The story of Noodles & Company starts in the trendy Greenwich Village in New York City when a 33-year-old brand manager for Pepsi stopped in Mamie’s Asian Noodle Shop for a bite to eat. Arron Kennedy was not only hungry, but he was also busy. When he arrived at dinner that evening, he brought with him an extensive background in the food and entertainment industry. His resume included directing brand images for Coke, Swiss Army, and the PGA Tour. If that weren’t enough, he had also brought to the table that night a position as a brand manager for Pepsi as well as a critical player in the development of Lunchables (over a $1 billion brand) for Oscar Mayer. Not bad for someone only 33 years old.
The idea was instant that afternoon; there just weren’t enough noodle restaurants around. Kennedy knew that noodles were an everyday food staple for the majority of the world and with his food industry background, he decided then and there to start his restaurant. Some restaurant chains develop over the years, Noodles & Co was born in less than an hour as Kennedy left that evening knowing just what to do. Following a relocation to Denver, he did just that opening the first location in 1995.
General Restaurant Information
Food Type: Asian
Restaurant Type: Fast Casual
U.S. Locations: 530
States: 29 states, Noodles & Co Locations
Company Slogan: Serve fresh food fast
Questions: Contact Information
Phone number: 720-214-1900
Email: Contact Form Only
FAQ Page: Frequently Asked Questions
Who Owns Noodles & Co? Noodles & Company
Headquartered: Broomfield, Colorado
Website: Noodles Investment Contact
Email/contact page: Contact Noodles Investment
Address: 520 Zang Street, Broomfield, CO 80021
Do They Franchise? Franchise Information
What Is It Like To Work At Noodles & Co?
3.6/5 or 72%; 1,100 Reviews (indeed.com)
3.4/5, or 68%; 801 Reviews (glassdoor.com)
What to expect when working at Noodles & Company (job-applications.com)
The History of Noodles & Company
Original Location: 2360 East Third Avenue, Denver, Colorado
Founded: October 6, 1995
Founded By: Aaron Kennedy
Aaron Kennedy (bencolorado.org)
Founder Obituary: Still Living
Name Origin: Aaron didn’t feel there were enough restaurants focusing on Noodles thus the name.
Startup Story (fundable.com)
Noodles & Co, Inc. History (fundinguniverse.com)
History of Noodles & Company (fastfoodmenuprices.com)
How a Pasta Chain Punked Wall Street (thedailybeast.com)
Charity Focus: Employee Hardships
Green | Eco-Friendly: No resources found
Animal Cruelty: Most restaurants have nothing to say on this issue; however Noodles has a page on their site dedicated to it. In fact, they may have the most information you will find on a restaurant page. You can read about their dedication here on their official site. They also published an article entitled Company Announces Expanded Animal Welfare Initiatives (investor.noodles.com). And you can read how their food is made different as well which also relates to their stance on animals. In addition to that, there are some external articles as well.
Noodles Switching to Cage Free Eggs (huffingtonpost.com)
Noodles & Co Uses 100% Cage Free Eggs (cagefreefuture.com)
Discounts At Noodles & Co
Rewards Program: Noodles & Company Reward Program
Do Kids Eat Free at Noodles & Company?
Summary: Noodles may occasionally offer promotions or coupons, but nothing ongoing.
Does Noodles & Co Offer Military Discounts?
Summary: Their official website currently states the following –
Team members who have served or continue to serve in the U.S. armed forces will be given a paid floating holiday…
Noodles & Company will continue to offer a 15% discount on orders every day to guests who present a valid first responder, military or veteran’s ID card – not just on Veteran’s Day.
What do I get for free on my Birthday?
Summary: The Noodles & Co website states the following is offered for those in their rewards program –
As of 1/1/18, the birthday Rice Crispy Treat has been transitioned over to the NoodlesREWARDS program. The birthday treat had previously come from our Noodles EClub, which is a separate program. Make sure your birthday is in your NoodlesREWARDS profile in order to receive the special treat. It will be delivered to your account on your birthday and will be valid for two weeks.
Does Noodles & Co Offer First Responder Discounts?
Summary: Yes (and every day!), they are one of the few restaurants that do. The following was found in the investment section of their site –
Noodles & Company will continue to offer a 15% discount on orders every day to guests who present a valid first responder, military or veteran’s ID card – not just on Veteran’s Day
Does Noodles & Company Offer Senior Citizen | AARP Discounts?
Summary: No discounts found for senior citizens
Are There Any Other Discounts or Benefits at Noodles & Co?
Summary: See their rewards program page for all the current benefits being offered.
Order Online: Online Order
WiFi Available: Yes
Use Apple Pay: No
Catering: Noodles & Co Catering
Open 24 Hours: No
Customer Reviews of Noodles & Company
Yelp: 3.20/5 or 64%, 653 reviews sampled
Tripadvisor: 4.00/5 or 80%, 424 reviews sampled
Facebook: 3.99/5 or 80%, 628 reviews sampled
Overall Average: 3.73/5 or 75%, 1,705 reviews sampled
Food & Nutrition
Menu: Noodles & Company Menu
Kids Menu: Noodles & Company Kids Menu
Secret Menu: No resources found
Most Popular Menu Item: Wisconsin Mac and Cheese
Coke or Pepsi Products: Coke
Does Noodles Serve Alcohol: No
Nutritional Information: Information given by clicking on each individual menu item.
Vegetarian | Vegan Options: Few restaurants cater to vegetarians and vegans like Noodles. Their site has resources here in their FAQ section.
Ranked: Fast Food Options for Vegetarians (ohmyveggies.com)
Noodles vegan options (cadryskitchen.com)
Noodles & Co Menu – Vegan Options (approvedeats.com)
A Vegan’s Guide to Noodles & Company (kaleandcotton.com)
Noodles & Co Vegan Options (vrg.org)
Noodles & Co Is Vegan-Friendly And Totally Yummy! (veganbanana.com)
Noodles and Co Vegan Menu (urbantastebud.com)
145 Vegan Chain Restaurant Menus Every Vegan Needs to Know (urbantastebud.com)
Your Best Vegan Option at 35 Popular Restaurants (eatthis.com)
Farm to Table | Organic Options | Clean | Non-GMO: Noodles & Co hangs their hat here and you can read all about how their food is “made different”, especially from their fast-casual competitors.
America’s 10 Healthiest Chain Restaurants (#10) (thedailymeal.com)
Noodles & Co. announces clean label commitment (bakingbusiness.com)
Miscellaneous Nutrition Resources:
The 15 Healthiest Restaurant Meals of 2017 (#8) (eatthis.com)
Noodles & Company to Introduce Low-Carb Options (tasteaholics.com)
Zoodles Are Here At Noodles & Co (bloomandbundle.com)
My Food Diary – Noodles & Co (myfooddiary.com)
Noodles and Company Nutrition (thedailymeal.com)
Allergen Information: The site doesn’t have a one-page guide but rather shows nutritional information for each menu item you click on.
Gluten Free Options:
Eating Gluten-Free at Noodles and Co (goodforyouglutenfree.com)
12 Noodles & Co Gluten-Free Menu Items You Didn’t Know About (spoonuniversity.com)
Gluten-Free Mac & Cheese at Noodles & Co. (glutenfreeliving.com)
Noodles and Company Gluten-Free Menu (nogluten.io)
Noodles and Company Gluten Free Menu (glutenfreeguidehq.com)
Go Gluten-Free, Vegan at Noodles & Company! (ashleysgreenlife.com)
Dairy Free Options:
Noodles & Co Dairy Free Options (godairyfree.org)
Peanut Free Options: No resources found, but the following may be helpful to you.
Ways to Eliminate Risks of Peanut Allergy When Dining Out (healthguidance.org)
Food Allergy Guides for Many Chain Restaurants (verywellhealth.com)
Allergy Eats (allergyeats.com)
Does Noodles & Co Have Any Secret Recipes?
Noodles & Company Secret Recipes:
Mac & Cheese (abc.com)
Mac & Cheese (genuiskitchen.com)
Copycat Noodles & Company Parmesan Chicken and Buttered Noodles (thegunnysack.com)
Noodles & Company Penne Rosa with Parmesan Crusted Chicken (recipesecrets.net)
Copycat Noodles and Co (pinterest.com)
Did You Know?
Before starting Noodles, Aaron Kennedy worked as a product, and brand manager for Pepsi and Oscar Mayer helping develop and launch the Lunchables brand. (source)
Kennedy left Noodles in 2008 after 13 years with the company he founded. (source)
Although the company found success with the flagship restaurant in Denver, the second store (Madison, Wisconsin) almost destroyed the company after a terrible review from a Wisconsin State Journal critic. Only two months after the report was published Noodles was barely covering expenses. Fortunately, they used the criticism and backlash as an opportunity to get better. (source)
The inspiration for the restaurant came from a Thai restaurant, Mamie’s Asian Noodle Shop, in New York’s Greenwich Village. (source)
When the first restaurant opened in 1995, the menu consisted of nine noodle dishes, four salads, and two soups.
80% of the over 500 locations are company-owned, and approximately only 20% are franchised. (source)
Their most popular menu item, Wisconsin Mac & Cheese, has been served over 50 million times since the company began in 1995. (source)
The restaurant has a “no tipping” policy. (source)
Stores in Canada serve breakfast, but there are no (current) plans of bringing that to the U.S.(source)
There are over 120 menu combinations to pick from if you want to be creative. (source)
10 Things You Didn’t Know Noodles & Company (thrillist.com)
4 Things You Didn’t Know about Noodles & Company (medium.com)
14 Popular Menu Items Worth Trying at Noodles & Co (wadinginbigshoes.com)
Noodles & Company Review (dailydishrecipes.com)
Noodles & Company on Amazon
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Followers (as of August 2018) –
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Better Options: Coming Soon
Similar Restaurants: Panda Express
Noodles & Company offers both a different option from traditional restaurants in the fast-casual industry. They have some work to do earning a low B rating in customer satisfaction across the board. Beyond that, they have a lot to offer as it relates to providing different menu items than most, giving a lot of options for those looking for healthier food, vegetarian menu choices, and opportunities for those who care about animal rights when dining out.