Noodles and Company Startup Story

Noodles and Company was started by founder Aaron Kennedy at the age of 33 in 1995 with $250,000 raised from 25 private investors, friends, and family.

Founder of Noodles & Company: Aaron Kennedy

Age at Founding: 33

When: 1995

Industry: Restaurants

Annual Revenue: $220.8MM

# of Employees: 5,444

Famous For: Fast Casual Noodle Dishes

The Founder's Start: Dining at a Thai Noodle Shop inspired this entrepreneur’s idea of creating a noodle shop that would appeal to patrons of all cultures.

Prior Experience: Brand manager for Pepsi Cola and Oscar Mayer Lunchables

Startup Capital: 1995: $250k raised from 25 private investors, friends & family.

Follow on Funding: 
1998: $1MM
1999: $3.2 MM
2002: $10MM

First Year Revenue: $100,000 Year's to Profitability: 11 months.

Important Startup Milestones for Noodles & Company:

1995: The first Noodles & Company restaurant opens in Denver, Colorado
1996: A negative review of the store prompts the company to refine its concept.
1998: With five restaurants in operation, revenues reach $2.4 million.
2000: The company accelerates growth with ten new store openings.
2001: Named a "Hot Concept." by Nation's Restaurant News
2002: Raises $10MM via a private stock offering to provide working and expansion capital.
2012: Noodles & Company opens it’s 300th location.

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