The idea of a classy, upscale restaurant chain that serves nothing but salads might sound like a rather far fetched business model but it is precisely the model which, under the leadership of Nathaniel Ru and a few of his friends as business partners, has skyrocketed the restaurant company, Sweetgreen to the forefront of the business world’s collective consciousness.
The idea for Sweetgreen, according to Nathaniel Ru, came for his lack of satisfaction with the more conventional healthy eating places. Additionally, there were few places, according to Mr. Ru, where such places, lacking as they happened to be, could be found. Therefore, he decided to start up his own outfit that would fill the perceived void and satisfy the emerging niche, hence Sweetgreen was born. However, unlikely many other health food companies, or “green” restaurants Sweetgreen does not just market itself as a “how,” but also as a “why?” Why do you want to eat healthier, why aren’t you eating green? Why waste your time on unhealthy food that will make you feel awful. In conjunction with their marketing, which is elegantly spider-webbed to various social media portals, the company is seeing marked success.
Nathaniel Ru has stated publicly that he does not just want Sweetgreen to merely be a restaurant company but also a lifestyle brand. This may not sound like much but it makes a enormous difference in terms of marketing and potential sales. Mr. Ru goes on to say one of the truly distinctive things about the company that has really garnered a lot of attention has been the indelible connection between music and food. Whilst many marketers and investors might think that this sounds outlandish and would prove downright disastrous, both music and food evoke powerful primal responses and are exceedingly pleasing, each heightening the experience of the other. It was for this very reason that Mr. Ru created the companies signature “Sweetlife” gatherings, which typically consist of music festivals being held at local farmers markets where Sweetgreens will set up a stall. Ru noted that this very quickly established a emotional and personal connection as well as a air of undeniable festivity which was simply unheard of from any other similar restaurant companies. The events have now become so successful that they are the regions single largest music and food festival which just goes to show you that the best way to get ahead of the pack is to make sure you standout.
Check out Nathaniel Ru on LinkedIn.