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The right way: A little gamey

A unique partnership from one of the big chains.

Challenge: Come up with novel ways to attract families

Solution: Partner with a game company to create some buzz

This summer, Parents magazine named Red Robin Gourmet Burgers one of the 10 best restaurant chains in America for families. That’s no accident: The 400+ unit chain works hard to build a family-friendly environment and to continually think up fun new ways to keep families coming back. A promotion kicking off this month aims to do just that.

Red Robin teamed up with Beloit, Wisconsin-based toy and game manufacturer Patch Products, maker of the new Buzzword and Buzzword Junior games, to add a little buzz and a lot of fun to the family dining experience. The game is a lively, shout-it-out competition in which players solve a set of clues, and all the answers contain the buzzword.

“Having fun is one of our core values,” notes Dana Benfield, Red Robin’s director of loyalty and retention. “Our goal with the Patch Products partnership is to deliver a fun way for our guests to spend quality time together with their families.”

Kicking off in early November, the promotion has several components. In the restaurants, guests can get a taste of the game via specially printed drink coasters containing Buzzword clues. Servers sport Buzzword pins and kids’ menus include a coupon for 25 percent off Patch toys, puzzles and games. For its part, Patch is including free Red Robin kid’s meal coupons in specially marked Buzzword and Buzzword Junior games sold at retail. Plans are for the promotion to run through December, or while supplies last.

Benfield says this is the first time the chain has partnered with a game company.  Strategically, the fit was irresistible. “Patch Products is a great family brand that shares our values of bringing families together and having fun,” she says. “These are games that kids of all ages can play. Through this partnership, Red Robin hopes to encourage families to spend quality time together, doing something fun—like enjoying a family dinner together and playing family-oriented games.”

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