Foodservice Equipment Reports

Red Robin Has Big Plans, New Prototype

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers’ fourth-quarter profits were up by a third, and the chain says it will focus its turnaround efforts this year on a new prototype, an expanded burger menu and the opening of four variations on a fast-casual concept.

The Greenwood Village, Colo., chain’s transitional efforts to revive the brand have included menu upgrades, a bar revamp and cost-cutting measures.

During the fourth quarter, Red Robin opened Burger Works, the first of four planned limited-service, fast-casual variations. The 4,000-sq.-ft. units are designed for nontraditional locations to compete with the growing number of fast-casual better-burger brands. The company plans to open four more Burger Works this year, including one on the Ohio State University campus in late March and another in Denver.

CEO Steve Carley said the company would begin testing new prototype design elements to update the chain’s full-service restaurants to make the brand more relevant. Red Robin has 327 company owned stores and 137 franchised restaurants.