Oct 28, 2021 - Economy & Business
Filings show Sweetgreen isn't profitable, despite claims
Restaurant chain Sweetgreen on Monday filed to go public, and revealed that it lost money in each year since 2014.
Why it matters: The company lied when it repeatedly told reporters it was profitable.
- In a 2018 podcast with Recode's Kara Swisher, Sweetgreen co-founder and CEO Jonathan Neman replied "We are," when asked if the company was profitable.
- Sweetgreen was referred to as profitable in 2018 and 2019 profiles by Forbes, Inc. and Eater. In its IPO filing, Sweetgreen reports losses of $31 million for 2018 and $68 million for 2019.
Inside the numbers: Some companies use a massaged earnings calculation called "adjusted EBITDA" to justify profitability claims, but Sweetgreen's adjusted EBITDA is also negative each year of the 2014-2020 period.
- The company also told the NY Times last year that its 2019 revenue "topped $300 million," even though it was actually $274 million.
A Sweetgreen spokesperson declined to comment, citing regulatory restrictions.