Noodles & Co Is Making A Big Donation For Pride Month

Noodles & Company is kicking off Pride Month a bit early this year, announcing on May 23 that it will be expanding a program launched in 2021 to support workplace diversity. The fast-casual chain, known for its "uncommonly good" noodles bowls inspired by dishes from around the world, issued a press release detailing its plans to contribute up to $25,000 to Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, an organization dedicated to promoting workplace inclusion and equality for LGBTQ+ employees.

The support for Out & Equal will be raised through the sale of special, limited edition rainbow "Pride Crispys," a variation of the company's usual desert offering of an extra large rice crispy treat made with rainbow colored cereal. The company introduced the employee-created treats in 2021 and donated 100% of the proceeds to Out & Equal, however the promotion only ran from June 23 to June 29, according to Guilty Eats. This year the promotion will run through the entire month of June at participating locations.

"For us, Pride Month means striving to make the world — starting with our restaurants — a better place by creating a culture where all feel welcomed and cared for," said Noodles & Company CFO Carl Lukach in the company announcement. "As a proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community, I am thrilled for Noodles to once again support an initiative this Pride Month that directly impacts millions of LGBTQIA+ community members nationwide."

Noodles & Company is supporting LGBTQ rights

Noodles & Company prides itself on its inclusive culture and workplace diversity. According to its press release, the brand recently launched an inclusion and diversity advisory council and introduced two new affinity resource groups aimed at elevating and engaging with LGBTQ+ employees and employees of color, efforts which earned it a place on Forbes' list of Best Employers for Diversity in both 2021 and 2022, where it came in at number 86. The brand also guarantees paid maternity and paternity leave for employees, provides financial support for adoption and surrogacy as well as mental health treatment, and includes gender-neutral bathrooms for guests and employees at all its restaurants, all issues which have gained importance in the LGBTQ+ community. 

Pride month may take on extra significance this year after two years of events being canceled or scaled back due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and an influx of anti-gay and transgender laws which have swept the country in the past year. According to NBC News, U.S. state legislatures have introduced almost 240 anti-LGBTQ bills in 2022, including Florida's now-infamous "Don't Say Gay" law and a bevy of rules targeting transgender individuals. Combined with fears that the anticipated overturning of Roe v. Wade's guaranteed right to an abortion by the Supreme Court will pave the way for a crackdown on LGBTQ rights (per The Hill), supporting LGBTQ groups and individuals has become increasingly important for the well-being of the community, according to Healthline.