Many casual dining restaurants are reopening dining rooms as restrictions ease across the United States. But, limited-service brands like Noodles & Company are not in a huge rush to throw open their dining room doors.
One reason: digital sales are up 50% in April compared to March and up 99% compared to 2019. Loyalty membership has grown to more than 3 million members since the new program launched last fall.
Photo: Stacey Pool, CMO of Noodles & Company
Like other limited-service brands, Noodles has been leaning into its well-oiled digital ordering platforms during the coronavirus pandemic. Specifically, the Broomfield, Colo.-based fast-casual chain has been engaging consumers through its loyalty program, which is seeing about a 40% growth in daily sign-ups.
Under the direction of Chief Marketing Officer Stacey Pool, the chain is leveraging the loyalty program by creating special promotions aimed at consumers sheltering at home. The latest is the Tour de Noodles challenge, where guests earn a free entree after sampling four different items from the brand’s globally inspired menu.
Noodles is calling it a culinary staycation. Pool said it’s a fun way to nudge rewards members to go out of their comfort zone.
“We find that [some] guests love to order the same thing over and over. It’s very much a comfort or security thing,” Pool said during a recent Zoom chat with Nation’s Restaurant News.
Tour de Noodles allows guests to be rewarded for experiencing “amazing flavors” from the menu that they might not otherwise try, said Pool, tapped as the chain’s CMO in late 2019.
To learn more about Noodles marketing successes during the COVID-19 crisis, watch on our Zoom interview.
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