Noodles & Company, the national fast-casual chain known for its globally inspired noodle bowls, best-in-class service, and values-centric culture, entered new franchise markets and achieved high accolades in 2023 with honors from top publications including Forbes and Denver Business Journal. Noodles’ franchise growth and award achievements demonstrate how the franchise continues to be an enticing opportunity for experienced multi-unit, multi-concept operators.

 This year Noodles & Company made significant strides in furthering its franchise growth strategy called, “under the rainbow,” which it adopted in 2021 to grow its footprint in the Southern region of the United States. Noodles coined this term for its franchise strategy as the company’s footprint ranges from coast to coast, creating a rainbow figure across the U.S. map, with a large percentage of restaurants in the upper Midwest. Noodles took notice of the downward migration of families relocating from the Midwest to the South and how this movement could be beneficial for franchising opportunities. The first result of this strategy was the signing of a new location in El Paso, Texas, followed by two multi-unit franchise deals in Dallas and Northern Arkansas.

“This year, we welcomed two new seasoned multi-unit franchise owners to our team who are collectively opening 24 Noodles locations and establishing a strategic and essential presence for the brand in new markets,” says John Ramsay, vice president of franchise sales at Noodles & Company. “Furthermore, the accolades and milestones we reached this year position Noodles as an attractive opportunity for franchise investment.”

2023 Achievements

As a company that puts its people first and prioritizes diversity, equity, and inclusion, Noodles & Company ranked on Forbes Magazine’s respected America’s Best Employers For Diversity 2023 list. To compile this list, Forbes partnered with market research company Statista to gather its annual list and surveyed 60,000 Americans to pinpoint the companies identified as most dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Denver Business Journal also included Noodles in its 2023 Best Places to Work. Noodles was recognized by Denver Business Journal for its unique culture focused on Uncommon Goodness and built on the value of “Loving Life,” which begins by nourishing and inspiring its communities and every team member and guest who walks through the door. More than 200 Denver-based companies applied for this honor and only five brands were ultimately selected, showcasing Noodles’ distinct commitment to its team members at every level of the company.

Further affirming Noodles & Company as a top employer in the fast-casual and franchise space, QSR Magazine also recognized Noodles on its 2023 Best Brands to Work For list. QSR honored Noodles as an employer of choice for the chain’s emphasis on culture, industry-leading team member benefits, and for establishing a workplace that celebrates diversity and fosters growth.

Looking Ahead to 2024 

The various organizations that acknowledged Noodles & Company this year recognized the company’s growth trajectory and its unique value proposition as an attractive franchise venture. Building on the momentum of its latest franchise agreements, the fast-casual Noodles brand continues to expand throughout the U.S. In 2024, Noodles & Company is focused on expanding its franchise footprint in the southern region of the country and throughout the U.S. with a heightened focus on markets where it sees brand growth potential, such as Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Texas, and Oklahoma.

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