Colorado-based Red Robin to slow down on new restaurant locations next year

Greenwood Village-based Red Robin posted a $1.3 million net loss for the third quarter of 2016.

New Belgium's Grilled Pineapple Golden Ale paired with Red Robin's Banzai Burger. (Courtesy of Red Robin)
Red Robin's teryaki pinapple Banzai Burger paired with the Grilled Pineapple Golden Ale, a collaboration between Red Robin and New Belgium Brewery. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) food; gabf; great american beer fest; beer; kevinjbeaty; denverite; denver; colorado;
Red Robin’s teryaki pinapple Banzai Burger paired with the Grilled Pineapple Golden Ale, a collaboration between Red Robin and New Belgium Brewery. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

In a world where restaurant chains seem to be competing for every corner, Red Robin announced plans Wednesday to scale back its expansion in 2017 and 2018.

The company, based in Greenwood Village, is taking a more conservative expansion approach in the face of the $1.3 million net loss it posted for its most recent quarter. Through mid-October, annual revenue for Red Robin was down 43 percent — $15.5 million — year over year.

It’s hard out there for a fast casual burger chain these days. Competitors like Denver-based Smashburger, Virginia-based Five Guys and now Denver-based Chipotle are all competing for the same customers.

Red Robin recently closed nine of its fast casual Red Robin Burger Works locations nationwide — including two in Colorado. The company opened 10 traditional Red Robin restaurants and one Red Robin Burger Works restaurant during the last three months.

The company plans to open no more than 16 new locations in 2017 and 2018.

As of the end of the third quarter of 2016, there were 459 company-owned Red Robin restaurants, three Red Robin Burger Works fast casual restaurants, and 86 franchised Red Robin restaurants, for a total of 548 restaurants.

The company is in the process of rebranding its fast casual restaurants as Red Robin Express.

“The investments we are making in Everyday Value (menu offerings) and improved service are already having a positive impact on our performance versus the competition,” CEO Denny Marie Post said in as statement.

“We have made significant gains in traffic and guest satisfaction. We look forward to sharing more about these outcomes, as well as our new direction on capital deployment, specifically a significant reduction in planned new unit development.”

Business & data reporter Adrian D. Garcia can be reached via email at agarcia@denverite.com or twitter.com/adriandgarcia.

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Adrian D. Garcia

Author: Adrian D. Garcia

Adrian D. Garcia covers business and trends for Denverite. He's covered business for The Fort Collins Coloradoan and serves as treasurer for the Colorado chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.