Shares of restaurant chain Noodles & Co. soar

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Noodles & Co. are soaring in their first day of trading on the Nasdaq.

The casual restaurant chain raised $96.5 million in its initial public offering of stock. Shares priced at $18 each, above the $15 to $17 it predicted earlier this week.

The company's stock, trading under the ticker "NDLS," has more than doubled in price Friday.

Noodles & Co. was founded in 1995 and serves noodle bowls, salads, soups and sandwiches. The company is based in Broomfield, Colo., and says it has 345 locations in the U.S.

Casual restaurant chains have grown in popularity, led by companies such as Chipotle and Panera. People like them because they feel they're getting better quality food than they'd get at traditional fast-food chains, without having to pay a lot more.