Sweetgreen files its IPO


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Four months after announcing its IPO, Sweetgreen officially filed its initial public offering on Monday.

The 140-unit quick and casual salad chain, which becomes the fifth restaurant brand to go public so far this year, said it would be listed on the New York Stock Exchange and trade under the ticker symbol SG .

In its securities filing, Sweetgreen did not disclose its price per share or the number of shares it would offer.

He said he intended to use the proceeds of the IPO to fund “the general objectives of the business, including working capital, operating expenses and capital expenditures.” , according to the record. Sweetgreen said he would also use the money to further develop the robotic technology he acquired when purchasing Spyce, a robot-powered bowl concept with an electric delivery fleet, last month.

Sweetgreen joins a list of newly publicized restaurant chains this year that includes Portillo’s, Krispy Kreme, Dutch Bros and First Watch.

In the file, Sweetgreen paints a picture of an accident victim severely affected by the pandemic who is struggling to regain his footing thanks to rapid unit growth.

Sweetgreen, which was founded in 2007, currently generates $ 2.5 million in average unit volumes for its restaurants. In 2019, that number was $ 3 million.

The chain, which operates in 13 states, saw same-store sales drop 26% in 2020, with losses of $ 142 million that year. This year, same-store sales turned 21% positive, with losses of $ 87 million.

The profit margin at Sweetgreen’s restaurant is 12%.

The salad chain is embarking on an aggressive unit growth strategy, adding approximately 21 locations in the past year. Sweetgreen said in its file that it plans to double its current number of stores over the next three to five years.

This growth will come from expansion into new markets, the “densification” of existing markets, digital growth and new restaurant formats.

“We plan to diversify our store formats by adding drive-thru and pickup locations just to densify our markets and bring Sweetgreen to a wide variety of neighborhoods,” the brand said.

Among its risk factors, Sweetgreen said it had previously identified a “material weakness” in its internal controls over financial reporting.

“Over the past few periods, we have experienced rapid growth, and that growth has put a strain on our IT and accounting systems, our processes and our people,” the channel said in its filing.

An audit for the period from December 29, 2019 to December 27, 2020 found problems with the chain’s financial reporting “because we did not have the business processes, systems, people and associated internal controls in place”, Sweetgreen said.

The channel said it believed it rectified these reporting issues by June 27.

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