If I was asked to explain what a successful startup looks like, I would probably tell the story of Sweetgreen. The high-end restaurant began in a humble beginning. Their ambitious business plan and a relentless desire to win saw them winning the hearts of investors who backed the business and fueled its growth.
The companies begun by the need of three college students to start a business of their own. They were motivated by the life of their parents who were all entrepreneurs. They looked for a niche in their town and realized that healthy food options were non-existent.
Nicolas Jammet, Jonathan Neman, and Nathaniel Ru first met in their freshman year in George Town University. They used to share an entrepreneurship class and their friendship grew from there. They have managed to stay together and cultivated their friendship to last throughout college and after college as business partners.
They credit their success to their discipline at implementing their goals. Once a decision has been made, they remain disciplined in implementing it and do not change it unnecessarily.
They run their company in a unique way. They believe in hands-on management; they close down their offices several times annually to go and work in the restaurants so that they can have a feeling of what it is like in the stores.
The company has also been operating without headquarters. The three founders have been focused on growing their business nationally and hence do not see a point to set up big corporate headquarters.
The trio believes that what made them stood out from other restaurants was the way they run their business. They believed that their main product was instilling good values to their clientele. This was reflected in the way they run the company and the people and firms they worked with.
During an interview with Fortune magazine, Nathaniel Ru, who serves as the co-CEO, said that he looked up to Kelvin Plank as a role model. He said that the main management lesson they learned early in business was the need to build a team and to maintain cohesion in their firm.
Nathaniel holds a degree in finance and has been serving as the co-CEO in the company for more than nine years. He enjoys traveling, practicing yoga and surfing. Mr. Ru has been the firm’s CEO for nine years and is proof that young people can succeed in entrepreneurship. He possesses exceptional skills in financial analysis learned while in college.