Noble Roman’s takes newest concept to Greenwood

Indianapolis-based Noble Roman’s Inc. plans to open its eighth Craft Pizza & Pub restaurant by the end of next month in Greenwood, with another Indianapolis-area site set to follow by year’s end.

The Greenwood restaurant will occupy a 3,700-square-foot space in a new multi-tenant retail building under construction at 2846 S. State Road 135, just south of Stones Crossing Road and the Dye’s Walk Country Club.

Noble Roman’s hasn’t yet decided where it’s next restaurant will go.

“We have several locations that are on the hot list right now,” said Noble Roman’s President and CEO Scott Mobley.

Noble Roman’s Craft Pizza & Pub concept offers craft beers and wines along with its pizzas and pastas. The company opened its first store in Westfield in 2017 and has since opened six others: one each in Brownsburg, Carmel, Fishers, and Whitestown, along with franchised locations in Lafayette and Evansville. Another franchised location, in Kokomo, is under construction.

“Greenwood’s been high on our list,” Mobley said. “We’ve just been waiting for the right opportunity.”

The Greenwood site was appealing, he said, because it’s convenient to several Johnson County communities, including Greenwood, Bargersville and Whiteland, and because the south side of Greenwood is a fast-developing area in its own right.

The Greenwood location will follow a new prototype. It will offer indoor seating for 160, about the same as at other locations, but using a more efficient layout that will reduce the overall square footage by about 500 square feet.

It will also have features that have become more important since the advent of COVID-19: outdoor patio seating and a separate entrance for the restaurant’s “pizza valet” service.

The chain launched its pizza valet concept in January 2019—a pick-up option in which employees deliver the order to a customer’s car rather than having the customer come inside to pay.

Pre-pandemic, Mobley said, pizza valet service accounted for about 15% to 20% of all sales. Even now that its dining rooms have reopened, he said, pizza valet service accounts for about 60% to 65% of sales. Mobley said he expects the popularity of pizza valet service to drop over time, though he suspects it may remain higher than it was before COVID-19 hit.

Noble Roman’s fared relatively well in the second quarter compared to many other restaurants. The publicly traded company reported $1.3 million in quarterly revenue from its Craft Pizza & Pub locations, as compared with $1.4 million during the same period a year earlier. Total revenue, which includes income from franchisees and other sources, was $3.1 million for the quarter, up from $2.6 million a year ago.

Because the company’s expenses also rose, profits for the quarter were $441,000, as compared with $696,000 a year ago.

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