Nathaniel Ru, The Audacious Entrepreneur

A business with realistic values is bound to stay successful for a very long time. Nathaniel Ru is an entrepreneur who believes in embarking on something that will last long. The alumnus of McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University, is an investor who co-founded Sweetgreen. The fast-casual food restaurant is making strides and is set to be a mainstream chain and a lifestyle brand. The co-CEO together with his co-founders, Nicolas Jammet and Jonathan Neman started the restaurant after realizing the need for healthy and delicious fast foods. Nathaniel who is the only child of a Chinese father and Mexican-American Mother holds a BS in Finance.

 

Sweetgreen is a high-end salad chain with about 40 stores in the US. All stores serve seasonal fresh and healthy foods. The menu consists of three regional dishes that rotate five times in a year. The recipes are simple and only contain natural flavors. The restaurant which has gained popularity since its founding in 2007 gets the supplies from local farmers who use organic and conventional methods. The stores at times incorporate recipes that utilize plants parts that are often wasted and also menus that boost health restoration and weight loss.

 

Nathaniel attributes the success of the business to values exercised in all stores. He explains that the customers, company and the community must all win and the business should make a positive impact. To the Sweetgreen founders, long-term decisions help in the sustainability of the venture. Nathaniel also believes in adding an extra effort to an already excellent work as this serves as a marketing strategy. The stores adopted an idea of covering customers’ bicycles with shower caps if it rains. The above values have earned the business press accolades such as Food and Wine, CBS, Forbes, CNBC, Washington Post and USA Today.

 

The business has embraced technology and through the Sweetgreen app, customers can place orders, pay and also get rewards. In 2010, the co-founders launched Sweetlife Festival. The festival involves the celebration of food, music and the community. There are food trucks, menus by top chefs and prominent artists. The profits gotten from the festival are donated to Food Corps to help educate children on nutrition and agriculture.

 

Nathaniel Ru and fellow Sweetgreen co-CEOs are indeed focused investors who know where and why they are moving in the direction they are moving. Starting the business was not easy as the trio had to outsource capital from parents and friends. Nathaniel has been featured in Forbes’ 30 under 30 and Inc’s 30 under 30.