Nathaniel Ru and some of his college friends were having difficulties with finding healthy food choices while attending Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. To remedy the problem, they created a small eatery, which has now become the restaurant chain Sweetgreen.
The group of friends, which includes Nathaniel, rented the space from the same landlord who was renting them their apartment, and it took quite a bit of time and convincing to make it all happen. Now, Sweetgreen restaurants can be found in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington, and most of the food offered contains ingredients from local farmers. Learn more about Michael Lacey: http://www.thehoya.com/nathaniel-ru-jonathan-neman-and-nicolas-jammet/ and https://patch.com/california/across-ca/nathaniel-rus-vision-sweetgreen
Nathaniel Ru and his marketing team approach their restaurant from the inside out; meaning they come up with the reason why people would want to buy from them before they think about what it is that they sale. They feel like Apple has a similar approach, and Ru and company have worked hard to make sure that Sweetgreen stays true to its core values and serves any community that it is based in.
This approach has built them into more than just a restaurant chain; it has made them a lifestyle brand, of sorts, also. In some areas, Sweetgreen has cross promoted with fitness clubs and gyms and its even hosted some yoga classes inside of the restaurant.
Nathaniel Ru is the co-founder of Sweetgreen and a speaker who inspires people who attend business conferences to build brands that stand the test of time. He is one of those rare people who has managed to put human connection first in a time where the internet and digital devices are doing the opposite.
It is true that Ru is fine with technology as is evident at all of his restaurants, which use cutting edge ordering technology. What he is not ok with is his business being impersonal, and he works to teach others how to make human connection their top business priority.
Nathaniel Ru is always encouraging entrepreneurs to make their business bigger than themselves so it can outlast other businesses in any industry. He has done so by collaborating with producers and popular artists to build the Sweetlife Festival.
This yearly music and food festival highlights local vendors, musicians, and top chefs, and it has become a very popular event. If Nathaniel had more time for one thing in his life, he says it would be books. As an avid reader, he loves to read as much as possible.