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Can You Finally Open a Sweetgreen Franchise This Year?

Sweetgreen franchise is renowned for selling healthy food and is one of the best in the food industry. What began as a small tavern in Georgetown, Washington, D.C. in 2007 has expanded to over a hundred locations across America. Read on as we explore this healthy food chain.

sweetgreen franchise

Is Sweetgreen Franchise Open to Franchising?

Despite its huge popularity, Sweetgreen does not permit franchises. The company also has no immediate plans to make its business available to prospective franchisees.

Don’t be too discouraged, though. In this review, We will delve into the specifics of the Sweetgreen business, such as revenue, facts, and what to expect if you decide to franchise this salad company.

You never know when the company will become available for franchising, and you want to be prepared if that happens.

Fees and Financial Requirements

There isn’t an actual record of what it would cost to open a Sweetgreen restaurant because the company does not franchise. Based on similar opportunities, a forecast would be between $500,000 and $953,000.

Salad Works and other salad companies in the United States were used to estimate startup costs.

However, Sweetgreen might be more expensive given that they serve a higher-end clientele. Expect royalty fees of 5% to 6%, which is the industry norm.

Annual Sales / Revenue Average

Sweetgreen franchise revenue in 2021 is expected to be $340 million, according to Macro Trends. This represents an increase over 2020 sales of $221 million.

Facts About Sweetgreen Franchise

Nathaniel Ru, Nicolas Jammet, and Jonathan Neman, three Georgetown University students, founded Sweetgreen. The three of them discussed the scarcity of healthy food on college campuses that people wanted to eat.

The ones that were deemed delicious and trendy were unhealthy. This prompted these classmates to launch Sweetgreen shortly after graduating in 2007.

Sweetgreen’s first location was a 560-square-foot tavern close to the university. They sold nutritious quick meals made with ingredients sourced from local farmers.

With this kind of setup, they could draw a crowd, and customers kept returning for more. The Guacamole Green salad was the most popular. This salad is still the most popular on the menu.

Sweetgreen opened two more locations within a year and a half. The company expanded, and by 2021, it had 150 locations.

Sweetgreen’s menu comprises salad bowls and warm rice or quinoa bowls. Sweetgreen is well-known for its farm-to-table model, in which each location in the United States has a different supplier based on which local farmer is nearby.

Sweetgreen is also dedicated to environmental stewardship. Most of their ingredients are natural. Their packaging is made of compostable materials.

Steelhead trout is procured sustainably and is served in place of salmon to avoid contributing to overconsumption.

Why is Sweetgreen Franchise Not Franchising?

The salad restaurant chain does not permit franchising. In a 2013 QSR Magazine article, the company’s founder, Nicolas Jammet, stated that while franchising is a great way to expand, the founders prefer to grow the company themselves.

They also do not wish to give up control of Sweetgreen. The founders discovered that the franchising model makes procurement from local farmers more difficult.

With this explanation, you can see why it’s hard to find out how much it would cost to open a Sweetgreen near you.

Although Sweetgreen’s financial statements can provide an estimate of what it costs to operate a location.

In 2020, the company’s operational costs were $229.32 million, and there were approximately 119 locations.

Based on the current performance, the operating costs for just a single location would be around $1.93 million.

Sweetgreen is well-known among Gen Z and Millennials, as well as celebrities. Sweetgreen’s celebrity customers include Selena Gomez, Kendall Jenner, Katharine McPhee, and Malia Obama, to name a few.

Gwyneth Paltrow, Martha Stewart, Walter Robb, and Danny Meyer are among the celebrities who have invested in this salad chain.

Famous chefs like Dan Barber, David Chang, and Nancy Silverton, to mention a few, have worked with the brand to develop special menu items.

Shares Breakdown

sweetgreen franchise

Sweetgreen’s founders continue to manage the company. Jonathan Neman is said to own 2.3% of the company’s stock, worth $350 million.

Nathaniel Ru and Nicolas Jammet all own less than 1% of Sweetgreen’s stock, valued at $270 million.

Sweetgreen is currently available in the following states: California, Massachusetts, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Georgia, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Texas, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia.

The corporate headquarters are in Los Angeles, California.

How Much Does Sweetgreen Make?

Sweetgreen franchise projected gross profit in 2021 is $40 million. This is considered a boost because the company lost money the previous year.

However, keep in mind that the company suffered a difficult 2020 because of government shutdowns and a health crisis.

Sweetgreen Franchise Benefits

Assume you can run a Sweetgreen franchise. What are the benefits? Here are a few to cross off your list.


Sweetgreen is well-known for its digital services and robust online presence. To relate with the Gen Z and Millennial crowd, they have a presence on almost every social media platform, including Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, Spotify, and Facebook.

Customers depend on their app to place orders and even require payments to be made online, with cash being an option only recently. An almost digital business is well-equipped for the future.


Sweetgreen is a well-known salad chain in the areas where it operates. They have shareholders who are big names and celebrities as customers. They have attracted numerous investors since going public a year ago with shares valued at $28.

This shows that this salad chain is anything but ordinary or simple, as it captures the attention of not only consumers but also eatery industry experts.

Delicious Healthy Options


Sweetgreen has several nutritious options on its menu, which is understandable given what they do. The salads and rice bowls, however, are not your typical types.

Sweetgreen use kale instead of lettuce, which is not only unusual but also contains more Vitamin C, potassium, and calcium than lettuce.

They prefer steelhead trout to salmon since it is high in omega-3 fatty acids and does not add to salmon overconsumption.

They also have seasonal dishes on the menu, which can entice returning customers to try something new.

If you are able to franchise Sweetgreen, you’ll be working with a company that has a vibrant menu.


Sweetgreen promotes healthy, ethically produced, and locally sourced ingredients. To help reduce waste, the company also uses compostable packaging.

Besides this, Sweetgreen goes above and beyond to create a community that encourages a healthy lifestyle.

The salad chain runs a program in which they tour public schools to teach children about healthy eating.

When they open a new store, they donate 100% of the profits on the first day to a local partner who supports programs that connect people to food.

They are also committed to diversity by employing a diverse workforce.

These are a few things you could be proud of if you become a Sweetgreen franchise owner in the future. If their values align with yours, this might be a good opportunity for you.

Sweetgreen Franchise Hurdles

Will there be any difficulties when you join the Sweetgreen franchise? There certainly are. Here are a few of the difficulties you may face.

Not Everyone Uses Digital

Sweetgreen provides much of its services online. You order through the app and pay without using cash.

However, some people, particularly the elderly who still rely on cash, are unaware of how to use these devices.

Though cashless transactions have been discontinued, it would be nice if this option remained available for the foreseeable future.


Many people have complained about the price of Sweetgreen. A user tweeted that $13 for a salad was “expensive AF,” and reviews on Google for several locations say the same. The portions were also described as small.

Sweetgreen is costly for a variety of reasons, including the locations being in wealthy areas with high rents.

There are also rising prices that the economy is dealing with. However, a company that promotes healthy eating should also make its products more affordable.



According to Indeed, Sweetgreen pays their staff $15 to $16 per hour on average, with managers earning $17 to $18 per hour.

Salary satisfaction is only 52%, with others calling it a fair job and others claiming a toxic work environment.

If you join the Sweetgreen franchise, expect employees to bring financial rewards as a concern if salaries do not rise.

After all, it’s not unusual to see other companies, such as McDonald’s, pay $18 per hour plus sign-on bonuses to employees with no prior food service experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sweetgreen does not permit franchises.

Jonathan Neman, Nicolas Jammet, and Nathaniel Ru

Revenue of $515 million – $535 million

Public Company


Sweetgreen does not permit franchise


The founders have concentrated on their brand promise, which is to connect people to proper food, and have increased that concept beyond the salads they sell.


If you appreciate what Sweetgreen does for the community and believe in its mission and objectives of encouraging healthy living and assisting local farmers, this business opportunity may be right for you.

The only issue is that Sweetgreen does not currently offer franchise opportunities.

Meanwhile, if you’re interested in franchising a salad eatery right away, check out Salad Works. They have been in the salad business since 1986.

Salads, wraps, and sandwiches are all customizable. The greatest feature is that they are also open to franchising.

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