Noodles & Co. Aiming To Grow Franchise, Expand To 1,500 Locations
From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Noodles & Co., the Colorado-based fast-casual pasta chain, took the initiative of preparing each of its stores and overall menu for the COVID dining landscape. Now, leaders of the pasta chain believe that they could replicate their newly-revamped model in as many as 1,500 locations.
According to BizWest, the chain company said Monday (Apr. 19) that starting in 2022, it will aim to expand at least 7% annually with a targeted growth rate of 10%. The ultimate goal will be to more than triple the current Noodles & Company store count of nearly 450.
Franchising will play a key component in the expansion.
Of Noodles & Company's 450+ restaurants, 85% are company-owned and operated and highly concentrated in the company's mature markets — like the Boulder Valley and Northern Colorado.
The casual pasta chain's primary focus is to boost franchising activity in less-saturated markets like Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Tampa, Oklahoma City, New Orleans, Albuquerque, NM; and Fort Myers, FL.
“With no direct national competitors, Noodles is a trusted and successful partner for franchisees looking to be part of a leading concept,” John Ramsay, vice president of franchise sales, said in a release. “With strong average unit sales and attractive unit economics, we have a compelling franchise model that is well-suited to meet today’s environment and the ability to adapt to the trends of tomorrow and years to come. There’s great opportunity for growth in major, untapped markets, and we’re looking forward to working with franchisees who are well connected in their community, passionate about food, and are excited to bring fresh, delicious noodle dishes to their market.”
John Ramsey, who took over his role in late 2020, told BizWest in February that he’s betting that off-premise dining will remain popular after the pandemic subsides and that Noodles, with its offerings that travel and reheat well, will be inclined to cash in.
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