Noodles & Co. Taps New Agency

Noodles & Company says it has hired Fortnight Collective as its new creative agency of record, specifically for its speed. 

“We picked Fortnight because of its unique agency models,” says Stacey Pool, chief marketing officer at Noodles & Company. “It has a very special, fast creative approach.”

She says Fortnight's rapid marketing prototyping is more important than ever, as the Broomfield, Colorado-based fast-casual chain scurries to keep up with changing consumer preferences amid the pandemic. 

Pool tells QSR Land the Company started working with the agency on projects earlier this year, including new products like Perfect Bowls and Family Meals. This year’s National Mac & Cheese Day also helped by celebrating the 450-unit chain’s most popular menu item.

Fortnight' first effort in the year ahead will be launching Cauliflower Gnocchi, a new product Noodles & Co. has been perfecting for the last 18 months.

Fortnight is based in Boulder, Colorado.

Pool says speed is becoming increasingly important as Noodles & Company improves its use of data. “So we can see more quickly if videos aren’t working in a certain market, for example, and perhaps switch to a different asset, or increase spending. Some markets are more sensitive to changing COVID trends, and we can react faster by analyzing performance.”

In October, the restaurant company reported third-quarter revenue of $106 million, down from $118.3 million in the third quarter of the prior year. And comparable unit sales fell by 3.8%. But digital sales soared 151% as consumers switched to online ordering, and those transactions accounted for 61% of sales.

Pool says that Noodles & Company is finding its hyper-focus on safety for staff and customers contributes to its success. While it may seem like all chains are doubling down on maintaining COVID precautions, consumers do see differences. “We have found our efforts are a big differentiator for us.”

And while some of that issue may fade as the world drifts towards its next normal, “we think consumers will stay loyal to the brands that are most convenient, reliable and innovative.”

She says brands that meet those needs are comforting, and not just in a mac 'n' cheese way.  “People will stick with companies that make their lives easier.”

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