COVID-19  October 2, 2020

Noodles claws back from COVID sales slip

BROOMFIELD — Noodles & Co. (Nasdaq: NDLS) company-owned restaurants tallied a 1.1% year-over-year sales increase for a five-week period ending Sept. 29, an indication that the fast-casual pasta chain is in a strong position to weather the COVID-19 crisis. 

“I continue to be proud of the outstanding efforts of our teams and the resiliency of the Noodles & Company brand that has been demonstrated during the past several months,” Noodles CEO Dave Boennighausen said in a statement accompanying the firm’s third-quarter preliminary, unaudited earnings report. “Our return to positive comparable sales, aided by impressive digital growth, is evidence of our strong brand positioning to meet the needs of today’s consumer for great tasting healthy food served conveniently where and when guests want it. We also took steps during the third quarter to further strengthen our balance sheet during the quarter and have set our business up for accelerated new unit growth.”

Systemwide, Noodles restaurants posted a lower 0.4% sales growth figure over the recent five-week period. That’s because franchise restaurant locations saw year-over-year sales fall 3.2%. Comparable systemwide sales for the full third quarter declined 3.8%

Noodles’ preliminary third-quarter revenue totaled about $106.3 million, down $12 million from the same period in 2019.

“I am particularly proud of our sales performance in this environment given that only in the past few days have many of our restaurants re-opened for in-restaurant dining to complement our off-premise and patio dining efforts. As of September 30th, over 90% of our restaurants have opened their dining rooms,” Boennighausen said in a statement.

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