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Red Robin Patrons?


txlaw
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Has anyone on the board been to a Red Robin (RRGB) restaurant?

 

I find it hard to believe that a chain restaurant that focuses primarily on burgers can sell their burgers for close to $10.  What's up with this place?

 

Why do you find it hard to believe? Strangely, I actually eat burgers a lot and so I have a good grasp of their pricing (here in Texas but also from my recent trip to NYC).

 

At Red Robin the burgers are at least 1/3rd pound and they come with unlimited fries. Usually though, most customers will not opt to re-fill the fries.  A similar price point is at Chili's where you can order a Big Mouth Burger and Fries for around $9.00. One could argue that the "unlimited fries" warrants the extra dollar. Applebees has a new line of "Realburgers" with the similar $9-10 pricing.

 

Really to get your best value you'd be best off going to Fuddruckers where for about $10 you can get a similar sized burger, fries, AND a soft drink. But yeah, $9-10 is what to expect for a decent sized burger and fries these days. The pricing held up when I sampled a few well-rated burgers in NYC (Paul's, Shake Shack).

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Another review from Texas. Yeah, it is a bit much for a burger but I do have to say that it is a pretty good burger. I concur with TariqAli that the burgers at RR are not too dissimiliarly priced from what one would get at Chili's, Friday's, Appleby's, etc. Their drinks (shakes, lemonades, etc) are really good as well. They cater to the Chili's, Friday's, Appleby's crowd of family fun casual but still offer a full bar for the adults out there.

 

Honestly, I have completely given up trying to figure out the public's tastes as far as dining goes. I proudly declared a number of years ago that Starbucks was little more than a fad and figured that they had gotten to the saturation point...that was when they had about 80% fewer locations than they do now! (Depending on your gate at O-Hare airport in Chicago, you can walk past 4 Starbucks locations from the point you enter Terminal 3 until you get to your gate...seriously). Being rather frugal, Red Robin is not a weekly occurrence, but when we do go, I definitely enjoy the food.

 

-Crip

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I've been to Red Robin's alot.  Their burgers are one of the best for the price.  I also love their fries, which are more like English or New Zealand chips!  They are a well run company, but they are suffering a bit in the last year as they are in a slightly higher tier than a Steak'n Shake or other sit-down burger joints, but much cheaper than most mid-priced restaurant chains...pretty much in the Applebee's category in pricing.  Sardar wants Steak'n Shake to use a model somewhere between Red Robin's and Chik-Fil-A.  Cheers! 

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Has anyone on the board been to a Red Robin (RRGB) restaurant?

 

I find it hard to believe that a chain restaurant that focuses primarily on burgers can sell their burgers for close to $10.  What's up with this place?

 

There are a quite a few here in Seattle. They may be in the same segment as a TGIF, but they have kind of carved out the family friendly upscale burger/sitdown restaurant niche. The burgers are pretty good actually, but it's more a restaurant that specializes in burgers (gourmet toppings, etc.) than a burger joint that you sit down in. I'm a bit of a foodie and I don't object when people suggest going to Red Robin (it's a guilty pleasure). They are pricier but somehow it seems reasonable given the setting and everything else.

 

Also they tend to be in good locations: near/in all the major shopping malls (never *in* the mall food court, but as a separate restaurant on the mall or within walking distance), one close to the university, etc.

 

It sounds weird on paper, the same way that spending near $8 for a burrito at Chipotle looks weird, but when you go there it kinda makes sense.

 

 

 

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Why do you find it hard to believe?

 

I guess it's because I rarely eat hamburgers, and when I did it was either at In N Out or Five Guys (east coast chain).  And I never thought that people got hamburgers when they went to Chili's or TGI Fridays.  Guess that shows you how much I go to those types of restaurants!

 

Red Robin looks very interesting at this price.  I'm still working on figuring out maintenance capex (historically, at 15% of capex according to an earlier conference call), but it looks to be well run with the right philosophy towards customer service.  I was a little worried about the sustainability of the $10 burger joint, but it looks like that was unfounded.  I'm also not too thrilled about their having to buy back some franchisees' restaurants. 

 

But if growth resumes, this could be a great one to be in.

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The burgers are pretty good actually, but it's more a restaurant that specializes in burgers (gourmet toppings, etc.) than a burger joint that you sit down in.

 

Do you have a server that you tip at the end of the meal?  Or is it cafe style?

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