How Three Former Georgetown University Students Started a National Fast Food Restaurant Chain

Today, every student of Georgetown University knows Sweetgreen and its delicious delicacies from snacks to healthy meals. The successful chain of restaurants was started in 2007 by three friends and college mates, Nicholas Jammet, Jonathan Neman, and Nathaniel Ru. The trio began planning for the restaurant during their final year on campus.

 

They wanted to solve a problem they identified in the area, the lack of healthy and tasty food for students and locals. They also wanted to create something big. Ergo, they developed a business plan but realized that they lacked the entrepreneurial experience to run a successful venture. They approached the venture as a school project and applied everything they had learned. They also used every local resource they could access from restaurant owners to the university’s faculty.

 

They started to appreciate how the local culture can significantly affect their business and learned the essence of a value-driven venture. The three emphasized on quality service and customer experience, and soon their business started growing. Today, Sweetgreen runs a successful entrepreneurship program and has 64 national outlets.

 

Community Service

Today, the three founders have ensured that Sweetgreen incorporates quality community service in its operations. In 2010, the company launched Sweetgreen in Schools. The program seeks to educate school children about healthy living and nutrition using workshops and hands-on activities. The program has steadily grown from a weekly activity into several workshops across Maryland, the District of Columbia, New York, and Virginia. Furthermore, over 20,000 children have participated in the program.

 

Connecting to the Community

When Sweetgreen’s second location started to fail, the three founders knew they had to find a way to connect with the local community to attract business. As a result, they decided to use music and Sweetlife was born. Sweetlife is an annual food and music festival. Today, the three Sweetgreen co-founders try to remain connected to the Georgetown community despite their busy schedules.

 

Nathaniel Ru

Nathaniel Ru is the co-CEO and a co-founder of Sweetgreen, a fast-food restaurant chain founded in 2007. Sweetgreen prides itself in serving simple, healthy and seasonal food.

 

Nathaniel is also a principal and investor at SWTLF Ventures. The New York-based Sweetgreen co-CEO helps manage the restaurant’s 64 locations and over 1,700 employees. Sweetgreen is active in philanthropy, technology, lifestyle space, and music.