Noodles & Company responds to high inflation with a new value menu

The fast-casual chain has launched a new $7 menu, saying its customers have started demanding lower prices.
Noodles $7 value menu
Noodles & Co. has started offering a $7 value menu as more of its customers have started demanding lower prices./Image courtesy of Noodles & Co.

Noodles & Company is offering inflation-weary consumers lower prices with its new value menu.

On Wednesday, Noodles & Company launched “7 Delicious $7 dishes,” a menu featuring seven of the company’s most popular offerings. The menu includes regular full-sized entrees Wisconsin Mac and Cheese, Japanese Pan Noodles, Pesto Cavatappi, Med Salad, Pasta Fresca, Spaghetti and Buttered Noodles.

In addition to the new $7 menu, the Broomfield, Colo.-based company is also offering unlimited free delivery to Noodles rewards members throughout August.

Chief Marketing Officer Stacey Pool said customers have started demanding lower prices.

“The reason for the offer was number one that it is definitely challenging times for a lot of our consumers out there right now, a lot of people are looking for deals,” she said.

Additionally, Pool said that the menu aims to expand the brand’s customer base.

“The goal is really around driving people to the brand that haven’t been in a while, we call them our last audience, we definitely want to bring them back in. If they’ve maybe been visiting restaurants a little bit less, we want to make sure they come back to Noodles and we want to expose our food to a new audience,” she said.

U.S. system sales at Noodles increased 6% since 2019, according to data from Restaurant Business sister company Technomic. Sales have been increasing so far this year, too. Same-store sales, which measures sales at existing locations, increased 6.4% in the first quarter

This deal comes at a time of high inflation and a potential economic recession that has caused consumers to eat out less. According to a Morning Consult survey, more than 80% of US consumers said they are eating out less as a result of inflation. These factors may make consumers more selective about which restaurants they are choosing which pushes operators like Noodles to provide deals.

Other restaurants have had the same response to inflation, offering value menus in hopes of attracting consumers looking for a deal.

Del Taco, the California-based Mexican chain, offers a menu of 20 items under $2, featuring a crispy chicken taco for only $1.49

O’Charley’s is taking a value offer a step further by discounting online orders based on the consumer price index (CPI), which measures inflation.

This differs from some fast-food restaurants’ response to inflation, however. For example, some Subway franchisees have done the opposite and stopped accepting coupons.

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