Noodles’ new brand identity comes with big benefits for employees

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Photo courtesy of Noodles & Company

Marketing bites

Welcome to RB’s weekly roundup of the latest developments in restaurant marketing.

Noodles & Company Wednesday launched a new brand identity that connects its food, service and workplace culture.

Uncommon Goodness, the noodle chain’s new brand positioning, may seem a little unspecific.

But the launch coincides with very concrete actions taken by Noodles, particularly around social benefits:

  • Company adds immigration reimbursement, up to $500 every two years, for employees seeking to renew or obtain citizenship or work authorization, or support immigration status
  • Noodles General Managers can participate in a new General Manager Partnership Program. Those who achieve certain short-term and long-term goals will receive $50,000 of restricted stock units after three years of entering the program.
  • Assistant and senior general managers can get up to $625 each year in Balance Bucks, in reimbursements for gym memberships, pet adoption, cleaning services and other things to improve mental, physical and financial well-being.
  • The channel will host quarterly mental health workshops, both virtual and in-person.
  • Noodles is adding employee resource groups for the LGBTQIA+ community and allies, and for BIPOC team members and allies.

In addition to employee benefits, Noodles is hiring a team of Uncommon Goodness Ambassadors who will be primarily responsible for surprising and delighting customers, i.e. “doing exceptionally good things for Noodles customers at the restaurant, digitally on social media and through in-person activations within their communities,” the brand said in a statement.

The new brand identity is linked to the launch of Noodles’ new LEANguini, a low-carb, high-protein pasta that took two years to develop. It’s only available to rewards members until May 18.

The 450-unit lunch and dinner chain said it also plans to launch an ad campaign featuring ‘Noodles’ Biggest Fan’, who is described as ‘an unusually charming and quirky guest who epitomizes why our brand is so unique and unexpected”.

“And that’s just the beginning – you’ll see Uncommon Goodness guiding the way we conduct ourselves as a company as we infuse even more Uncommon Goodness into everything we do,” CMO Stacey Pool said in a statement.

Sweetgreen gets another pro-athlete ambassador

sweetgreenwho previously recruited tennis star Naomi Osaka to represent the salad chain, adds NBA player Devin Booker to the list.

To showcase Booker, Sweetgreen launched a new campaign to highlight its DIY bowls, noting that more than 65% of digital orders include at least some personalization.

Osaka and Booker worked with Sweetgreen’s culinary team to perfect their custom take-out orders, the channel said, and the two athletes will star in a national ad campaign.

“We ushered in powerful change in the food industry with Naomi last year and together we considered who else to take on this journey,” brand manager Nathaniel Ru said in a statement. “We wanted an athlete who spoke about the importance of healthy living and Devin was a natural fit.”

El Pollo Loco ignites for Cinco de Mayo

Fire-grilled chicken string El Pollo Loco is once again teaming up with hot sauce brand Tapatio for Cinco de Mayo.

The chain is giving away limited-edition bottles of the hot sauce with all digital orders on Thursday and is also giving out prizes every five minutes for five hours on Instagram.

“To celebrate our third year of partnership with Tapatio, we’ve created a special limited-edition bottle of hot sauce to give away to our family of fans and the awesome cult following of Tapatio hot sauce lovers,” said CMO Andy. Rebhun in a statement.

Giving Mom an Awkward Family Photo

Chicken finger chain At Zaxby’s wants you to give mom an awkward family photo for Mother’s Day.

At Zaxby's

Awkward family photo of Zaxby / Photo courtesy of Zaxby’s

The brand asks customers to upload family photos to Twitter, so it can randomly select “Zaxify” portraits.

Who knows? Maybe adding a Zaxby mascot and a giant platter of chicken fingers to your family portrait might actually make things better.

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