Nathaniel Ru and What it Means to be an Entrepreneur in Fast Food

There seems to be a growing divide between the companies of yesteryear and those looking to make a change in the fast food industry. While companies like McDonald’s and Burger King grow stale in both their offerings and their presentation, upstart companies like Sweetgreen are coming in to change everything. Read more: Nathaniel Ru Blazes a Trail in The Height Food Industry | Affiliate Dork and Nathaniel Ru | Crunchbase

Sweetgreen was established by Nathaniel Ru and his two partners, Nicolas Jammet and Jonathan Neman. Sweetgreen may not be a national name at the moment, but the salad-only fast-food chain has been sweeping over the northeastern portion of the United States for the past ten years. Let’s leap into what Sweetgreen is about and why Nathaniel Ru might just be one of the next big CEOs in the entire industry.

Nathaniel Ru met his Sweetgreen co-founders while they were students at Georgetown University. The trio were taking an entrepreneurship class together when they started to dream up different business ideas. Fundamentally, the trio wanted to bring something new to the table that would be an offering people would want.

They looked at their own campus and its’ lack of healthy food options and knew right then that Sweetgreens was the answer. Sweetgreen ended up being the idea that the group ran with and its success was almost instant.

Ru and his team know that they got a little bit lucky at the beginning. They were able to find a prime location down on M Street in Washington D.C. and they found backers and an architect for design-work almost immediately.

Ru knows that it wouldn’t happen again that easily so he is taking advantage of his opportunity. Now, a decade later, Sweetgreen has become one of the most prominent legacy startups in the fast-food sector.

What makes Sweetgreen special isn’t that they are just offering great food at a quality price, it’s more that they are leaning into what their customers want while maintaining their health-based focus. Every Sweetgreen offers locally sourced, all organic ingredients for the various salads on the menu.

What’s more, Sweetgreen works with seasonal ingredients so their menu is always being updated. Ru says of their menu, “We want to feed more people better food.” Ru and his team have also made sure to stay close to the growth of their company.

They’ve avoided corporate culture while keeping their hands on every location, routinely sending higher-ups to tend different locations in order to stay close to their customers.