Noodles & Company, a nationally recognized Fast Casual chain known for its mix of the world’s favorite noodle dishes cooked fresh to order, sought out solutions to expand their market share and encourage new and returning customers to try more of their menu offerings. The Howard Company/Howard Menus accepted the challenge to redesign their interior menu boards and point‐of‐purchase displays, offering a product visually pleasing and easily updated.
Noodles management researched ways to expand their customer base and encourage customers to try new menu items after evaluations indicated repeat orders as standard during restaurant visits. Howard Menus was tasked with submitting prototype drawings, then building menu board and greeting wall samples showing a more dynamic menu display customers could easily reference. Complicating the redesign task was adapting the displays to fit varying store layouts. Howard Menus test marketed their designs in eight restaurants in the metro‐Denver area.
Completed installations were evaluated by a board of individuals from both corporate and franchisee leadership. An assessment period followed, evaluating day‐to‐day sales, repeat business, and noting if repeat customers tried different fare offered on the new picture menu boards. Return visits and new item sales figures were markedly increased at all locations, and managers noted a much wider variety of products was being ordered by their customers.
Noodles corporate expanded testing nationwide at 35 existing locations and five new restaurant openings. The same assessment process was conducted at the new locations.
By September 2012, sales indications were up, return visits were up, and most importantly, new item sales were up now that guests could see pictures of the various menu items offered from the more visual menu board.