Asparagus may not be a fast-casual staple, but Noodles & Co. CEO Kevin Reddy believes the vegetable spear contributed to growth at his company’s 348 U.S. restaurants.

Increased promotion of Your World Kitchen, Noodles & Co.’s series of internationally inspired dishes—to which fresh asparagus was recently added—was cited during the company’s August 8 second-quarter earnings report as one of the driving factors to recent success.

It was the company’s first earnings report since its strong initial public offering. Reddy expressed that he was “very pleased” with the second quarter, the 15th consecutive quarter of positive comparable sales growth.

“It was a consistent quarter week-to-week,” said Dave Boennighausen, Noodles & Co. CFO, during the earnings report.

Compared with the same time frame in 2012, total revenue in Q2 increased 18.2 percent. The quarter also saw a 4.4 percent increase in sales and a 2.4 percent bump in customer traffic over 2012, though statistics were boosted slightly by an extra operating day.

Along with Your World Kitchen, management cited many reasons for the brand’s success, including an improved menuboard.

Reddy said he was especially proud of Your World Kitchen and that Noodles & Co. is “the only national chain that brings together cuisines from throughout the globe to provide a world of flavors under one roof.” 

President and COO Keith Kinsey attributed some of the success to new stores. With 13 new restaurants having opened in the second quarter, the company is on track for its projected 42 openings by year’s end. Kinsey also said that, though the company splits sales evenly between lunch and dinner, he believes the restaurants are “uniquely positioned to excel at dinner.”

Executives anticipate that the success of the second quarter will roll into the third quarter. Reddy said he has “deep confidence and belief in the brand and our ability to continue to build Noodles & Co. into an enduring, quality brand” and that he was “excited in getting up every day and doing that.”

By Zachary Henderson

Fast Casual, Finance, Growth, News, Noodles & Co.