Sweetgreen stresses  "produce that prioritizes organic, regenerative and local sourcing," the...

Sweetgreen stresses  "produce that prioritizes organic, regenerative and local sourcing," the company says. Credit: Sweetgreen

Sweetgreen has set its sights on Long Island.

The nation’s largest salad chain plans to establish a presence on Long Island, where it is seeking to open a restaurant in Garden City, according to building-related documents submitted to the village and information on the Los Angeles-based company’s website.

The fast-casual chain has more than 150 restaurants in Washington, D.C., and 13 states, including New York, Illinois, California and Colorado.

Sweetgreen plans to open at least 35 more eateries in 2022, according to the company’s first-quarter earnings report that was released Thursday.

Sweetgreen Inc. declined to comment on its plans for Long Island, so it is unknown when the Garden City restaurant will open or if there are others planned for Long Island.

But the company’s careers section on its website shows it is hiring managers for the restaurant planned for Garden City at 191 7th St.

Nassau Expeditors Inc. on Feb. 23 applied to Garden City for a building permit for interior alternations for a 2,978-square-foot Sweetgreen restaurant, and the village issued the permit March 4, according to village Clerk Karen M. Altman.

For signage approvals, the project is on Garden City’s Architectural Design Review Board’s May 24 agenda, she said. 

The 7th Street space where Sweetgreen plans to open a restaurant used to be occupied by a B.Good restaurant.

Sweetgreen was founded in 2007 by three Georgetown University students in Washington, D.C., who wanted to offer a healthier alternative to fast food, according to the company’s website.

Sweetgreen "passionately believes that real food should be convenient and accessible to everyone," the website says, with a menu that stresses plant-based, "seasonal, and earth-friendly meals from fresh ingredients and produce that prioritizes organic, regenerative, and local sourcing.” There is also chicken, fish and cheese.

Sweetgreen went public in November.

The chain has had some challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic cutting into sales at salad-focused restaurants.

“These chains rely heavily on lunch traffic, particularly in dense urban areas with office workers, so the pandemic has put a major dent in sales growth over the last two years,” said Kevin Schimpf, director of industry research and insights at Technomic, a restaurant and retail industry research firm in Chicago.

Sweetgreen had a net loss of $49.2 million in the fiscal first quarter, which ended March 27, compared with a net loss of $30 million in the same period last year, the company said in its earnings report Thursday.

Most of the loss was due to a $21 million increase in stock-based compensation, the report said.

Total revenue in the quarter increased 67% to $102.6 million compared with the same period a year earlier. That was mostly due to sales at stores open at least a year rising 35%, a 10% increase in menu prices and more revenue being generated from 39 new restaurants that were opened, the report said.

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