A worker wears a Sweetgreen Inc. hat while preparing food at the company’s restaurant in Boston, Massachusetts.

Adam Glanzman | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The Sweetgreen salad chain has applied for an IPO in confidence.

Sweetgreen was founded in 2007 and is considered a healthier alternative to fast food. A planned debut has been rumored for years, but the coronavirus pandemic led to a surge in digital sales. Axios reported the news first.

The chain is popular with both busy office workers and investors. The company’s final funding round earlier this year was nearly $ 1.8 billion. Sweetgreen told the New York Times that its 2019 sales exceeded $ 300 million.

Like its rival Chipotle Mexican Grill, Sweetgreen turned to technology to fuel sales growth even before the health crisis made it necessary. The salad chain invested in their mobile app and formatted their restaurants to make picking up digital orders as easy as possible in order to reduce the long lines that meandered through their stores during lunchtime.

The pandemic has also resulted in other major changes for Sweetgreen, such as accelerating its plans to start building sites with thoroughfares. The pilot restaurant is slated to open this winter at the Highlands Ranch, Colorado. It has also pushed to the suburbs after focusing on urban areas in its first decade.