Red Robin’s brand transformation efforts were key to first-quarter growth, the chain says

Brand enhancements were a key component to the first-quarter growth seen by 517-unit burger chain Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, the company said Tuesday.

Comp sales at the Greenwood Village, Colorado-based chain grew 3.1 percent in the first quarter of 2015, while revenue grew 16 percent during the same time period, to $394.9 million.

“Our initiatives are enabling us to continue taking market share, including our brand transformation remodels, which are generating even stronger guest satisfaction scores,” Red Robin CEO Steve Carley said in a statement.

Locations that were remodeled between 2012 and 2014 have seen higher comp growth than the base of non-remodeled units, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Stuart Brown said on a call with investors Tuesday. As a result, the chain plans to conduct 150 remodels this year, up from the 125-plus remodels it stated previously.

Part of the chain’s brand transformation effort has hinged on recent moves to distance itself from a bar-centric atmosphere, such as adding separate “zones” for varying dining segments and beefing up kids’ meal offerings. It’s also been building out BurgerWorks, a smaller-footprint offshoot concept primed for urban markets.

In addition, it expects to complete its rollout of Ziosk tabletop devices later this year, Carley said on Tuesday’s call. The devices will enable guests to pay for meals at their tables, order drink refills on demand and have tableside access to games and other entertainment.


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