Noodles & Company announced that it has taken the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion pledge, to advance a more inclusive and diverse company culture.
Noodles and Company's CEO Dave Boennighausen joined the CEOs of nearly 2,000 leading companies and business organizations from around the country in taking the CEO Action pledge. CEOs who sign the pledge commit to elevate and support a more inclusive workplace by cultivating environments that support open dialogue on complex and difficult conversations; implementing and expanding unconscious bias education and training; sharing best-known diversity and inclusion programs; and engaging the board of directors in the development and evaluation of inclusion and diversity strategies.
"Our mission is to nourish and inspire every team member, guest, and community we serve, and by pledging our commitment to CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, we are advancing that mission. As a national business with millions of customers and thousands of employees, we have a unique opportunity – and responsibility – to influence and enact positive change in our society," says Dave Boennighausen, chief executive officer at Noodles & Company.
"This pledge complements and amplifies our proactive inclusion and diversity strategy," adds Sue Petersen, executive vice president of inclusion, diversity, and people at Noodles & Company. "Our goal is to make Noodles the best place to work in the industry, and for us, that starts with listening, learning, and acting. We have taken steps to build a company culture that is best-in-class for inclusion and diversity — taking the CEO Action Pledge is another important step toward reinforcing this commitment."
Always putting people, food, and community first.
For more than 25 years, Noodles has remained committed to nourishing and inspiring every team member, guest and community it serves. Specific milestones and accomplishments include:
People: Noodles is dedicated to being the best place to work in the industry.
Diversity and Inclusion. Noodles conducts regular listening forums across the company, has implemented an internal Inclusion & Diversity Advisory Council, and created an inclusion and diversity resource library. Noodles has also earned the Women in the Lead Certification for its investment in women-empowering initiatives for its female team members and has proudly partners with the Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance to build cultural intelligence within its teams.
Progressive Benefits Platform. Noodles offers best-in-class benefits such as paid maternity and paternity leave; surrogacy and adoption assistance; tuition reimbursement and assistance; free mental health counseling; and much more.
Career Opportunities. Noodles is committed to cultivating career growth opportunities for all team members and developing team members from within for leadership opportunities at all levels.
Philanthropic Giving. The Company further invests in team members through its own employee-funded foundation, which distributed grants to more than 800 team members in 2020.
Food: Noodles serves fresh, made to order food using the highest-quality ingredients possible without artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. With a menu that can accommodate almost any dietary lifestyle or preference, Noodles is committed to advanced animal welfare standards, minimizing food waste within the restaurant, and innovating its packaging to reduce waste. Already, 100% of eggs purchased are cage-free and the company sources 100% of its cheddar jack, Montamore, Parmesan, feta, butter and cooking cream from dairy cows that have never been given artificial growth stimulants or hormones.
Community: Noodles continues to double down its efforts to give back. In 2020, Noodles hosted 1,250 fundraising nights, giving back to local schools and organizations amidst the pandemic. Noodles & Company has also been one of the largest supporters of No Kid Hungry, raising millions of dollars to fight childhood hunger, and the company donated more than 10,000 meals to frontline workers during the height of COVID-19.
Adds Boennighausen, "I am proud of what the Noodles team has accomplished, and we'll never stop striving to make the world – starting with our restaurants – a better place."
As Noodles works to further its commitment to people, food, and community, the company will tie the progress made in these important areas to its executive annual incentive plan.