The New Fastfood Model: Sweetgreen & Nathaniel Ru

It is a very rare thing for a large-scale company to shut down its corporate offices but this is precisely what the salad-centric restaurant company, Sweetgreen does around five times every year.

The reason for these shutdowns is so that every single member of the company can actually work in the restaurants themselves, personally. This process lends a certain understanding of the mindset behind the company which has, in no small measure been responsible, largely, for its phenomenal success thus far. Learn more about Nathaniel Ru: and

The inspiration for many of these moves comes from the mind of company co-founder, Nathaniel Ru- alongside fellow co-founders, Jonathan Neman and Nicolas Jammet – who has stated that he “doesn’t believe” in corporate headquarters, and that he and Sweetgreen seek always to decentralize their operations to better focus on horizontal growth and integration.

The company was started because Jammet, Neman and Ru, all who were fresh out of college, believed that there was a decided lack of healthy eateries in their local, Georgetown area, a problem they sought to remedy. Learn more about Nathaniel Ru:

One of the most interesting things about the company strategy with Jammet, Neman, Ru and, later, their team, implemented and continues to implement is the idea that Sweetgreen is not merely a healthy eating establishment but rather that it is a lifestyle brand, meaning that it would represent more than just a useful product but rather be a product which inspires people to better themselves, a product which seeps into the culture and improves it.

To this end the CEOs of Sweetgreen created a peculiar event for their company – a music festival. These peculiar events, organized by the company, were dubbed “Sweetlife” music festivals and have been a ongoing occurrence along the East Coast and California since early 2011.

These aren’t just little local get-togethers either, in fact quite the contrary; for instance, Sweetgreen’s 2016 annual Sweetlife concert featured such well known musical sensations as Blondie, Grimes and Halsey, the year prior they had booked Kendrick Lamar.

What these celebrations have accomplished for the salad brand is a sense of real community and vibrant festivity, one that shot the Sweetgreen and its founders to national recognition.

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