Sr. Director of Architecture + Planning

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at sweetgreen
Culver City, CA

About sweetgreen:

sweetgreen is on a mission to build healthier communities by connecting people to real food. We passionately believe that real food should be convenient and accessible to everyone. Every day in each sweetgreen, our 3,500 team members make food from scratch, using fresh ingredients and produce delivered that morning. And in our local communities, we’re committed to leaving people better than we found them. We’re in the business of feeding people, and we’re out to change what that means.

The Sr. Director of Architecture + Planning is part of the Store Design +  R&D team, responsible for design and physical development of our new restaurant locations. This position will drive company growth as part of our national expansion strategy and will serve as the primary design position responsible for influencing the physical infrastructure of the sweetgreen brand.  The role will assess new locations for store fit, and work with the real estate, construction, and site development team to craft new projects that hit timeline and financial metrics. This position will report to the VP of R+D and Design, and will have a high impact on the entire store development pipeline and portfolio.  The role will also act as a key thought partner for the R+D function helping support format innovation through concept collaboration, creative explorations, and first of kind executions.

Core Responsibilities:

  • Provides mentoring + leadership to team of design managers and designers overseeing projects in several states / regions from concept planning phase through design development and construction documents for permitting agencies within an agreed time frame based upon the approved construction pace schedule.  
  • Provide input into the creation and control of the development budgets, construction cost, operational modeling and forecasting and for architectural plans and specifications. 
  • Lead national design pipeline, by managing internal and external resources- including strategic AOR partners, engineers, and consultants as needed to achieve company growth + brand goals.
  • Manage design process from Site assessment to Opening- including layout and concept lock, CD creation and review, permitting, construction administration, and punch. Responsible for hitting development timelines and budget goals. 
  • Optimize and update (with regularity) the current store prototype set to ensure clarity across resources, scalable evolution, and consistency in new project execution.
  • Lead value engineering initiatives at programmatic and site specific levels. Reduce build out cost while preserving brand identity and intent.
  • Communicate effectively across all internal stakeholders including real estate, construction, procurement, and operations- as well as external consultants and AOR partners to ensure adherence with company goals and implementation of new design standards. 
  • Work with VP of R+D in collaboration on new concept design, and strategic brand initiatives. Help manage and lead special projects to help drive the creativity of the brand from initial idea, to concept layout, and final implementation into new projects.
  • Travel required for new market investigations, site visits, and team development.

About you:

  • Minimum 7 years of experience in architectural design management.
  • Degree in architecture, and/ or a related field of study.
  • Top notch skills in AutoCAD, Revit, SketchUp and Adobe Creative Suite.
  • Deep experiencing entering new markets completing due diligence, setting up project schedules, risk factors, and  project timelines.
  • Strong experience with construction documentation and shop drawing reviews for constructability. Experience with permitting and interacting with city reviewers to think creatively, resolve questions and obtain permits.
  • Minimum 4 years of leading a team, and developing processes for scale.
  • Ability to prioritize work based on impact and urgency, to deliver on commitments and drive departmental initiatives and achieve results. Quickly escalates and identifies roadblocks when prioritization is unclear. 
  • Strong oral, written and interpersonal communication skills- able to work with and through others to accomplish project work effectively. 
  • Collaborative: it is critical that this role be collaborative, as you will work daily with the internal design team, real estate, construction and company cross-functional stakeholders in operations, technology, culinary, and brand. 
  • Customer Obsessed mindset, realizing that our customer is two fold: our internal team members and operations stakeholders as well as our external customers who engage with the brand through our restaurant locations.  
  • Excellent presentation skills to solicit feedback and approvals.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • 7+ years of experience in retail or hospitality design for a national brand.
  • Graduate degree in architecture with path for licensure.
  • In depth understanding of kitchen equipment and engineering requirements.
  • Experience managing consultants and vendor relationships.  

What you'll get:

  • Competitive pay + bonus plan granted based on performance 
  • Health, dental + vision insurance
  • Flexible PTO, because we respect the need for work/life harmony
  • An opportunity to make a real impact on the people around you, both by growing them and by connecting them to real food
  • To live the sweetlife and celebrate your passion + purpose
  • A collaborative family of people who live our core values and have your back
  • A clear career path with opportunities for development, both personally and professionally
  • Free sweetgreen swag
  • Complimentary sweetgreen

Come join the sweetlife!

sweetgreen provides equal opportunities for everyone that works for us and everyone that applies to join our team, without regard to sex or gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, any service, past, present, or future, in the uniformed services of the United States (military or veteran status), or any other consideration protected by federal, state, or local law.

sweetgreen participates in the federal government's E-Verify program to determine employment eligibility. To learn more about the E-Verify program, please click here.


  • 401k Matching

    We'll match 50% of your contribution up to 3%.

  • 5 Months Paid Family Leave

    We believe in fully supporting new parents.

  • Free Greens

    Get your fill of sweetgreen with a weekly stipend.

  • Dog-Friendly Office

    Your four-legged friends are welcome!

  • Unlimited Vacation

    Take time to recharge with uncapped paid time off.

  • Office Snacks Galore

    We’ll say it, our snack game is on point.

  • Community Impact Hours

    Give back with 5 paid volunteering hours per year.

  • Work-Life Balance

    Do what you love on *and* off the clock.

  • Career Development

    We offer training and support for career advancement.


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All employees must be 18 years of age or older. Are you 18 years of age or older? *

Have you ever worked for sweetgreen in the past? *

Federal law and our policies, as a condition of employment, require employees show proof of legal eligibility to work in the United States. Are you authorized to work in the United States? *



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