Using His Noodles

With a vision of bringing Asian street food to the American public, this former restaurant manager may have hit on the next big thing.
From the December 2001 issue of Entrepreneur

Vital Stats: Adam Willner, 36, of El Cerrito, California-based Zao Noodle Bar

Company: Pan-Asian restaurant chain started in 1996

2001 Sales: $6 million

Something Ventured . . . : "I raised money from a venture capital group and a few small investors. My pitch was very straightforward: just me and a business plan. I think the relatively small amount of capital needed, the fact that I'm a very open person and my industry experience played a role."


"The secret of our success is our dedication to quality and hospitality. We will do anything to satisfy our guest."

Noodles Chic: "Our feeling is hip, high-energy, casual and comfortable. We incorporate materials and colors inspired by Asia: red floors, slatted walnut banquet seating, wallpaper taken from Asian newspapers."

Oodles of Noodles: "We intend to double the size of the company in 18 months, focusing on upscale suburban and urban environments in the greater Bay area and Seattle."

Noodlepreneur: "I always wanted to do something entrepreneurial. Asian noodles were exciting to me because of the great flavors and diversity of noodle dishes. I eat everything on the menu at least once a week."

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