Noodles & Company announced that it will close 55 of its 510 restaurants as it looks to turn around sliding sales. The fast casual is revamping its menu and shuttering “underperforming” locations “to eliminate the negative cash flow of these restaurants and improve overall performance.”
The company did not say where the more than 10 percent cut will take place, only that the closures will happen in the first and second quarters.
Noodles & Company added in the statement that many of the locations were opened in the last two to three years in newer markets where the brand’s performance isn’t as strong. Overall, the company reported a system-wide decrease in comparable restaurant sales of 1.3 percent for the partial fourth quarter, including a 1.8 percent drop at company-owned stores, and a 2 percent increase at franchised locations.
This continues a troubling trend for Noodles & Company, which has reported six consecutive quarters of year-over-year declines at locations open at least a year. And last June, the brand reported a security breach that comprised customers who used debit or credit cards between January 31 and June 2.
Despite the news, Noodles & Company plans to open at least a dozen locations in 2017. It also will look to move more company-owned locations into the hands of franchisees.
Two menu items—Thai green curry shrimp and Adobo pork/chicken—are being added. In addition, the company says it will start listing menu items with protein, instead of offering them as add-ons, in an effort to lift check averages.