Noodles & Co. is testing a new base for its pasta dishes: veggie noodles.
The noodles are made from zucchinis that are spiralized daily in Noodles & Co. restaurants.
Customers can order the noodles as a base for any pasta dish on the menu for an additional $US1.50.
The veggie noodles are available starting Wednesday at the company’s restaurants in Baltimore and Broomfield, Colorado.
Noodles & Co. is adding the new base to appeal to customers who want to “build healthier eating habits” and avoid grains, gluten, and carbs for dietary or medical reasons, according to Jonathan Tress, vice president of marketing at Noodles & Co.
The noodles also tap into a growing trend, said Nick Graff, executive chef at Noodles & Co.
“Pasta alternatives made from fresh vegetables is a growing trend that we’ve been developing for quite some time,” Graff said.
Noodles & Co. is trying to appeal to health-conscious customers as it struggles to turn business around following years of operating losses and weak same-store sales. In the most recent quarter, operating losses widened to $US28 million from $US2.4 million last year and same-store sales fell 2%.
Operating losses totalled $US67.5 million last year and $US21 million in 2015.
The chain has been closing restaurants, slimming down its menu, and considering a name change to boost sales.
But it still has more work to do. Within the last year, the company’s stock has lost more than 41% of its value.
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