Shares in Sweetgreen rise after the Wall Street debut

Sweetgreen’s shares almost doubled in price in the middle of the day on Thursday, hours after the exclusive salad chain debuted on Wall Street.
The company set the price at $ 28 per share on Wednesday, ahead of the listing on Thursday. The stock price jumped to around $ 54 at one point, swinging around $ 52 per share in afternoon trading.

The salad chain, which opened in 2007 and today has 140 restaurants, has a goal of serving “healthy food on a large scale”, according to an SEC file related to the stock exchange listing.

Sweetgreen customers can build their own salad or choose from a selection of preset menu items, which also include hot bowls. Meals are expensive, with some salads priced at around $ 1[ads1]5 before any additions or sides.

A sweet green salad can be the perfect meal for office workers who want to eat healthy and are not so concerned about consumption. But with the future of office work unknown, it is an uncertain time to focus on the appetite of these customers.

“It is uncertain whether workers will return to offices in urban centers on a consistent basis, and even if they do, whether they will have a more flexible work schedule, which could reduce our revenues in our urban areas,” the company wrote in the SEC archiving.

“If the shift to teleworking continues even after the COVID-19 pandemic is over and workers do not return to city center offices, or work from these locations less frequently, our business, financial condition and operating results may be adversely affected,” the company said.

Some were skeptical of the chain’s business model ahead of the IPO. David Trainer, CEO of investment analysis firm New Constructs, wrote in a note this week that competition in the field is fierce and that Sweetgreen has not done a good job of differentiating its offerings.

Nevertheless, it is an attractive time for private companies to go public. Startups take advantage of low interest rates and other stimulus from the Federal Reserve as well as investors’ appetite for fast-growing companies. As a result, there have already been more IPOs during the first three quarters of 2021 than there were in the whole of 1996 – the largest year ever for IPOs, according to FactSet.

CNN Business’ Paul R. La Monica contributed to this report.

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