Summary: Noodles & Co. is a new restaurant with seven locations across Utah (see their website for a list of locations). They have all types of noodles dishes, from Italian to Asian, and even some noodle-less dishes. The food is pretty good, but the price is quite high. They stand to profit quite handsomely from people realizing that the Atkin's diet is not healthy and that a well-balanced diet with exercise will lead to healthier weight loss than starving their bodies from carbohydrates. The restaurant is not fast food, but not quite a sit-down restaurant. It is comparable to Fazoli's - you walk through a line to order and they give you a number to display at your table, then bring you your food.
They have a pretty good selection of dishes that ranges from Asian to Indian to Italian. I was impressed by the breadth of their menu - I cannot think of another restaurant that has such variety across different cultural foods.
The food was pretty good. One thing to keep in mind, though, is if they say that a dish is spicy, the dish is spicy. My wife and I have noticed that if a restaurant in Utah warns that something is spicy, it is usually medium. Not so at Noodles and Company - when they say something is spicy, plan on having smoke come out of your ears.
The cashier that took our order surprised me with how polite and well-mannered he was. It was definitely a higher-quality employee than you are going to find at a fast food restaurant.
This place is expensive! My wife and I just ordered two normal sized meals (no appetizers, extras or dessert, just entrees and a drink) and we paid $20. Fazoli's is a much better choice if you are pinching pennies.
Reasonable Sales Tactics
One thing really bothered me about eating at Noodles & Co. When you order a dish, they have a flat price for the dish, but apparently it is extra to have meat or tofu added to the noodles. After I ordered my dish, the cashier said "And would you like shrimp or chicken with that?" I assumed that it was included with the dish, but after checking the receipt, realized that it was an extra $2.50. The same thing happened to my wife. Just be careful and make sure to ask if it is included with the dish, because most likely any meat that you get will not be included.
Update: I just found my receipt from eating at Noodles and Co., and apparently they actually did this twice. The cashier also asked us if we wanted flatbread or a roll - we each got flatbread and were charged sixty cents for each piece of bread. Now, I probably would have been willing to pay sixty cents for the bread (it was really good), but it's not good customer service and has left a really bad taste in my mouth (that will last much longer than the taste of the moist flatbread).
Problem Resolution NA
I didn't really feel like this was a big enough problem to warrant confronting them about it. However, I am considering making the suggestion to the home office that they train their employees to make it clear that it is an additional charge. The money itself doesn't bother me as much as the fact that I feel like my ignorance was taken advantage of.
The price does not justify the quality of the food. It was pretty good, but not a place that I am going to put way up on the "I can't wait to go back again" list - especially since I feel like they used a dirty sales technique to get me to spend more. If you want to try something new, Noodles and Company might be for you. As I mentioned before, if you are dating on dimes, you are probably better off sticking with Fazoli's or something similar.
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