Sweetgreen buys meal delivery service Galley Foods

The fast-casual chain’s acquisition will give it access to the company’s insight into delivery and high-volume production.
Photograph: Shutterstock

Sweetgreen on Tuesday announced that it has acquired meal delivery service Galley Foods, the first acquisition for the booming fast-casual chain and one that suggests it is taking a different and more aggressive route to delivery.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the purchase will give Los Angeles-based Sweetgreen access to Galley Foods’ logistics technology, live courier operations and “high-volume production.”

Galley Foods will continue to operate and serve out of the Washington, D.C., market, where it is based. Alan Clifford, the company’s CEO, will become vice president of logistics for Sweetgreen.

“We’re both companies with D.C. roots, and we’re like-minded in our mission and in our commitment to our customers to better understand them and meet them wherever they are,” Sweetgreen co-founder and CEO Jonathan Neman said in a statement. He praised Galley Foods’ “unparalleled insight into delivery.”

The acquisition will combine Sweetgreen’s supply chain and its popular menu items with Galley’s knowledge of at-home delivery.

As it is, Sweetgreen is a “digital-first” company, using technology to improve ordering, pickup, delivery and payment. Customers can order in restaurants or on the company’s app, and it offers free delivery to its pickup kiosks, called Outposts.

The acquisition of Galley is a big bet on at-home delivery.

“Don’t be surprised if you see your favorite Galley driver delivering your Sweetgreen salad soon,” Clifford said in a message to customers on Galley’s website.

Galley delivers heat-and-eat meals in biodegradable packages. The company has delivered 1.5 million meals over the past four years in the Washington, D.C., area.

In his letter to customers, Clifford said the deal combines Galley’s “deep expertise and technology around direct-to-customer delivery” with Sweetgreen’s food, brand, sourcing network and “deep consumer following.”

“We both focus on making healthy food more accessible,” Clifford said.

Sweetgreen operates about 94 locations and last year raised $200 million in a funding round that gave the company a $1 billion valuation. The chain was founded in 2007 by a trio of Georgetown University students and has been fueled by investors that include former America Online CEO Steve Case and Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer.

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