Sweetgreen, the healthy fast-casual brand that’s widely considered an early adopter of tech in the restaurant space, is also thinking big with its purchase of Galley Foods, a Washington, D.C.-based meal-delivery service that uses organic ingredients in its ready-to-eat meals. This deal marks a new tactic as the entire restaurant industry reacts to a relentless wave of changes spurred by the growth in delivery.
The deal is Sweetgreen’s first acquisition since a trio of Georgetown grads founded the salad chain in 2007. A so-called lunchtime powerhouse that’s often said to “think like a tech company,” Sweetgreen is valuated at a cool billion dollars with 90+ locations.
In a Washington Post story, Sweetgreen Co-CEO Jonathan Neman said the acquisition supports its mission of connecting people to real food, adding, “We realized that Galley could be a very good way to accelerate our delivery and dinner business.”
With an extensive customer base in the D.C. metro, Galley allows customers to order meals a week in advance, arriving at their door fully cooked and ready to be heated in 15 minutes or less. Beyond convenience, its primary pitch is healthy, chef-prepared meals made with responsibly sourced and organic products whenever possible.
Galley’s CEO and Co-founder Alan Clifford said the acquisition would support his long-term goal of making an even bigger impact on the food scene. Sweetgreen is based in California, and Galley’s employees will remain in the D.C. metro.
“The more time I spent with [Sweetgreen’s team], the more I’ve realized that we’re working toward the same mission and that together, we will get there faster,” Clifford said. “Galley has deep expertise and technology around direct-to-customer delivery; Sweetgreen has incredible food, an amazing brand, an incredible sourcing network and a deep consumer following.”