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Salad chain Sweetgreen reportedly files for initial public offering

A worker wears a Sweetgreen Inc. hat while preparing food inside the company’s restaurant in Boston, Massachusetts.

Adam Glanzman | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Salad chain Sweetgreen has confidentially filed for an initial public offering, Axios reported Monday.

Founded in 2007, Sweetgreen is seen as a healthier alternative to fast food. A planned debut had been rumored for years, but it comes as the pandemic fueled an increase in its digital sales.

The chain is a favorite of both busy office workers and investors. The company’s last funding round earlier this year valued it at nearly $1.8 billion. Sweetgreen told The New York Times that its 2019 revenue topped $300 million.

Like its rival Chipotle Mexican Grill, Sweetgreen has leaned into technology to fuel sales growth even before the health crisis made it necessary. The salad chain invested in its mobile app and formatted its restaurants to make picking up digital orders as easy as possible to cut down on the long lines that snaked through its stores during lunch hour.

The pandemic has also spurred other big changes for Sweetgreen, like the acceleration of its plans to start building locations with drive-thru lanes. The pilot restaurant is slated to open this winter in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. It has also been pushing into the suburbs after its first decade focused on urban areas.

A representative for Sweetgreen did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Read more about Sweetgreen’s confidential filing here.

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