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Noodle Box franchise plans


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#1 Mike K.

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 11:26 AM

To franchise or not to franchise: that is the Noodle Box’s question

By Lee GuilleContributor
Mar 02 2007

The Noodle Box has become so popular in Victoria for its trendy atmosphere and quality food, owners Nick Crooks and Jodi Mann are hoping to turn their restaurant into a franchise. They will be accepting applicants from entrepreneurs who want to open their own Noodle Boxes.

Just 18 months after opening their first restaurant in 2003 on Fisgard St. in Victoria, Crooks and Mann opened a second store on Douglas St. to keep up with demand.

Soon Crooks and Mann expanded their horizons and open a third store in the Kitsilano area of Vancouver. “From day one we’ve had people asking if they can buy a franchise or do business with us,” says Crooks. “We opened a third store more in the mindset of the potential. We opened up in Vancouver with a couple of our staff who moved over there. They invested and they’re our partners.”

The transition from a street vendor cart to an up-and-coming restaurant chain can be scary. Primarily their concern is whether they maintain the consistency of the product and the stores’ atmosphere if someone else runs it. “What the Noodle Box should be looking at as they consider franchising is the importance of consistency and control if there’s a new location starting in another city,” says Dr. Brent Mainprize, director of the Eric C. Douglas Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies and professor of entrepreneurship at Royal Roads. “It all comes down to the power or the quality of the manuals that are written and the training done for the franchisee.”

If the franchisees can maintain the same quality standard at all outlets their chances improve, says Mainprize.

In the restaurant industry image and quality are the first things customers notice. Franchising can lead to losing the qualities that make a restaurant unique. “When selling a franchise you’re selling a business plan or a system,” says Crooks. “Our system includes purchasing environmentally friendly paper products, organic composting, and extensive recycling. If that’s all built into the system it becomes part and parcel of what they buy into. Part our criteria in selecting applicants, is that people that we do business with share our philosophy.”

With the North American diet turning away from burgers and fries and tastes swinging towards a pan-Asian fusion style, The Noodle Box is cashing in on consumers’ renewed love of spice. Dishes like Cambodian Jungle Curry and Spicy Peanut Noodle have Victorians, and now Vancouverites, hooked. Dishes at The Noodle Box appeal to those who like food with an edge, but the restaurant’s niche market is the growing number of vegetarians and vegans who enjoy the customizable dishes. For example, a vegan dish would have soy sauce substituted instead of the fish sauce called for in the recipe.

Franchising The Noodle Box outlets may be a smart move on behalf of the owners. “It all comes down to cost and financing,”says Mainprize. “If The Noodle Box wants to create its brand across Canada and it doesn’t have the financing then franchising is a viable option.” Franchising allows The Noodle Box to grow without the need for significant capital outlay for leasehold improvements at new outlets.

The takeaway noodle bar concept is not uncommon and the food services industry is highly competitive. Crooks and Mann plan on calling attention to The Noodle Box’s ethical and environmental practices to attract the right kind of entrepreneur. “We can maintain the quality,” says Crooks. “We don’t accept any compromises in things that are important; the environment is one of those things. It’s as important as treating the staff with respect and providing good food to our customers.” Currently, The Noodle Box is partnered with reFuse recycling and BFI who service the restaurants’ in-house composting and recycling bins.

Expanding the business could be a good thing for the Noodle Box; a larger operation would provide an economy of scale when negotiating the purchase of their ingredients. “We’re not trying to grow too quickly; we’re concentrating on quality first and quantity second,” says Crooks. “The bigger it gets the harder it is to keep quality up.”

Dr. Mainprize feels “it’s a typical story of some hard working folks who have hit a really great concept locally and see the potential to take that nationally. The business moves and models they make are going to be very important.” BE

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#2 victriviaqueen

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 09:37 PM

We took offence to the Noodle Box prices for 8 cents of noodles and a few veggies and/or meat shoved into a takeout box.... so hubby reverse-engineered their style and cooks it at home.

He also [url=http://mike.dewolfe.bc.ca/cooking/noodles.asp:b9c06]posted it online[/url:b9c06].
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#3 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 10:25 PM

We took offence to the Noodle Box prices for 8 cents of noodles and a few veggies and/or meat shoved into a takeout box.... so hubby reverse-engineered their style and cooks it at home.

He also [url=http://mike.dewolfe.bc.ca/cooking/noodles.asp:7e9ca]posted it online[/url:7e9ca].


Take offence? You didn't have to buy it. I got news for ya. People pay extra to eat out.
<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><em><span style="color:rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;">"I don’t need a middle person in my pizza slice transaction" <strong>- zoomer, April 17, 2018</strong></span></em></span>

#4 Caramia

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 07:42 AM

Haha that happens to me all the time, most often at breakfast restaurants where I order the eggs benny and then get all huffy about how I make better eggs benny, and how can they charge this for two eggs, an english muffin and some hollandaise, and end up wishing I stayed home and cooked. This is why I like to go to restaurants that cook the kind of thing I would never cook at home...

I ate at the noodle box once with a friend. we had opposite tastes but were both able to find something we liked, which was cool.
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
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#5 m0nkyman

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 08:24 AM

I always think of it as getting the food at cost, and that I'm paying a lot of money to have somebody wash my dishes. ;)

#6 Icebergalley

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 09:39 AM

Please don't discount the idea that has been successfully implemented here, nor, the skill of the cooks, the flash of the place, the cost of the location, the charm of the cashiers, the choice of the music... etc...

Another successful part of Vibrant Victoria experience is my take on "the Noodle Box"..

#7 victriviaqueen

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 09:19 PM

Apparently, I touched a nerve.

Let me see, after being offended by the price, we (mostly) stopped going. I can't say we never eat there because we do... but it's still nice to be able to add another dish to the repertoire... plus one can't eat out all the time.

I was not discounting the atmosphere -- and lord knows the landlords here love to overcharge for square footage in the downtown core. In fact, I still recommend the place to friends and visitors.

I don't really have an opinion on franchising, except that I prefer the Noodle Box as the little tiny restaurant-that-could on Fisgard rather than the airy and posh Douglas street version.
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#8 TheVisionary

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 09:32 PM

We took offence to the Noodle Box prices for 8 cents of noodles and a few veggies and/or meat shoved into a takeout box.... so hubby reverse-engineered their style and cooks it at home.

He also [url=http://mike.dewolfe.bc.ca/cooking/noodles.asp:ec2e0]posted it online[/url:ec2e0].


You can't reverse engineer Noodle Box or other company's food formulas. They may send their lawyers after you for copy right, patent infringement. Secret formulas and recipes are worth big money. Just remember that "business is war, just as war is a business". Casualties and damage may exist. :?

#9 TheVisionary

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 09:38 PM

Apparently, I touched a nerve.

Let me see, after being offended by the price, we (mostly) stopped going. I can't say we never eat there because we do... but it's still nice to be able to add another dish to the repertoire... plus one can't eat out all the time.

I was not discounting the atmosphere -- and lord knows the landlords here love to overcharge for square footage in the downtown core. In fact, I still recommend the place to friends and visitors.

I don't really have an opinion on franchising, except that I prefer the Noodle Box as the little tiny restaurant-that-could on Fisgard rather than the airy and posh Douglas street version.

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The owners of Noodle Box should franchise if that's their destiny. Why remain small and quaint when you have the chance to become a Global Corporate power? Who doesn't want to become a multi-millionaire or even multi-billionaire? If the owners are on the way towards a healthy fast food empire, let them. In 10-50 years time, there maybe Noodle Boxes all over the world? The owners will then be richer than some 3rd world countries, living in a palace with all the the rich toys money can buy, socializing at the very highest levels of society. 8)

#10 mikedw

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 09:50 PM

We took offence to the Noodle Box prices for 8 cents of noodles and a few veggies and/or meat shoved into a takeout box.... so hubby reverse-engineered their style and cooks it at home.

He also [url=http://mike.dewolfe.bc.ca/cooking/noodles.asp:18f40]posted it online[/url:18f40].


You can't reverse engineer Noodle Box or other company's food formulas. They may send their lawyers after you for copy right, patent infringement. Secret formulas and recipes are worth big money. Just remember that "business is war, just as war is a business". Casualties and damage may exist. :?


Copyright infringement and patent infringement? Maybe this is how Noodle Box is going to make their cash: sue the 1.5 billion people cooking noodles on a daily basis. That, or they can charge $10 for $1 of ingredients-- the Starbucks method.

Of course if Noodle Box wants to kick off the bevy of lawsuits, they can go down the street to Fantan Cafe. They're doing a box of noodles for two-thirds the price. A nice alternative if you do want take-away noodles and don't want the attitude.

- Mike

#11 gumgum

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 10:16 PM

Mike, start a thread on Fantan Cafe, will ya?
Sounds intriguing.

#12 LJ

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 09:53 PM

You're complaining about paying 8 bucks for a fresh cooked meal made to your specifications?

Give your head a shake!
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#13 TheVisionary

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 11:54 PM

We took offence to the Noodle Box prices for 8 cents of noodles and a few veggies and/or meat shoved into a takeout box.... so hubby reverse-engineered their style and cooks it at home.

He also [url=http://mike.dewolfe.bc.ca/cooking/noodles.asp:356c6]posted it online[/url:356c6].


You can't reverse engineer Noodle Box or other company's food formulas. They may send their lawyers after you for copy right, patent infringement. Secret formulas and recipes are worth big money. Just remember that "business is war, just as war is a business". Casualties and damage may exist. :?


Copyright infringement and patent infringement? Maybe this is how Noodle Box is going to make their cash: sue the 1.5 billion people cooking noodles on a daily basis. That, or they can charge $10 for $1 of ingredients-- the Starbucks method.

Of course if Noodle Box wants to kick off the bevy of lawsuits, they can go down the street to Fantan Cafe. They're doing a box of noodles for two-thirds the price. A nice alternative if you do want take-away noodles and don't want the attitude.

- Mike

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My past and present posts must surely display my right wing, capitalistic, hardass nature by now? Making tonnes of money and power is extremely sexy and promotes a sense of self confidence. I loved it when Gordon Gecko, from the movie Wall Street, said, "Greed, for a lack of a better word is GOOD!" The methods of obtaining the said wealth is "subjective".

I've sold stuff on Ebay and Used Victoria for several times the money I paid for them. Non-profit and break even are words that are dirty to me. What dummy wants to break even? The more profits the better; you can roll around naked on the piles of profits if that turns you on.

Noodle Box has more "hip and cool" hotties working for them then Fantan Cafe. I'd be happy to pay more for eye candy. It's the same for any business. I'm glad my HBC store seem to hire a lot of hotties to work the cash desk. I always look forward to their PA pages for assistance from me. It amuses me. That's the secret! Hire more hotties and you can charge more prices! Look at Earl's and Cactus Club; I start to drool even before I get to see the menu. :shock:

#14 Holden West

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 12:34 AM

Your appreciation of the female form combined with your love of excess wealth must make you appear extremely attractive to women. You should leave some for the rest of us chumps.
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#15 amor de cosmos

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 11:56 AM

Your appreciation of the female form combined with your love of excess wealth must make you appear extremely attractive to women. You should leave some for the rest of us chumps.

he sounds like he's never seen a woman before :roll:

#16 TheVisionary

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 01:31 PM

Your appreciation of the female form combined with your love of excess wealth must make you appear extremely attractive to women. You should leave some for the rest of us chumps.

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Oh yeah, I'm going to be a 65 year old virgin! What are women? They seem to have bumps in different places than us guys? I wonder what's it for?

I appreciate good food and lots of entertainment. It's like being Emperor with your harem, palace, and large dinner parties with your top officials or courtiers. Who said money can't buy you love? I go out to some of the nice eating places in Greater Victoria with some of my friends and associates and we get lots of female server attention when we throw some money around.

I'm not chunky or ugly, but even If it's so, the babes will still find you hot if you were a rich, ugly fart. The fatter the wallet, the more it overcomes one's other short comings.

Yes, Noodle Box should franchise and push it as far as it will go. They deserve to get rich for their creativity. I wish my apartment building owner mother had more business smarts, we could have been wealthier if she didn't miss out on opportunities before the real estate boom. It's disappointing to be only comfortable. Noodle Box, don't make the same mistake of letting this chance slip away! :(

#17 Caramia

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 11:28 PM

How did visionary just make Noodle Box about his libido?
:smt017
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

#18 jklymak

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Posted 01 July 2007 - 07:13 AM

I don't know about anyone's libido, but I would be very surprised if Noodle Box were be able to successfully expand. I've been three times because everyone raves about them, and each time I've been served a crudely spiced, very salty dish. Victoria loves Noodle Box for some reason, and maybe it is the hotties behind the counter, but I don't think they'd make it in a town with a decent supply of cheap authentic SE Asian places.

#19 Baro

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Posted 01 July 2007 - 01:34 PM

I don't get noodle box either. It's expensive and mediocre. For $5 sure I could see every 20 something rushing there for cheap good noodles. but for 9-10 bucks??? Seems all image and trendiness to me.
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#20 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 01 July 2007 - 02:59 PM

^ and ^^ : agree totally. Highly overrated. Maybe I'm just a grump, but it seems to me there's a great readiness to overrate restaurants in Victoria. Brasserie l'Ecole, for example, gets these rave reviews. I've gone -- admittedly just the once -- and was sooo disappointed. We ordered what in France is basically a standard-anyone-can-do-this dish: steak frite (steak & fries), and the fries were awful, the steak was like something from the bottom of a shoe, and the killer was the price (too high for such a simple, any-idiot-can-do-this dish, which came without any trimmings and was stingily apportioned, too). The service was less than attentive. I think people buy into atmosphere too much, even if it's fake (which it usually is): they're so desperate to have something slightly exotic or glamorous or foreign or whatever, that they stop paying attention to the quality of the food. Call me stupid, but when I go out to eat, the quality of the food has the highest priority. Service is almost as important. Atmosphere is a bonus. I know I'm not really in a brasserie in an old school or in Paris or even in old Montreal, no matter how low the lights are (which just means you can't see the food on your plate as well), just as Noodle Box doesn't put me in Vietnam.

Ooooh boy, should I hit "submit" on this one? I can just see the hazing I'll get on this, just like everytime someone says anything critical about any sacred cow around here... :shock:
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