- Sweetgreen raised an additional $150 million in a recent funding round, according to The Wall Street Journal, increasing its valuation to $1.6 billion, up from $1 billion 10 months ago.
- The tech-centric salad chain will use the new capital to launch an app-based delivery program in 2020 and to grow its Outpost office-delivery locations from over 400 offices to 600 by year's end, according to a press release.
- Sweetgreen is also reportedly eyeing new locations in Miami, Denver and Austin, Texas for next year.
The growing salad chain launched its Outpost offering last fall, opening kiosks in WeWork, Nike and Headspace offices where employees can pick up mobile orders without paying any delivery fees. Because Outpost allows customers to accrue Sweetgreen loyalty points, whereas orders placed through Uber Eats or Doordash do not, the company further incentivizes use of its own delivery network.
Sweetgreen has increased its focus on off-premise sales as of late. In June, the company acquired Galley Foods, a meal service that delivers ready-to-eat food, with plans to leverage its logistics technology, live courier operations and production capacity. The deal is its only acquisition to date.
It makes sense for the tech-focused restaurant to double down on delivery since it already uses data and machine learning technology to predict sales, assess labor and ingredient needs and tracks produce in its supply chain using blockchain.
The bulk of its orders are already made through its app as well, co-founder and CEO Jonathan Neman told The Wall Street Journal, which bodes well for the brand if it does launch a delivery program.
While it is planning to continue using Uber Eats and other food delivery marketplaces, Sweetgreen could join a handful of other restaurants, including Domino’s and Jimmy John’s, that prefer to use self-delivery. It could also be moving toward a similar model as Panera, which recently partnered with third-party delivery providers to appear on their websites while still using its own delivery fleet.