🍍 Learning from sweetgreen

How Benjamin Habbel created a new lifestyle brand

I waited 40 minutes (at 2pm!) to pay $20+ for a sweetgreen salad I had to take out and eat in the park last time I was in New York.

Benjamin Habbel saw the rise of sweetgreen and brands like them that were design and experience-centric while he was building a technology company in NYC in the 2010s - and it inspired him to create Aethos, a new lifestyle hotel brand.

He calls it “inspirational arbitrage.”

“​​Whether you think they did this authentically or not, they really captured this idea of wellbeing, sustainability, and making a positive impact on communities – and they formed hospitality brands around that.”

In Habbel’s view, Europe had a lot of culture and incredible experiences but fewer brands built a clear hospitality experience around it. There was an opportunity to take part of what worked for sweetgreen and apply it to hospitality.

Dan Ryan and I talked about this a bit more at minute 35 of the Defining Hospitality podcast that just came out this week.

What are you getting inspiration from right now?