Nathaniel Ru: More than Healthy Food

Every restaurant chain is changing the way it prepares its food. In many cases, the companies completely reinvent themselves, ensuring their customers that their systems are new and improved.

While that may be true for some, others are just changing their public image. Co-CEO of Sweetgreen Nathaniel Ru did not start one of those companies.

Sweetgreen is the poster child of a modern legacy restaurant. All of the produce is locally grown and organic and arrives at their restaurants straight from the farms, ensuring freshness. Sweetgreen fresh-focused platform is what drew big-name investors like Daniel Boulud to the company.

While having big-name investors does help, it’s the company’s modern take on the food industry that’s resonating with the modern diner. Founded by three tech pioneers, Sweetgreen fully embraces the luxuries of modern technology. As a result, technology is a part of the company’s DNA and is responsible for 30 percent of their transactions.

The founders also approached management differently. Rather than follow traditional avenues of management, they regularly shut down their corporate office so that their employees can spend time working in one of their restaurants. Learn more about Nathaniel Ru:

This ensures that everyone at the company says close to customers and focuses on creating a better experience for them.

Since starting the company in 2007, they never wanted to have a main headquarters. They believe in decentralizing their headcount, keeping things close to the chest. It’s been that way since they all met in an entrepreneurship class at Georgetown University.

Their lessons in that class taught them to the most important element to creating a successful business: identifying market opportunities. At that time, Georgetown had no healthy options when it came to food.

It only made sense to start a healthy restaurant that embraced all the key elements that customers look for in a restaurant chain these days.

In a recent interview, Nathaniel Ru talked about how unsure they were about whether they’d succeed.

The restaurant business is one of the hardest industries to survive. Luckily, they were tested early in their venture and survived winter break on a college campus when all the students were on leave.

Over time, they got used to doing everything on their own. The problem was, they wanted to expand, which is impossible without letting others help. So, they had to learn to step back.


Nathaniel Ru is just a genius when it comes to changing the status quo of the business world. He has consistently shown that all that is needed is to recognize niche markets and then make a business. I do also have the feeling that Ninja Essays sure gives a better profile of this successful entrepreneur.

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