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04/28/2021

Bouyed By Strong Off-Prem Playbook, Noodles & Co. Looks for Franchisees

Noodles pre-pandemic focus on enhancing digital capabilities for off-premise pays off. In 2020, Noodles posted a 128% increase in digital sales, or 62% of total sales.
Anna Wolfe
Senior Editor - Restaurants
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Despite the many challenges the pandemic posed on the restaurant industry, Noodles & Company was agile and quick to adapt, thanks to its pre-pandemic focus on enhancing digital capabilities for off-premise business.

 

a person standing in front of a window

Digital Investments Pay Off

In 2020, Noodles & Company saw a 128% increase in digital sales, which accounted for 62% of sales. Prior to the pandemic, Noodles & Company was already operating 56% of its business in an off-premise setting and once COVID-19 hit, the company accelerated its plans and quickly adjust operations to further accommodate the rapid change in guest behaviors. In 2020 restaurants nationwide faced the realities of doing business during the COVID-19 pandemic,  increasingly leaning in to off-prem.

Significant contributors to its sales recovery include the ability to quickly adjust to an off-premise business model with convenient options like delivery, curbside takeout, and Quick Pickup as well as back-of-the-house efficiencies.

With nearly 450 locations across 29 states, Noodles & Company says it is positioned for aggressive growth and development throughout the country.

Noodles & Company says its off-premise capabilities and digital strength help to create a frictionless experience rooted in guest safety and overall convenience, Noodles delivers the ideal guest experience through:

  • Diverse Menu Options made-to-order with fresh ingredients. 
  • Distinctive Store Designs: Noodles offers a strong business model including options of flexible site selections and smaller footprints that cater to guests dining in and those looking to grab Noodles on the go. Off-premise dining has proven to be the key to a restaurant’s survival throughout the pandemic. Noodles will continue to offer and improve options for guests to enjoy their food both in restaurant as well as convenient to-go options including Quick Pickup, curbside and delivery options, which will become even more prevalent in new restaurants.
  • Recently, Noodles & Company has been streamlining operational procedures for a more efficient kitchen including the introduction of steamers to all restaurants by the end of 2021 which will reduce cook time by nearly a minute.
  • Digital Experience: The core of Noodles’ off-premise model is the technology that allows for guests to interact with Noodles through an omnichannel experience. The Noodles Rewards app is designed to provide a dynamic guest experience by personalizing rewards, delivering offers tailored to their preferences, and providing the convenience of mobile ordering all in the palm of their hands. 

Franchisees who join Noodles & Company will have access to a team of experts who will support during every step of the process from initial site selection to marketing and training and beyond. The planned expansion will target select Southern and Southwestern markets including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, New Mexico, South Carolina and Texas.