Sweetgreen, the trendy fast-casual chain known for unique salad options and sustainability efforts, just introduced a new way for customers to easily grab their greens on the go.
On October 26, the salad giant opened the doors of its first digital-only location in Washington, D.C.'s Mount Vernon Square.
Here's how the new restaurant concept works: Customers can place their orders on Sweetgreen's website or mobile app. Then, they can pick up their food from the location's shelving units, which are dedicated to takeout orders.
Unlike Sweetgreen's other restaurants, the digital-only unit doesn't feature dine-in seating or a customer-facing assembly line. However, for those seeking a place to sit and eat, there is an outdoor patio area.
The new location opened with the rollout of Sweetgreen's fall menu, which includes the Chicken and Brussels salad, the Curry Cauliflower warm bowl, as well as seasonal online exclusive dishes like the Sweet Balsamic Brussels. Additionally, for every bowl that was sold on opening day, Sweetgreen donated a bowl to Food Rescue U.S., a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing food waste and food insecurity in America.
Sweetgreen isn't the only restaurant chain to venture into the digital-only space. In June, Taco Bell opened its groundbreaking "Defy" restaurant in Brooklyn Park, Minn. The new location has four drive-thru lanes; digital check-in screens for mobile orders with unique QR codes; a two-way audio and video technology service for customers to communicate with Taco Bell staff; and a vertical lift that delivers food from the second-floor kitchen to the customers in their cars.
Prior to this, Chipotle unveiled its Chipotlane Digital Kitchen in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, with the restaurant featuring a drive-thru and a walk-up window for picking up orders.