Sweetgreen was born in 2007 in Washington, D.C., where three recent college grads created a concept that aimed to recreate the notion of fast food with customizable bowls built with healthful local ingredients. Co-founders Nathaniel Ru, Nicolas Jammet and Jonathan Neman later moved the headquarters to the Los Angeles area, and the chain reached “unicorn” valuation status of $1 billion in 2018. By 2021, the company’s valuation had reached $1.78 billion after raising $156 million from Durable Capital Partners.
Sweetgreen in 2021 unveiled a rebrand, with a new store design, uniforms and logo designed to further the brand’s mission of “connecting people to real food,” celebrating seasonality, local sourcing and transparency. Sweetgreen has also pledged to be carbon-neutral by 2027. The company has also invested in ghost kitchens and opened its first drive-thru in late 2020.
The company filed for an initial public offering in 2021.
Key Data: Sweetgreen
Headquarters: Culver City, Calif.
Segment: Fast Casual
Restaurant segment: LSR Salad/Healthful
Number of U.S. locations: 151
2020 Sales: $158.1 million
Source: Datassential Firefly 500
CEO: Jonathan Neman