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Red Robin Reevaluating its Brand

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers is rethinking its full-service restaurant model top to bottom—from name to service style to menu—as it also expands its fast-casual concept, Red Robin Burger Works.

Some "transformed" Red Robin units use this logo.

Red Robin reported its Q3 results today, which include a 3.4% increase in total revenues and a 1.1% increase in same-store sales for company units. More importantly, CEO Stephen Carley said that during this current quarter, the chain has begun experimenting with “a number of transformed restaurants.” This “is not simply a remodeling project but part of our overall strategy to make the Red Robin brand more relevant to our guests and to attract them more often.” What is “transformed” at this undisclosed number of units, Carley said, can be anything from “physical space and layout of the restaurants to team-member uniforms, our service model, our menus and our food preparation.”

The Oktoberfest beer milk shake is emblematic of the brand changes being considered.

Additionally, the company confirmed to BurgerBusiness.com that some of the transformed restaurants will have a new logo and signage, identifying the restaurant as Red Robin Gourmet Burgers + Brews. This logo incorporates the flame motif used with the five Red Robin’s Burger Works that are open.

This name helps Red Robin’s quest to increase its appeal to adults without children and to boost alcoholic-beverage sales (now more than 7% of sales). The chain’s ongoing “Taking Back the Bar” initiative looks to further increase those sales. Red Robin’s recent introduction of the Oktoberfest Beer Milkshake promotion with Sam Adams beer signaled its interest in being more of a “burgers + brews” brand.

The desire for a more-adult image undoubtedly will result in the elimination of the current “Yummm!” advertising slogan when a new agency is named (succeeding incumbent Periscope). That will happen by the end of the year.

Carley said the test restaurants are “laboratories” that will help the company “determine what’s really important to our guests and determine the returns” on its investments in remodeled space, among other elements. A determination of what changes to make at all 471 of its full-service Red Robins will be made by Q3 of 2013, Carley said.

The Tavern Double provides "everyday value" that Red Robin lacked.

As for the five smaller-footprint, fast-casual Burger Works restaurants, Carley noted that they vary not only in size and trade area but also in “performance and consistency of execution. But they provide a lot of learning we can use to tweak the model.” As many as five more Burger Works will open in 2013.

Near term, Red Robin is looking at how best to balance pricing for its menu. The $6.99 Tavern Double burger has been its most successful product launch, giving it an “everyday value” entry point. It also allowed Red Robin to bring back the Oktoberfest LTO burger at full price ($9.99), rather than discount it by $3 as it did last year.

But the tradeoff in Q3 was that while customer traffic was up 0.8%, price/product mix contributed just 0.3% toward the 1.1% same-store sales gain. In 2011’s Q3, comp sales also rose 1.1% but with price/mix contributing 4.3% to offset a -3.2% debit in guest counts. Given the “challenging environment,” Red Robin is happier with increases in both price/mix and guest traffic. “Guest traffic has been hard to come by [for all restaurants] this year, particularly in the last quarter,” said SVP-CMO Denny Post.

Burger King will do more dealing to keep "value" customers.

Carley pointed out a few small measures taken that have brought significant savings. A switch in the appearance specification for chopped onions used in salsa meant a system savings of $120,000. A switch in to-go packaging has netted $275,000 and the adoption of reusable, washable kids beverage cups will save the company $500,000.

◙ Separately, Burger King Worldwide also announced results for its third quarter ended September 30, 2012. These include a systemwide same-store sales gain of 1.4% and a 1.6% increase for the U.S./Canada. That is a lower comp-sales gain than a year ago, which the company attributed to “more challenging prior-year comparisons and the loss of some value based traffic.”

That means, as the company acknowledged, that while its new higher-price menu platforms such as the BBQ sandwiches on the Summer Menu have been successful, Burger King has seen some “value” customers go elsewhere for dollar items. The current restaurant market “is highly competitive where value is a key factor in attracting guests,” said Steve Wiborg, president of BK North America.

About 30% of Burger King’s sales comes through low-price channels, including its Value Menu (9% of sales), coupons (8%) and other deals (such as price reductions, accounting for about 14%) according to Wiborg. Those numbers are roughly comparable to sales at McDonald’s and Wendy’s, he said. Burger King will continue to have limited-time budget promotions, such as $1 smoothies and $1 chicken sandwiches, to keep its value customers happy at the same time it continues to build on its premium-price platforms such as BBQ.

50 comments to Red Robin Reevaluating its Brand

  • BS

    Red Robin’s hamburger patty is smaller now? Their wings are now 2nd class using the cheaper part of the wing. Red Robin fries used to be so perfect. Now it looks like there is no high quality left for the high price.
    They walked on quality and I will now walk by without stopping.
    Shame on you Red Robin for cheating the customers!

  • Use to Eat at RR

    What happened to the all you can eat fries? Increased prices and dropping the all you can eat fries option; not good.

    We used to eat at RR once a week, since they dropped the fries option, we haven’t been back.

  • Customer

    RR still has bottomless steak fries. They bring extra food for our kids when they eat it all, when asked. Very great service. No problems here, keep up the good work. LOYAL TO RR.

  • Jess

    Yes, the patties are smaller. I can’t say that it’s my favorite burger anymore. After 25 years. Such a shame… And doesn’t feel like its targeting the older crowd. It’s just making us angry because we are getting cheated!

  • TM

    Franchised restaurants may be different, but you can still get bottomless fries. They just don’t want to encourage fries before the meal (which is technically not suppose to happen at all). Also, the size of the standard burger has not changed, 6 oz. They are now offering a smaller burger, Tavern Double or petite patties, as an option. I’ve worked for the company for years, and I stand behind them.

  • David

    Booo! Boo to Red Robin! Our local Red Robin remodeled at 7460 West 52nd Avenue Arvada, CO 80002(303) 431-6450. They are no longer family friendly. They got rid of the games area and completely closed off the area near the bar. Have to pay to start the bottomless fries. They chose some dark pastel paint, which by the way resulted in a poor uneven paint job inside and out. Gone are all the nostalgic pictures and posters. Statue of Liberty gone too. They re-hired new staff, seem to want to cater more to a college crowd. There is no college nearby. Red Robin – DUMMMMMMB!

  • Greg

    Visited RR for the first time in a while. Burgers were smaller, decor was remodeled but much less friendly. It is unlikely we will be back!

  • LR

    No more Red “Robin” bird logo. Weird, that was such a brand recognition item. I understand they are trying to go back to the college/bar crowd. But is that really were the money is? I worked for them as a manager for several years and honestly many of their ideas don’t make sense. Going away from “Kid/Family” environment? WOW, well I am moving my own restaurants more and more into the kid/family environment and my 10 have grown over 7% in sales; not a Red Robin.
    My kids say they are not as excited to go back so I guess our weekly visits will turn into monthly. Sad, because they were the one place that as a Family we All enjoyed going to.
    On a positive note, the food was still good and service was great also. Completely new decor.

  • Ted

    The meat is smaller now on the burgers. We went there tonight and will never return. They charged us to give our kids fries before their meals too. Part of the reason we go there is the fries can keep the hungry kids happy till the food comes. They are no longer worth the extra money.

  • Leighellen

    I absolutely HATE what they have done to Red Robin!!! They have completely ruined all that is good about the restaurant. We have 3 children, so we specifically choose Red Robin for the family friendly environment and great food. Our kids always pick it for birthdays, report card nights, and to celebrate. Unfortunately, our Red Robin is one of these new “test” restaurants. They removed the kids area entirely (no more video games, photo booth, etc). They had NO kids menus to color on (no crayons, either!). Just a white paper mat. They do NOT offer bottomless fries (you are charged extra for each basket). And the milkshakes are in smaller glasses and they don’t bring the silver container any more. So literally EVERYTHING that makes Red Robin special and fun is gone. We complained to our waiter who sent the manager over. The manager said Red Robins new focus is on ADULTS and alcoholic beverages. They will no longer cater to kids & families.

  • Murdoc

    Went to RR today. They still offered bottomless fries. I noticed the pattys were smaller immediately as they were brought to or table. I was upset. So i asked the manger o clarify this and he advised they have not made changes. My wife was embarrassed by me asking but she is also upset bite that the manger lied. We will no longer be going to RR anymore.

  • Delecroy

    They are trying to move away from being a family restaurant? What kind of an insane business model is that? What a shame. I have to wonder what idiot told their board that this would be a good idea. Do they really think Adults are going to go to Red Robin instead of a bar? Their bread and butter was families. This has to be one of the dumbest things I’ve ever read. I will not be taking my family and kids back to this dump again.

  • RREmployee

    We offer bottomless fry refills not “pre-fills”. That is a cheap way of getting an appetizer which we are not allowed to do. The meat is NOT SMALLER, we just offer a tavern size burger with two smaller patties. The games were taken away as to not annoy the rest of our guests. We started as a pub concept and are returning to that, it does not mean we are turning our backs on families just catering to a larger crowd. We still offer our MONSTER MILKSHAKE all you need to do is ask your server for that. We are in an age where you must make changes to compete and that is all this is. STOP COMPLAINING, there is always a McDonalds if you want cheap kid friendly places

  • Eclair

    I came here when looking to find if fries came with the burgers still at RR, since it doesn’t say on their web menu (!). RR might have more business if they state clearly on their menu that the price of a burger – which is a lot – INCLUDES fries. Instead of making all these other changes that are turning off long-term customers, make it obvious how the price charged is a good value (if this is the case!). It doesn’t help to tell people that if they want something they used to get that they can ask for it, instead of it being on the menu, and to stop complaining. Wow. I guess RR doesn’t want to know what their “guests” want or what they think – they only want to listen to corporate. Anyway, I don’t go there often (we are low-income), but we’ll probably go tonight to check it out, since I want to get the fish and chips. Hopefully that won’t be puny for the price or whatever, or else we won’t go back either; but we’ll see. Change doesn’t have to be bad, but from my own experience, changes in the last few years (or more) that come from the top of the corp.s just plain suck.

  • Wow. Such angst over fries. But to calm some of your many fears, yes, Red Robin still offers bottomless steak fries. And yes, it states that repeatedly on the menu:

  • Jim

    We really don’t like their change from family friendly to yet another tavern. They had the market on family friendly and are walking away? The CEO has to go. Now or when their profits plummet.

  • Frank Haney

    The RREmployee” comment above pretty well sums it up.

    May 25th, 2013 at 11:35 pm
    We offer bottomless fry refills not “pre-fills”. That is a cheap way of getting an appetizer which we are not allowed to do. The meat is NOT SMALLER, we just offer a tavern size burger with two smaller patties. The games were taken away as to not annoy the rest of our guests. We started as a pub concept and are returning to that, it does not mean we are turning our backs on families just catering to a larger crowd. We still offer our MONSTER MILKSHAKE all you need to do is ask your server for that. We are in an age where you must make changes to compete and that is all this is. STOP COMPLAINING, there is always a McDonalds if you want cheap kid friendly places

    This is the kind of employee that makes sure Red Robin will not get my money.

  • RR AGM

    Good Evening,

    All comments are appreciated and are used as a great tool to better our business. I would like to remind all guests that they are valued here at Red Robin and are part of our culture which are stated in our cornerstones! “People” without you we wouldn’t be in business! “Smiling Burgers” we use the freshest ingredients and take time to prepare all orders to our guests’ standards! “Gift of Time” we want Red Robin to fit all our guests…some want to hang out and have fun at the bar and some are on their way to the family soccer game and have limited time! And our “Core Values” Honor, integrity, seeking knowledge and having fun! I care about my guests and strive to make sure that ALL guests of ALL ages have a great time in my restaurant! Always remember that if someone tells you something has changed or you notice that something is out of the norm, it doesn’t mean that it’s always right 100% with change comes hiccups and it seems like some of these restaurants that are being commented on have some opportunities for improving the perception of our brand and the our upgraded standards for guest service that far exceeds the completion. As a dedicated Assistant General Manager, I would like to remind our valued guests that we are always available to address any concerns and if we are not able to fix it, which rarely happens, our Restaurant General Managers are always there to troubleshoot and retain our guests! With 478 Restaurants, we still have a lot of growing to do and we can not do it without you…our Guests! I believe in our guests and I believe in Red Robin! Game On!

  • Annie

    Yes we have noticed the burgers are smaller not a good change but we are/were loyal RR people. now they have changed the buns, no more seeded normal buns, a new thick nasty bun. Yuck, we’ve complained, one manager stated they were going back to the seeded bun but a few weeks later another manager said the new ones were staying. I don’t think we will be going back, too many bad changes and we have been customers for years. the salads are still good but who wants to go to RR for a salad for the whole family.

  • bdude

    I sure hope they keep the bansai burger. It keeps me going back.

  • RR Rose

    Hello everyone,
    I’ve been a RR manager for over a year. I am super excited about the changes coming to our company. Cooking burgers on an open flame, more menu items, an updated decor… It makes me sad to read some of the comments about some of our sister stores not living up to our standards.

    To debunk some myths:
    The size of our patties for our standard burgers has not changed in years, but we did add a petite option, and the Tavern. Double is two smaller patties.

    As to getting rid of the family friendly atmosphere, the idea is to seat adults who want a quiet evening somewhere that can happen, and in turn give families a section they don’t have to worry about upsetting others and kids can be themselves.

    No bottomless steak fries??? I would be calling the gm, all over our menu it says bottomless steak fries, come to any of our stores and we will gladly bring you out some fries for you kidlets, if you order an appitizer or not. You may see a small charge if no one orders something with fries…

    We are excited for some premium burgers, like half pounders, new ingredients, more selection. Come see us at a Utah RR we will take care of you!

  • J.P.

    Just ate at Red Robin yesterday, at a suburban St. Louis location. Hadn’t been in over a month. To those from Red Robin who are claiming the burger size hasn’t changed: BS! It’s the first thing I noticed when my meal was served. My wife noticed it, too. I ate it, enjoyed it, but I won’t be back as it’s no longer a $10.- burger. (There is absolutely no way the burger I was served yesterday was the same in size as that which I’ve had before coming wrapped in the paper.)

    I wanted to call a manager over and ask why the burgers are smaller but my wife prevailed upon me to “let it go, just don’t come back.”

  • Tammi Harper

    My hubs and I love Red Robin….However the new concept with the dishes vs the baskets and the fries in a LITTLE and I stress LITTLE metal container is not to my liking at all. Yes the fries are bottomless but I would really like a full order of fries the first time around instead of having to wait to get more.

  • Cait

    @Tammi Harper, the serving of fries in the metal baskets are still the same size as the servings in the old baskets, 6 oz. I work at Red Robin and they were very specific that the size didnt change. It probably just looks smaller cause they’re all stuffed together instead of spread out in a basket

  • Dorothy Daly

    Just wanted to let you know why my son and I will not be back at any of your Red Robins. We received a Red Robin Royalty card in February 2013. We thought we were registered for free birthday burgers, but when we went back in August our waiter ran our card and we were not registered. If that is true, then why do I keep getting e-mails from you? Now, onto the burgers. We ordered well-done {no pink} and they both had some pink. My son did not have real bacon on his burger, but the microwave kind that makes him sick. The American cheese was like the slices you get at Wal-Mart. He barely ate half of his $10 burger. I ordered my burger with Swiss, but it came with nothing. It actually tasted better without. Glad you’re making all that extra $, but we will no longer be supporting you.

  • And when you explained your disappointments to management at this August dinner, what were you told?

  • Joe Federico

    Wow….. Just Wow….
    What did you do to this burger chain?
    All I can say is.. you might as well add a drive thru window and a dollar menu!
    Red Robin will no longer be getting my vote on Zagat!
    ( or mine and my friends/families money )
    Sad :0(

  • Joe Federico

    P.S Where’s The Beef!

  • Tedricco Jones

    Visited my local Red Robin today (Rogers, AR) and was shocked to see the new pricing (Royal Red Robin is now over $12!). We went ahead and ordered, and were shocked again to see that the burgers are no longer served in baskets but naked on a plate with the fries in a silly metal ring. The basket may have been a tad old fashioned, but it served to keep everything contained and warm. Sitting naked on the plate, my burger was warm, but not hot, and the tops of the fries were cold. Asked for my standard dipping sauces and the ranch dressing was thin and clearly watered down. I also felt like the meat patty was smaller than I remembered, so there’s that too.

    Add to this an ok but largely indifferent waitress and I’m going to think long and hard about going back.

    As to the more adults/less kids business. I don’t have kids, and I largely deplore other people’s. I’m highly critical of “kid friendly” restaurants in general, and don’t patronize them. So, I should be totally on board with changing Red Robin to a more adult location…but I’m not. It never seemed to be a crazy, kids running wild kind of place, and if I wanted beer swilling young people I’d drive down to Feyetteville and eat on Dickson street.

  • R.D.

    Bring back the wrapped burgers in the basket!!! When sitting on that plastic plate, the buns become compressed and soggy :( I showed my server the bottom bun which I picked up and flopped/waved,back and forth,for her to see.
    The burger sits on a plastic plate and sweats as the weight of the burger compresses from top to bottom…. Regardless of sitting in the window or not, ran quickly to your table or not, as it sits in front of you,the above will most likely happen. Maybe people think their burgers are smaller because they’re not smiley face wrapped anymore. It might just have to do with optics and presentation. Regardless, the quality of the burger suffers. The sever told me 70% of the guests at that location didn’t care for the new plate set. As for that tin for fries, optics as well on the company’s part. Probably supposed to look like a bigger amount because of the fries being pointed upward. I’m guessing somebody at corporate pitched the idea of scrapping the wax paper because it would save lots of $$$ .Same thing with the tin for holding fries concept. The server said the company was going a little more upscale. The black straws opposed to the classic red. The same for ramekins as well. I worked for this company for a number of years. I’d like to offer the classic advice of DON’T FIX WHAT ISN’T BROKEN.

  • R.D.

    You might also consider not putting mayo on the bottom bun. That might help with the soggy factor if you continue to stick with the current unpleasant plate set. If you want more adults and college students all that need be is much, much more quality microbrews. That’ll bring in more patrons than the foo-foo drinks. Beer and burgers is always a winning combo. Good luck!

  • Quicksilver

    This website is what I’ve been looking for to express my disappointment with your new direction. While living in Citrus Heights, CA we had a GREAT Red Robin right down the street. It was a little out of our price range as newly weds and became more so as we had kids. But each trip was worth every penny! The decor was unique and we always found something new in the decor, although it haddn’t changed in years. The pictures of eggs riding bikes and other funny things were always enough to make conversation, get the kids to giggle, etc.

    Red Robin Management, please take note:
    Fast forward to about a month ago. My wife, youngest son, and I went to your Red Robin location in Springfield, IL. It had just opened and I was really looking forward to the experience of Red Robin, as we had before, at our neighborhood restaurant back in California. Sadly, this was not to be the case. I felt as though I had been moved from a Red Robin to another very loud, over priced, cookie cutter chain restaurant. The store was completly uninviting, the lack of carpeting to deaden the sound of lunch rush was missing, there were very few pictures on the walls, most were suspended from the ceiling. If I had wanted to go to Taco Bell (see any area Taco Bell as a precursor to Red Robin’s “new” decor) I would have happily headed to the Border. The layout of this store would have been perfect for speed dating in NYC, not a upscale burger joint. I walked out thinking of Doug Stone’s 90’s country hit “Jukebox with a Country Song”, as if it were about my visit to your establishent. Unlike the song, I didn’t say a word and left after paying for our overpriced meal. I will not be back to any Red Robin restaurant.

    With the above being said, I realize “new’ is what gets more customers through the door and that change is a fact of life of a business (if McDonald’s stayed true to their original menu restaurant style there would be MUCH less on it and we’d all be eating outside!), but my experience was so far removed from what I remember that I cannot spend my hard earned money on supporting this type of erronious business decision. I could add a cheesy pun on your company’s slogan (IE a previously posted comment from someone else, “Red Robin, DUUUUUUMB”.), but that would take away from my expressing disappointment. I choose, rather, to vote with my feet and keep walking when I see another Red Robin. Thank you for the memories in the past, may your company come to it’s senses and reincorporate what has made it great in the past… before it’s too late.

  • Bob Smith

    What many of the people who are bitching fail to understand is that there is a significant percentage of the population that would like to go out for a meal without having to endure the ill mannered, undisciplined brats you drag along with you. It’s a resaurant, not a playground. If you want to eat while the children act like the demon spawn that they are, go to Chuck E. Cheese.

    And as a former server (not at RR), children are a huge hassle. Parents typically tolerate behavior in a restaurant that would never be allowed at home. There seems to be a mentality that they’re entitled to forgo any parental responsibility because they’re paying. It’s “fun time”. Your money entitles you to food, prepared for you, and served to you. It doesn’t entitle you to free babysitting, provided by your server.

    And when you leave I have to clean up the drinks the children spilled, the ketchup smeared on the table, the broken crayons on the floor, and the smashed french fries and dirty footprints on the seat. I spend more time cleaning up after children, and make less money doing it, as the tips are generally smaller due to discounted kids meals which result in smaller ticket averages. They’re your children, not mine. I’m your server, not your maid.

    I’ve been to RR only once. I’ve never been back precisely because “family friendly” is not an environment in which I want to eat. If you think the company is going to collapse because you’re mad and you’re never coming back, think again. Look at any list of the fastest growing restaurant chains and you’ll see a common thread is “adult friendly”. They’re places like Buffalo Wild Wings, Chipotle Mexican Grill, and Panera Bread. Brew pub themed chains are also growing. The food industry has grown tired of your children, and your prima donna attitude.

    As such, I would guess that if RR is charging for fries it’s probably to combat the adult with two kids who orders one burger, and stuffs the kids full of bottomless fries. If that customer leaves, but they’re replaced by adults who want a child free dining experience, that’s not a bad thing from a company perspective. The cost of child related items (crayons, kids cups, kids meal prices, booster seats, etc) goes down, and the ticket averages go up, which means both the company and the server make more money.

    Bravo Red Robin. You just gained a customer.

  • Erin

    The only thing I absolutley hate about all the new changes is that they stopped wrapping the burgers!!! That is the dumbest thing ever!!! All the goodies on the burgers now fall out and it is very unenjoyable. I told the manager about it and he said they are trying to go more upscale. So losing over half your burger is more upscale? Unreal!! I can’t stand eating there now cause everything falls out!!

  • Laura

    I was very sad to have my beloved Banzai burger delivered on a plate unwrapped and the fries in that stupid bracelet. We came in after seeing a holiday show, and I was in a panic not to wind up wearing the burger. Oh, and the plated burger was definitely less “dressed” than the wrapped one, less yumminess dripping out of it. So I guess RR realized that if you take away the wrappings you’d better dry the thing out, too. Why not give the customer a choice of having a burger plated or basketed? It can’t be that hard to have some baskets and paper available for us die hards. RR was always my favorite choice, but not anymore.

    As for folks that don’t like to sit with kids, you can always sit at the bar area. At least you had a choice.

  • Robert

    I have to agree with the majority of the comments on this page: the changes at RR are not for the better. My girlfriend and I went to our nearest RR last month and were pretty underwhelmed.

    The Burgers: I ordered the Prime Chophouse (my favorite) and it did not disappoint. It was delicious – although my server failed to ask how I’d prefer it cooked – and unlike most of the people on this page, my girlfriend and I didn’t notice a change in patty size.

    The Fries: That metal cup-with-no-bottom is the dumbest thing ever. Someone mentioned the serving size was the same, but that’s hard to believe. Also, the fries were unseasoned – a major departure from the past.

    The Spinach-Artichoke Dip Appetizer: This part REALLY blew my mind. The serving is probably less than HALF of what it used to be, but the price has only been reduced by about 30% – I for one would rather pay more for the food to which I am accustomed. The accompanying chips were all plain white (they used to be blue, red, and white) and, as with the fries, were unseasoned. To make up for it, apparently, a few sticks of celery have been added to the dip – which might not have looked so tacky in this instance if two of them hadn’t been brown at the ends.

    In short, I’m not impressed with the direction the company is taking. If you’re not willing to offer a better product or service to your customers, guess what?, there are others who are.

  • Dave

    RR has changed. I’m sure the quality is fine but the presentation of the burger is not much different than burger king. Big thick bun and a pressed patty. We don’t like the changes.

  • Very sad: small burger; fries are thin; just not RR anymoe. sadly have to look for a new gourmet burger restaurant ..

  • dave

    Total disappointment. First time back to a Red Robin in about a year. Used to be my favorite burger and a perfect example of mid class family diner. Today’s burger was a joke and the service was shit. The pattie was half the size it used to be and had twice the filler. The bun was a waste. The fries came five at a time and I had to ask three times for more, none came until we were ready to leave. No napkins with our lunch and no refills on coffee or drinks. The servers were obese and dirty to boot. If your business is doing that poorly just close the doors, don’t scale it back to something worse than McDonald’s. Won’t be back. Ever.

  • David

    I’m so disappointed to see Red, the mascot gone from the restaurant. Red is even gone off the spice bottle label. It seems all the restaurants are switching to the boring, plain decor that you can find anywhere. Seeing the statue of Red used to make me smile and was memorable, but now there’s nothing that stands out in the decor as memorable. The food was good, but prices clearly are higher.

  • michelle mcmunn

    All of these Red Robin employees stating that the size of their burgers hasn’t changed is ridiculous. It was absolutely obvious when we ate there today. The burgers looked like McDonald’s burgers. Not good at all! The fries were cold and not good either. I had a side salad and the lettuce was brown on the edges and the size has gotten smaller on that also. It was definitely NOT worth the price we paid. We will not be back.

  • unhappy former red robin afcionado

    We went in to the local RR @ 799 W 146th Ave Westminster CO and it was awful. My husband and I took our youngest and we were crammed (the 3 of us) into a table for two. The hostess lifted up the extra flap on the table and it added 4-6″ more. Great, so the kindergartner and I were squished together and my husband was staring up at a window/wall and felt like he was in trouble and had been sent to the corner. The hostess, when asked if we can move to another table, offered to flip up the other side of the table (for an additional 4-6″). That would be fine, if the couple with their baby wasn’t already 1 foot away. Flipping up the table flab would combine our tables into one big, and we were practically touching cheek to cheek (yes, THAT cheek) anyway! Our hostess really didn’t want to allow us to move to the adjacent table but demurred when we got ready to walk out. The decor has changed to a depressing grey with the cool pictures on the ceiling. In a stripe. Along the ceiling. Hmmm. It feels really cheap, like they have tried to fit double the amount of tables in the same amount of space, plus the atmosphere isn’t friendly and interesting, its just dark and depressing. I had a free burger on my reward card, and even though we didn’t have the other 2 kids with us, the bill was the same. How can that be? My husband and I both ordered drinks, but we always do. I can’t say for sure, but I don’t think the freckled lemonade was $2.49 for kids WITH a kids meal. I remember it was a little extra, but not much. We were surprised at how much we spent for just 3 people (2 burgers, 2 margaritas, a kids meal and a kids freckled lemonade =1 $50 bill GONE) We agreed on the way out we won’t be back. Our waiter was harried and rushed and just didn’t feel happy or welcoming. He seemed…fried. Burned. Bad experience and we were 2-3x month people at RR. No more!

  • Jake - former fan

    It may be true that the burger is the same pre cooked weight, but by using what must be a lower quality, higher fat beef, they have cashed in on what was one of if the leading name in a great cheeseburger. 5 years ago or so they moved into the northern suburbs of Chicago and were wonderful, I thought of RR every time I wanted a burger, then they changed the meat. I used to drive 30 to 45 minutes for one of their awesome burgers, it was a family event to go there. Now, even though they have opened stores closer, I would rather drive passed them and get something similar from McD’s.

  • where did the crowd go?

    I found this message board as I was trying to figure out where the crowd at RR has gone. Most of the RRs we have eaten at over the past 15 years has been crowded — but when we moved to the Charlotte area we found the two in our area (Mooresville and North Lake) to never have more than 20% of the seats taken. I was wondering if the chain was on its way out of business and the smaller portions and less “first team” staff was a sign of the company being in the death spiral. I guess a lot of people aren’t happy with the changes (and if the Charlotte area restaurants are any indication, the company leadership won’t need to read the message board to get that message loud and clear).

  • Lynne

    I’ve been eating at RR for years. The portions have not changed; they do have the Tavern which is smaller than the others. The bottomless fries are still going, but not as an appetizer. Or it’s a small charge if no one gets an entree with fries but wants fries. They are not free; just bottomless if your meal comes with fries. Can’t expect to come to a restaurant and not order an appetizer and waters but want fries before your meal. I don’t however like that they’re trying to be “upscale”. How they were is what made them popular. But I do agree with bob smith: people get tired of going out to eat and dealing with kids running round getting in the way; screaming, sitting 10 ft away from the table and the server cant get thru. Its not always an option to sit at the bar if it’s full. I heard they are doing sections, like for people with kids, older people teens. But I don’t know how that’s gonna go. And I’m sure with these changes prices will go up to pay for them! Whatever happened to just you people being happy? Things change because people complain! Stop complaining over every little stupid bs! They do a lot of bottomless fries, kids meals, drinks. That’s way more then most places but y’all cant seem to appreciate it and you always want more more more. Free and more!! RR PLEASE DON’T CHANGE TOO MUCH. A little here and there is okay. Maybe with bottomless fries and kids just allow one refill. That’s what appetizers are for. Keep the wonderful drinks. They have such a large option; love it. The heart throb and the new poppin purple? Now that’s YUUUUMMMMM

  • AngRRyburger

    Hello all at Red Robin, and, those few who still go there to eat!
    I have been going to RR for a long time. Every time I find something I absolutely love and that stands out from other burger joints, they discontinue it. I LOVED the Jamaican Jerk’d Chicken Sandwich. They discontinued it. I reaally liked their Salmon Burger, but they discontinued that too. Then I went in today hoping to have the Octoberfest Burger that was absolutely heaven on a plate. They told me that they have now discontinued that also. I have therefore decided to discontinue taking my family to Red Robin. I hope the corporate chuds who made these wise business decisions are happy that they have ruined the unique dining experience that RR used to be. Their bonuses are definitely worth turning RR into another plain, boring, bland dead burger joint. Communistic burgers may be equal to other places, but do not appeal to the masses of Americans who appreciate something unique, high quality, and enjoyable. I wouldn’t be surprised if they asked for a bailout from the government to keep their stupid chain going despite their epic failure.

  • “Communistic burgers”? That’s a new one, AngRRyburger.

  • Ryan

    The RR in our neighborhood has gone through this so called remodel. Quite honestly it sucks. I am assuming that is was purposefully carried out to make the restaurant as uninviting as possible in order to turn the now very uncomfortable chairs that replaced the booths as quickly as possible. You are now corralled in like cattle and expected to act as one. RR was our favorite restaurant in our city prior to the remodel and we ate there more often then any other sit-down restaurant. The atmosphere is now drab at best, the restaurant has no real direction and seems like a glorified Burger King that you have to pay three times as much, tip and wait for you food at. Our last bill for our family of six was well over $100.00 not including tip, and that was with half of are meals being kid meals.There are far too many superior burger and steak joints in this area if you are willing to spend that kind of dough and don’t care about family friendly atmosphere to even consider the new RR. I can not express enough how disappointed I am in the corporate greed a saw happening with this restaurant. Some how some way you have managed to take a fantastic family restaurant that my family and I really enjoyed and over night turned it into a establishment for the sheeple. Congratulations you have permanently lost my families business as well as the couple we were with. While your bottom line may look good today I have a suspicion you wont have to worry about one at all in the near future.

  • Ed

    Just had what will likely be my last meal at RR. I used to love this place – and was willing to pay a healthy premium for the good food and family-friendly atmosphere. The new buns are huge, “cakey”, and crumbly – I tore about 1/4 of mine away and piled it up on the side of the plate. The mushrooms on my burger tasted like they came out of a can – and probably did. The patties are smaller, over-cooked, and tasteless – except for the subtle hint of propane in every bite. The wrapped burger concept is gone – which keep things hot – my burger was moderately warm when first served and cold when I finally gave up on it about half way through – blech. My kids were content with their meals – because…well…they are kids and don’t know any better. My wife and I left wondering what the heck happened to this place. With the increased prices, we are better off going to a more formal restaurant that serves a more artisan burger – and they are many such places around. I hope their new adult/bar concept works out for them, but I’m not going to be a guinea pig in the process. Our family is flying away from Red Robin.

  • James

    Just got back from RR and the experience was enough to compel me to find a place to leave my opinion. First, had no idea of the “remodel” till we went inside and sat down. The new look is absolutely terrible and devoid of any character. Definitely not family friendly in the least as the big screen TV’s were playing some classy UFC with guys faces beaten into bloody pulps that my 9 year old got to watch during our meal. The “gourmet” burger was painfully overcooked as well. The whole experience was terrible and as a longtime customer I can say I will NEVER be back.

    If you think you are going to turn RR into a cool adult oriented bar you are going to fail. I could list a half dozen options off the top of my head that fill that niche a whole heck of a lot better! The only question to me is how long it will take for RR to realize the complete and utter failure the new business model is and if they can recover.

    * Crap food
    * Crap décor
    * Crap atmosphere
    * Crap price for product level

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