Online ordering, boosted by third-party delivery, accounted for more than 15% of sales for the quarter at Noodles & Company.
This double-digit jump coincided with an expansion of third-party delivery, primarily through DoorDash, and boosts delivery to 80% of its company-operated locations. “…Delivery still represents only a small percentage of our total sales, we anticipate it will continue to grow and be a meaningful driver of sales growth through the balance of 2018 and through 2019,” said Dave Boennighausen, Chief Executive Officer, during an earnings call with analysts.
When it comes to third-party delivery services, the orders are integrated into the POS, as HT previously reported in this Roadmap: Getting Digital Ordering Right. Integration, he said, “has been critical."
The fast casual concept posted comparable sales growth of 5.5% system-wide for the quarter. Off-premise sales, which includes catering and online ordering, represented nearly 53% of sales. In addition to the national rollout of spiralized zuchhini noodles, or zoodles, Noodles & Company's “strategic roadmap” includes expanding off-premise opportunities through the build out of quick pickup units and its rewards program.
“We have seen particular growth in our online sales, which has been bolstered by further development of our rewards program, as well as the introduction earlier this year of quick pick-up shelving units in our locations,” said Boennighausen.
Noodles & Company is working on new innovations to delight its guests and to improve the guest experience.
“From an average unit volume (AUV) perspective, we continue to take a holistic approach to improve the guest experience and are currently in test with culinary, menu pricing, operational and off-premise initiatives that we believe will build upon our current momentum.”
Next year, Noodles will launch of new back-of-the-house labor and food management systems, and continued initiatives to leverage technology to become more efficient throughout the organization.