Noodles' executive management team has a combined 25 years of experience with Chipotle. This, combined with Noodles' niche fast-casual concept, profitable growth, and cash flow generation, could propel the long-term success of the business and reward patient shareholders of Noodles. I will likely open a position in Noodles should the stock take a hit from current levels.
Chairman and CEO Kevin Reddy, who joined Noodles in 2005, has had a lot to do with that success. When Restaurant Business magazine named Reddy the Entrepreneur of the Year in 2009, the magazine observed that Reddy had "assembled a management team that together has bucked the recent industrywide inclination to hunker down and play defense" since taking the helm of Noodles in 2005.
Just who else makes up this management team? For starters, it is important to note that Reddy joined Noodles after spending seven years in various leadership roles with Chipotle, including chief operating officer, chief operations officer and restaurant support officer. (Reddy also spent fifteen years with McDonald's) But the Chipotle connections do not stop there.
Keith Kinsey, Noodles' Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer, also spent five years with Chipotle before joining Noodles with Reddy in 2005. Kinsey served as Chipotle's Pacific Regional Director, playing a leadership role in Chipotle's operations and expansion on the West Coast.
In 2009, the Denver Business Journal named Kinsey the CFO of the Year, noting Kinsey's work ethic, experience with both finances and operations, and a commitment to personal integrity and business vision. "From a character perspective, integrity is important," says Kinsey, "and from a business perspective, vision is important."
Finally, Phil Petrelli, Noodles' Executive Vice President of Operations, spent thirteen years with Chipotle before joining Noodles in 2012. While at Chipotle Petrelli filled a variety of operations positions, most notably as Regional Director for the Northeast Region where he oversaw 268 Chipotle restaurants.
These three gentlemen bring to Noodles & Company a combined 25 years of experience from Chipotle. This is significant because Chipotle is arguably the success story of the restaurant industry, and particularly fast-casual restaurants, over the past decade.
How Noodles & Company Can Grow Faster Than Chipotle [more]
Here is a brief piece I put together following a recent article from Warren Buffett encouraging parents to start early when teaching kids about money, finance, and investing: [more]
I've always enjoyed following and investing in restaurants. Restaurants can be some of the most relatable businesses for individual investors, especially teens and young adults, to understand and follow. Restaurants also give investors the excuse to eat out under the guise of evaluating the business, just the type of research you might expect Peter Lynch do on potential holdings in the Magellan Fund. Restaurants become all the more exciting for investors when you have innovative players, such as Starbucks, Chipotle, and Buffalo Wild Wings, who master and expand a niche concept nationally and, in some cases, globally. [more]