how and what people eat. More importantly, the level of happiness and productivity among Sweetgreen’s employees may someday set a new standard for employers everywhere to follow.