Fast-casual chain Noodles & Company named Carl Lukach CFO, effective November 30, the company announced. The Broomfield, Colorado-based chain also announced its controller, Kathy Lockhart, has been promoted to chief accounting officer (CAO).
Lukach brings more than 17 years of finance leadership to Noodles. Since 2016, he has served as vice president of finance at Equinox, a high-end gym and lifestyle company. "Carl comes to Noodles with extensive leadership experience and expertise in a multitude of financial functions from some of the nation's leading lifestyle organizations," Dave Boennighausen, Noodles & Company CEO said.
"I am thrilled to join Dave, the executives, and Noodles' more than 8,000 dedicated team members across the country at this exciting time in the organization's history," Lukach said in a statement. "This is a brand that puts guests and community first, and with a strong strategy and omnichannel consumer approach, the potential for growth and value creation is tremendous."
Lukach arrives as the chain continues its rebound efforts after an early-pandemic struggle to maintain business. In the spring, Noodles saw same-store sales drop by double digits. In the third quarter, its sales climbed to negative 3.8%, it shared in its filing last week.
In his role at Equinox, Lukach oversaw finance, treasury, tax, strategic planning and financial operations, in addition to investor management and capital fund raising.
Prior to Equinox, he spent two years in finance and corporate development at Abercrombie & Fitch, where he led the successful expansion of the A&F and Hollister brands through outlet growth and new venture initiatives, including franchising, licensing, wholesale, and acquisitions.
Lukach's financial career began in investment banking at Credit Suisse, where he spent over a decade with an industry focus in food and retail businesses. As a director, he was responsible for advising clients in capital fund raising and M&A transactions.
"Noodles & Company is uniquely positioned to win in the current consumer environment, and now with Carl and Kathy's leadership on our finance team, I am more confident than ever that Noodles will be able to accelerate growth and build shareholder value," Boennighausen said.
Representatives for Lukach declined requests for comment.