SOURCE: Noodles & Company

Noodles & Company

December 10, 2009 09:02 ET

Just What the World Needs, Another Gift Card

Noodles & Company Adds Personalization to the Impersonal

BROOMFIELD, CO--(Marketwire - December 10, 2009) - The gift card has become ubiquitous over the holidays with hundreds of identical cards available at convenience stores. Now, Noodles & Company hopes to change all that with the launch of the Lunch Buddy Gift Card. This personalized gift card sits on a tabletop easel and displays the giver's photo -- allowing the recipient to "gaze gratefully" at their buddy's image while enjoying lunch at Noodles, knowing that the buddy has already picked up the tab.

The Lunch Buddy Gift Card allows users to give a little of themselves by purchasing a gift card either online or at any Noodles & Company restaurant location. The card is equipped with its own easel and features the line, "Have lunch with me, anytime." To personalize the card, the user can visit the Lunch Buddy Support Center to upload and print their photo.

"It's a sea of sameness out there and gift cards, while a great last minute gift idea, seem impersonal," said Jill Preston, director of communications at Noodles & Company. "So we wanted to provide a fun, personalized alternative. If you aren't able to actually meet up with that friend, you can buy a Lunch Buddy Gift Card and feel good knowing you've made someone smile."

Introducing the first virtual "lunch" date

Noodles & Company allows gift-givers to have a little fun while personalizing the card and setting up a virtual lunch date. Those who order cards online can choose to upload and resize a photo of themselves or they can use a webcam to take a photo right there. Or, if they are feeling un-photogenic that day, they can select a photo of a stand-in "buddy" from a photo gallery provided on the site. Givers can even guarantee their buddy's availability for the virtual lunch date by using a calendar blocker feature to choose a specific day and time for the lunch.

Lunch Buddy cards are available in any amount at a Noodles location, or in $20 amounts if ordered online. And, like a buddy, the cards never expire. They can be reloaded at any Noodles location and reused for as many "lunch dates" as desired.

Lunch Buddy Photo Contest

Gift givers also are invited to participate in the Lunch Buddy Photo Contest launching in mid-December through www.lunchbuddycard.com. Participants will be asked to upload a photo of themselves and their buddy spending quality time together in addition to a description of the activity. Visitors to the site can then vote on the photo that they believe captures the true essence of buddy time. The winner with the most votes during the contest period will receive free Noodles for an entire year and will be known ever after as the "Buddiest Buddy."

"The Lunch Buddy Gift Card is the perfect stocking stuffer for family members across the country or in the military, friends with busy schedules or grandparents who can't get enough of their grandchildren," Preston added. "It's a way to really be there for your buddy, even when you can't be -- sort of."

About Noodles & Company

Noodles & Company is about serving real food, real quick. Our menu features made-to-order noodles, soups and salads inspired from around the world that make everyone happy from kids to adults. Think Mac & Cheese, Pad Thai, Chinese Chop Salad and Pesto Cavatappi all under one roof. Within minutes of ordering, a fresh, made-to-order dish will be delivered to the table on real china with real silverware. Nothing fake here. You also don't have to clear your table or leave a tip. We just aim to please.

Please visit noodles.com to find a restaurant near you. If you're craving more, please follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Flickr or on our Noodles & Company blog affectionately called & Company.

Resource links

www.noodles.com

http://noodles.evolvestores.com

www.lunchbuddycard.com

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