Salad Chain Sweetgreen Files for Initial Public Offering

Kimberly Redmond  |

Image source: Sweetgreen

Fast casual salad chain Sweetgreen filed Monday for an initial public offering with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. 

In its Form S-1, the Los Angeles-based company said it plans to sell shares under the ticker symbol “SG,” but did not disclose proposed size, valuation or timing.

Founded in 2007, Sweetgreen’s menu of customizable salads and warm bowls has made it a popular spot for the health-conscious set. 

The chain was last valued at $1.78 billion, after raising $156 million in its most recent funding round in January, according to The New York Times. 

The 140-unit chain said it plans to double its footprint within the next three to five years.

In addition to providing growth capital for its restaurants, the IPO proceeds will also be used to further develop robotic technology it acquired when it purchased Spyce, a robot-powered bowl concept with an electric delivery fleet, last month.

Like most restaurants, Sweetgreen took a hit last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic but said it is bouncing back. 

In the fiscal year ending Dec. 27, 2021, Sweetgreen reported a net loss of $141.1 million on revenue of $220.6 million. Its same-store sales shrank 26% during that period after growing 15% in the prior fiscal year.

As of Sept. 26, same-store sales have climbed 21% and losses narrowed to $86.9 million from a loss of $100.2 million in the period a year ago.

Two months after Sweetgreen confidentially filed for an IPO, the company faced inopportune backlash on social media after its chief executive officer and co-founder Jonathan Neman wrote a LinkedIn post in August connecting obesity to COVID-19-related deaths. 

The controversy came an inopportune time for the company since it could hurt sales and reputation and turn off investors.

Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan are the joint bookrunners on the deal.

Sweetgreen follows a number of restaurant companies that went public this year, including Portillo’s, Krispy Kreme, Dutch Bros and First Watch.    


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