Noodles and Company sees opportunities on heels of net loss

Sluggish sales in the Colorado, Washington, D.C. and Austin, Texas, markets brought down comps at Noodles & Company during the first quarter, the fast-casual chain said Tuesday.

Company-wide comps rose slightly—0.8 percent year-over-year—but that number improves to 3.2 percent when those three markets are removed from the equation. Noodles & Company CEO Kevin Reddy cited low brand awareness and Austin residents’ loyalty to independent restaurants as key factors of the negative comps seen in those slower markets.

“We are confident that we understand our opportunities in these markets and are aggressively working on returning them to the success that we are seeing in the balance of the country," Reddy said in a statement.

The Broomfield, Colo.-based chain saw an overall loss of $2.8 million in the first quarter, but remains optimistic about the rest of the year.

In addition to updating its cooking methods for critical menu items, the chain announced plans to remove artificial colors, flavors and preservatives from several offerings by the end of the third quarter and to continue testing antibiotic-free chicken, perhaps nationwide, into 2016.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content

Emerging Brands

5 pre-emerging restaurant brands ready for takeoff

These small concepts are still proving out their ideas, but each shows promise as a potential candidate for the next generation of emerging chains.


This little-known iPhone feature could change restaurant ordering

Tech Check: Almost every customer has a POS in their pocket. Can mini mobile apps get them to actually use it?


Red Lobster gives private equity another black eye

The Bottom Line: The role a giant sale-leaseback had in the bankruptcy filing of the seafood chain has drawn more criticism of the investment firms' financial engineering. The criticism is well-earned.


More from our partners