The restaurant industry is filled with individuals who are always looking to innovate and bring something new to the table. Some restaurants focus on adding more gimmicks to their business and others just try to take the floor off of their prices. Learn more about Nathaniel Ru: http://observer.com/2016/04/jobs-report-sweetgreen-co-founder-jonathan-neman-lives-the-sweet-life/

For Sweetgreen, the innovation came in how they approached their potential customers: as neighbors in the community. Sweetgreen is a restaurant chain that serves healthy salads that are locally sourced right in the community that the restaurant is located.

Sweetgreen is led by Nathaniel Ru, the young CEO of the company, and they are entering their tenth year in service.

Sweetgreen was born from an idea shared among three students attending Georgetown University in Washington, DC. Nathaniel Ru, Jonathan Neman and Nicolas Jammet all studied at the school together and they shared an entrepreneurship class together. Read more: Nathaniel Ru Blazes a Trail in The Height Food Industry | Affiliate Dork

Their class would inspire them to put their work into action and upon graduation, they would begin making plans to launch their first location. That location, it turns out, would be a little bit harder to get than expected. After finding a solid spot on M Street downtown, Ru and his team would have trouble convincing the landlord to rent the space to a bunch of fresh-faced graduates.

However, after enough insistence, Ru would get an audience with the landlord and their three-page business plan would find success. Soon the restaurant would open and Sweetgreen was on the road to success.

One of the biggest things that make Sweetgreen different than their competition is the way that they approach management. Ru says of his company, “We don’t believe in big corporate headquarters. We wanted to decentralize our headcount.”

Ru lives by this statement via shutting down the Sweetgreen corporate office multiple times per year in order to let everyone get a chance to work in the restaurants. Ru goes on to say, “We’re creating a brand that stands for something.”

Still, the stars of the show at Sweetgreen will always be the food. Everything is local, fresh, healthy and organic. There are almost always lines out the door and this is in addition to the fact that 30% of their orders arrive via digital orders.

Right now Sweetgreen is largely confined to the Northeast where 40 locations sprinkle the region but there are plans to immediately start expanding. Sweetgreen recently opened up their corporate office in Los Angeles and now there are rumbles about bringing the high-end salad offerings to this part of the country.