Red Robin retains outside help for refranchising drive

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Red Robin Gourmet Burgers has hired an outside firm to facilitate the casual-dining chain’s previously announced refranchising drive.

Only about 89 of the chain’s 573 restaurants are currently operated by franchisees. The franchisor has said that about 100 of its corporate stores have been tagged as likely targets for a sale to franchisees.

The Cypress Group will help the home office identify additional candidates for refranchising, said Red Robin CEO Denny Post. The retained firm is a mergers-and-acquisitions and refranchising specialist whose services have previously been used by a number of other casual-dining chains, Red Robin said in a statement. 

Refranchising is a key part of Red Robin’s turnaround plan. Much of the strategy focuses on improving operations and service to boost table turns during the chain’s busiest times. Executives have said the sale of corporate stores to franchisees will be a major focus of the brand in 2019.

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