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Noodles and Company expands ghost kitchen program with San Jose opening

Fast casual’s second ghost kitchen part of broader strategy to penetrate new markets

Noodles and Company launched a new ghost kitchen in San Jose as part of a test program. This follows its first ghost kitchen opening in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood this May. The move is part of a larger digital strategy, allowing the fast-casual pasta-bowl-centric chain to enter new markets.

The Central San Jose ghost kitchen on 949 Ruff Drive will accept orders placed on the Rewards App and from third-party delivery partners. Growth through ghost kitchens has emerged as a top way for restaurant chains to continue to grow their presence without the typical cost of a brick-and-mortar restaurant.

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Noodle’s ghost kitchen will take orders for delivery and carryout.

“We are very excited to open our second ghost kitchen location and grow our presence in San Jose,” said Stacey Pool, chief marketing officer at Noodles and Company. “San Jose is an emerging market for us, and with this ghost kitchen test, we’ll be able to gain valuable insights on market trends and guest dynamics in the region. We’ll also be able to leverage these learnings for franchise opportunities in new markets, along with the expansion of our ghost kitchen concept.”

The Denver, Colo.-based Noodles chain reported digital sales growth of 15% in Q2 2021, accounting for 56% of total sales. Accelerated by the pandemic and spread of COVID-19, customers’ adoption of off-premises consumption has become permanent and fueled the need for restaurants to implement convenient ordering mechanisms and well-defined delivery, carryout and catering programs.

According to data in the National Restaurant Association’s State of the Restaurant Industry Report, 52% of customers would like restaurants to invest in technology to make ordering & payment easier, 49% in more convenient carryout and delivery options.

Pool added, “With various restaurant formats, we’re excited to capitalize on the rapidly growing delivery market and add new ways to serve our guests delicious noodle dishes with a side of convenience.”

Noodles and Company ghost kitchen, 949 Ruff Drive, San Jose, CA 95110

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