It’s one thing to promote healthier eating inside your store. It’s another thing to spread that message outside your walls.
Launched in 2010, the Washington, DC-based healthy fast-food chain sweetgreen and its “sweetgreen in Schools” program began taking its message to local schools to teach kids about healthy eating, fitness, and sustainability through various hands-on activities. Originally a one-week curriculum, the program now works as a series of workshops throughout Washington, DC, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
In October 2015, more than 100 of the company’s store managers and executives traveled to DC Bilingual Public Charter School to provide, among other new amenities, a new mobile-lending library and garden beds, as well as repainted lines on the school’s soccer field and basketball court. In exchange for the work, the management team gave lessons about nutrition to the kids.
These lessons are offered in a variety of ways, such as in-store workshops that might involve salad-making sessions, or experiential learning outside of the classroom, such as teaching kids how to plant a garden and how seasons affect what types of fruits and vegetables can grow.
As the company opens more stores on the West Coast, sweetgreen says the program will also make the cross-country journey. According to a 2015 report in Vanity Fair, “sweetgreen in Schools” has reached more than 5,000 students in communities where the company has a store presence. The company wants to double that in 2016 alone.
The goal is ambitious to be sure, but it also puts a healthy spin on the idea of a king-size order.