Operations

Sweetgreen is sweetening its Outpost program to lure return-to-office business

The fast casual launched the office building drop-off program in 2018 and was up to 1,000 Outposts before the pandemic hit.
Photo courtesy of Sweetgreen

Sweetgreen introduced its Outpost office pick-up program in 2018.

The premise is a simple one: A single delivery order is great but it eats into margins. Scaling those orders to larger numbers, with central drop-off spots in office buildings, would help make the endeavor more profitable.

So, the fast casual created dedicated drop-off spots for large salad orders in offices, and incentivized the program with no delivery fee.

Outpost grew to more than 1,000 locations before the pandemic sent the majority of those cubicle dwellers to their home offices.

Sweetgreen is now trying to claw back that segment of its business, and this week it relaunched Outpost with a full rebrand and renewed marketing push.

Earlier this month, Sweetgreen told investors that it had 500 Outpost locations, with more being added each week. This week, Sweetgreen reported more than 550 Outposts in 13 markets, a jump of more than 200 spots since October.

In addition to office buildings, Outposts can also be positioned in hospitals, residential buildings and public spaces.

Sweetgreen revamped Outpost’s aesthetics, with a new logo, imagery and language based on research with current and prospective customers, the chain said. Nature imagery and greenery is central to the fast casual's new visual identity in customer-facing products and marketing materials.

Sweetgreen also launched a full-press marketing campaign around Outpost to raise awareness of the program at businesses and encourage sign-ups among existing Sweetgreen customers.

It includes a combination of paid marketing, B2B referral marketing and email marketing, as well as promotions at offices to drive up interest from employees.

“We’ve actually been pleasantly pleased with Outpost for us,” CFO Mitch Reback told investors earlier this month. “What’s interesting about Outpost, it’s a bit of a leading indicator on return to office.”

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