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Achieving Your Goal Is Secondary. The Climb Is What Really Counts, Says the CEO of Pressed. On the new episode of "Restaurant Influencers," Justin Nedelman of Pressed discusses the business of plant-based foods, why the uphill climb is an entrepreneur's best friend, and why he replaced his CRM with a GRM.

By Shawn P. Walchef

Key Takeaways

  • The Secret to Great Margins: Justin Nedelman and Pressed have been able to achieve good margins by “counting every grain of rice.”
  • You Want Trust From Consumers: Building trust in its brand at scale means consistency and communication.
  • From CRM to GRM: Nedleman replaced the company's CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) with a GRM (Guest Relationship Manager) because, to him, the idea of customers is transactional. But guests imply a lasting relationship.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Justin Nedelman went from real estate to restaurants.

It's not a traditional path. But then again, the CEO of Pressed prides himself on pushing onward and upward — even in the face of metaphorical mountains.

His motto in life is, "Passion and the Endless Pursuit of Excellence."

"That's probably the endless pursuit of the uphill climb, which I like more than the downhill," Justin Nedelman said in a conversation with Shawn Walchef of Cali BBQ Media.

Before being picked to lead Pressed as its chief executive officer, Justin Nedelman was chief real estate officer at FAT Brands and co-founder/CEO of Eureka! Restaurant Group in California.

He was able to build Eureka! from an empty office space on Eureka Street to 100 million in sales with 1,800 employees.

But it wasn't enough for the entrepreneur; There were more mountains to climb.

When Justin Nedelman saw the opportunity to combine his love of health and business, he knew joining Pressed was for him.

"Pressed has a great base, a phenomenal following, a strong brand, and a lot of integrity around what we produce."

As a health and fitness enthusiast, Justin is also helping Pressed branch out into new categories to increase revenue and reach. That includes placement on store shelves in retail locations like Target and Sprouts, and also through consumer-packaged goods, memberships, and wholesale.

What was once known as just Pressed Juicery, is now simply, "Pressed."

And Pressed is about much more than squeezing juice.

Pressed Evolution

The mission of Pressed is to be "Your Partner for Good." That means nutrition, health and wellness in a convenient, plant-forward form.

The company began in 2010 as a tiny "juice closet" in Los Angeles. The first 25-square-foot location was joined soon after by a Malibu food truck.

Success was just a few sips away.

Before leading the brand as its CEO, Justin Nedelman was a repeat customer. He first discovered Pressed when living in West Los Angeles — at its original location when it was first being launched.

Justin was also beginning his restaurant ascent at the same time.

Health was important to him, but he found that time was a premium. He just didn't have enough of it to make his own kale smoothies at home.

"Pressed was early in this cold-pressed revolution," he said. "I watched the brand evolve."

The signature cold-pressed juices (in over 40 varieties) now are just one part of the Pressed success story. Pressed also offers plant-based milks, smoothies, and soft-serve made from just fruits, nuts, and veggies.

These days there are more than 110 Pressed retail stores across 10 states in the US.

Customers can now also get their Pressed products in lots of other ways including directly from the company online, or at one of their nearly 3,000 distribution points via wholesale partnerships.

There are immense opportunities for growth and continuing to reimagine how to get more healthy food into the hands of more happy people, including subscription plans with VIP access to products.

"You should be able to order products with your thumb, it should be that fast. If it takes a couple fingers it's too complicated," Justin Nedelman believes.

As someone who lives and breathes his work climbing proverbial mountains, Pressed is the perfect place for its CEO. It's got a rock-strong base, with lots of heights yet to climb.

"The foundation is here and I believe in what we do."

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About Restaurant Influencers

Restaurant Influencers is brought to you by Toast, the powerful restaurant point of sale and management system that helps restaurants improve operations, increase sales and create a better guest experience.

Toast — Powering Successful Restaurants. Learn more about Toast.

Shawn P. Walchef

Founder of Cali BBQ Media

“Be the show, not the commercial.”

Cali BBQ Media Founder Shawn Walchef helps brands and leaders leverage the new Business Creator Economy with strategic Smartphone Storytelling and Digital Hospitality.

His Cali BBQ restaurant company has generated more than $35 million since opening in 2008. They operate numerous locations in San Diego and beyond.

Shawn’s weekly video series Restaurant Influencers (published by Entrepreneur Media and produced by Cali BBQ Media) has been seen by over 25 million people.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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