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Red Robin closes stores, cuts staff

The 35 shuttered units were mostly mall locations, the company said.
Photograph: Shutterstock

With same-store sales falling 65.2% for the week ended April 12, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews has temporarily shut 35 company-run restaurants, eliminated 35 headquarters jobs and reduced the pay of remaining home-office staff members by 20%.

The company said it is currently working with landlords to restructure its leases.

Employees of the closed units were either furloughed or transferred to other Red Robin branches, the company said. Most of the stores were mall locations, it noted.

The franchisor operated 454 of the casual chain’s 574 units as of Dec. 31, according to Technomic. It did not reveal how many franchised units have been closed.

Stores that remain in operation averaged $19,033 for the week ended April 12, Red Robin said in a securities filing. That compares with an average roughly one month earlier of $7,534. The more recent week’s results included off-premise sales for Easter.

“We continue to be encouraged by the strong growth in our off-premise sales, which is helping to reduce the impact of the temporary closures on the dine-in business,” CEO Paul Murphy said in a statement.

The company did not reveal what sort of exit package was provided to employees who were furloughed because their stores were closed. “For all those team members affected by the changes announced today, I sincerely thank you for all your contributions to Red Robin and commitment to serving our guests,” Murphy said in the announcement.

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