Small Business ShowsThe RoadmapWhy this entrepreneur is more focused on quality over quantity — Nate...

Why this entrepreneur is more focused on quality over quantity — Nate Hybl, Gusto

Welcome to an ASBN exclusive, The Roadmap, with your host Ted Jenkin. Where we bring you the best entrepreneurs, CEOs, and business leaders, across the U.S. who are climbing the ladder to scale their businesses in hopes to one day sell. On today’s episode, Nate Hybl, founder of Gusto, joins Jenkin in discussing his journey. 

Hybl asserts that as a former athlete, he was aware of his desire to launch a company. But he wanted to do so with a cause close to his heart. He continues, “Gusto means passion.” His objective then altered to “reinventing healthier fast food.”  It took four years to get started, and during that time he had no idea about any fundamental business principles aside from the fact that he didn’t want to work a desk job. 

After opening the first store in the Atlanta metropolitan area, he steadily opened 12 more with another on the way. “We weren’t focused on creating a franchise, because this isn’t just another ‘get rich quick.’ Or on the surface, the restaurant is not about the money,” Hbyl expresses. He continues, “our goal is to produce value so it’s more about quality over quantity.” Therefore, the menu served as the building block of the establishment. Hbyl sought to set his company apart from rivals like Panera Bread and Chipotle. With years in the kitchen, it led to his hot products  becoming the bowl, which at that time were uncommon, grains, greens, and centered on grilled options. Then, Gusto became the sauce, inspired by Japanese and Mediterranean styles. 

Managing inflation

“As a former athlete, I intend to lead with and not above”

Hbyls’ top priority during COVID was the security of his staff. He admits that he still experiences ripple effects from the chaos, but asserts that “you wake up every day, tie your shoes, and go after it.” Due to a strong culture and a sense of gratitude, he and his team can see that things are moving in the right direction. “We have been trailing behind national leader percent hikes because we don’t want to damage our brand.” Which have led them to be proactive moving forward, like twice a year changing either their prices or items on the menu in January and July. 

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