Red Robin Gourmet Burgers has been quietly testing the sale of pizzas from Donatos Pizza in selected units as a way of bolstering off-premise sales.
The pies are also available for dine-in service, adding another family favorite to Red Robin’s burgers-heavy menu.
For Donatos, a collaboration could be a way of expanding its geographic range without building restaurants. The 170-unit chain operates in nine states, with a concentration in the Midwest. Red Robin, with about 572 stores, is a national brand.
Red Robin did not respond to requests for information about the test. But a page on its websitetouts Donatos pies as an additional menu option. “And now, America’s original Edge to Edge party-cut pizza is made to order at Red Robin!”, it reads.
Media reports from Donatos’ home town of Columbus, Ohio, say the pizza is being offered by 24 Red Robin units. “This has the potential to be a significant partnership for us,” Donatos President Tom Krouse told Columbus Business First.
Donatos also did not respond to a request for information.
The sauce and toppings on Donatos pies extend to the outer rim of the pizza, without the raised crust at the edge of a traditional pie.
Red Robin offers delivery through arrangements with third-party services and has experimented with self-delivery in a handful of stores. Among its concerns is the quality of delivered burgers and fries, the chain’s staples.
The chain is in the midst of a turnaround effortaimed at bolstering both dine-in and off-premise sales. It is also being pressured by a dissonant shareholder, Vintage Capital, to put itself up for sale. Vintage has offered to buy the brandfor $40 per share.
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