Noodles & Company—the Colorado-based restaurant concept that serves made-to-order noodles, salads, and sandwiches inspired from around the world—announced a new development agreement with franchise group Prairie Pasta Company.

Prairie Pasta is an affiliate of Border States Management, based in Willmar, Minnesota. The new franchise partner is slated to open its first Noodles & Company location in Fargo, North Dakota, in 2011, plus seven additional locations in North and South Dakota over the next five years. Areas of future development will include Grand Forks, Fargo/Moorhead, Bismarck, Sioux Falls, and Rapid City.

"With its proven track record of managing successful restaurant franchises, Prairie Pasta Company was clearly the right choice as we looked for a partner to introduce our globally inspired concept in more neighborhoods in the northern U.S.," says Kevin Reddy, CEO and chairman of Noodles & Company. "In addition, the team is very passionate about Noodles and will be excellent stewards of the brand."

This year, Noodles & Company was ranked as one of the top 10 fastest-growing chains by Technomic and named one of Parents magazine's "10 Best Restaurant Chains".  

The company plans to continue its industry-leading growth by expanding its presence in existing markets and entering new areas such as the upper Midwest. The company anticipates double-digit unit growth (both company-owned and franchise-operated) in 2011.

"We immediately saw the growth potential in Noodles & Company," says Joe Cody, principal partner and CEO of Prairie Pasta. "It's a unique global concept with a menu of both sophisticated flavors and comfort foods that's new to this region. We're confident it's going to be very well received and are excited to be part of the team." 

Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, Fast Casual, Growth, News, Noodles & Company