Eating your veggies should be easy—and delicious. That’s the premise behind Sweetgreen, the quick-service restaurant chain best known for offering a cornucopia of locally sourced choices along its open-kitchen assembly line.
In 2016, Sweetgreen unveiled an image-driven ordering app that lets users both customize orders and count calories. The display features 60 different ingredients and is compatible with the Apple Health app. The company also announced that its stores will be fully cash-free in 2017. That means employees can spend less time at the register and more time fulfilling orders. (Under this model, Sweetgreen has seen its lines move 15% faster in some locations.) In 2018, it forged new and innovative partnerships with companies like Ripe.io and Row 7, giving it a technological and flavorful edge when sourcing ingredients.
By focusing both on taste and transactional efficiency, Sweetgreen has attracted $135 million in venture capital from investors, including AOL’s Steve Case, seeding the D.C.-grown company’s moves into trendsetting markets like San Francisco and Chicago. It now operates more than 90 stores in eight markets. All the while, the restaurant chain is expanding beyond salads, looking into new, fast-casual restaurant concepts and corporate delivery opportunities. Expect Sweetgreen to offer more flavorful recipes even faster.