The fast-casual salad chain opened only 11 freestanding restaurants in 2019 (for a total of 102 nationwide), but it has grown nonetheless, thanks to the lunch-pickup stations it has established in nearly 1,000 locations in 9 cities. The company’s 18-month-old Outpost program, which offers free delivery at set times to select buildings, has allowed Sweetgreen to build its capabilities without having to wrestle with one-to-one delivery. It also helps the chain gain new customers, via the employers and landlords who offer the service to office workers and residents. Outpost has more than 100,000 users, roughly a third of whom were new to Sweetgreen, and it’s poised to reach nearly 3,000 more locations this year. Says cofounder and CEO Jonathan Neman: “Outpost is a Trojan horse for us.”
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A version of this article appeared in the March/April 2020 issue of Fast Company magazine.