There’s no question, Sweetgreen has managed to do something exceptionally unique with their business model. It’s surprising that there really is no franchise exactly like it to date. With all the public interest in organic food and eating healthy, you would think that someone would’ve come up with a business model like the Sweetgreen concept years ago. However, many fast food retailers and even grocery food manufacturers complain that cost is the main reason they can’t supply the public with healthier food. However, Sweetgreen has finally managed to make healthy, fast food accessible and affordable to the masses.
Ordering is simple and fast via website, mobile app or in-person and the restaurants are clean and modern. Perhaps most important of all, customers are raving about the food. In fact, the majority of the success that Sweetgreen is enjoying is simply due to word-of-mouth advertising. This is some of the most effective advertising there is.
Nathaniel Ru is the CEO and founder of the chain. He’s always had the goal of making healthy food accessible to more people. The fact that he’s achieved his goal where no other franchise has been able to, has set the brand apart from most of its competition.
James Cash Penney once said, “A merchant who approaches business with the idea of serving the public well has nothing to fear from the competition.”
It’s interesting to see a business that proves that observation. Nathaniel Ru started the Sweetgreen chain in Washington, DC in 2007. Since that time, the franchise has grown to 40 locations throughout America’s major locales including Chicago, Boston, New York and cities in California. That’s record growth for a restaurant franchise that’s been in business less than a decade. Many business experts warn entrepreneurs that the restaurant business model is the most difficult to execute successfully. However, Ru, his team and their financial backers have managed to do something most small business owners and startup founders haven’t been able to do.
The secret of the brand’s success doesn’t only have to do with the food the restaurants serve. Nathaniel Ru shared that Sweetgreen chooses locations based on interesting factors that have no doubt contributed to finding customers that welcome and appreciate their business model. They choose locations based on:
- Distance from cheaper, less healthy options,
- Proximity to trendy, affluent neighborhoods, and
- Proximity to neighborhoods where people would look for lunch, dinner and weekend dining.