Now that the school year is coming to a close, Red Robin menu with prices is offering free burgers today to teachers and others who work with students. The free burger deal is for anybody who works for or with a school. Diners must show a valid school ID when ordering. The restaurant chain said the offer includes counselors, administrators, bus drivers along with other educators employed by any level of school, from nursery school through senior high school and college. Retired teachers will get the free burgers also with an ID.
Diners can decide on among five Tavern Double burgers and bottomless steak fries. Burger options range from the Cowboy Ranch Tavern Double as well as the Taco Tavern Double. The burgers usually go for $6.99. Simultaneously, executives detailed initiatives to offset the damage by repricing the burger specialist’s everyday-value menu and pushing for further catering business.
Chain officials attributed the concept’s weak performance for that quarter ended July 15 to fewer guests dining on-site during peak periods, particularly at restaurants based in shopping malls. “The continued weakness inside our dine-in traffic caught us unawares, though it may be impossible to parse just how much is because of improvement in guest behavior and precisely what is self-inflicted,” said CEO Denny Marie Post.
Red Robin’s fault is considerable, she indicated. Post explained that shoppers would visit a crush of individuals awaiting tables and walk away. Even though they stuck it out, she continued, tables were turned slower, cutting into guest counts on weekends. “Seventy-5 percent of the losing of dine-in service originated from peak periods,” she told financial analysts, as recorded in a transcript from SeekingAlpha.com.
The glut, in turn, was caused by operational changes undertaken by Red Robin a couple of years ago, a recast known internally as Maestro, Post said. With installing a new kitchen display system, two bussing positions were eliminated from each store. The purpose of collecting dirty dishes was shifted to servers.
“Unfortunately, we failed to execute this well in any way. Plus it impacted us most during peak periods,” she said. “We have experienced both our wait some time and the number of people leaving without having to be seated increase year over year.”
Guest-satisfaction gauges and a surge in customer complaints pointed to some problem, but “we were lulled into complacency,” because ticket times improved, Post said. Overall, traffic was down .7%.
Upgrading hosts and hostesses.“Today, these hosts are motivated to do far more as our takeout and third-party delivery businesses grow,” Post said, noting that staff members holding the work are generally very junior. “We are moving rapidly forward with required new host training and improved selection criteria.”
Increasing staff levels at peak times “to capture the unmet demand we have seen inside our restaurant lobbies,” Post said. Yet she noted that Red Robin continue to check out means of reducing labor through the adoption of brand new technology, specifically in five Western states where labor pricing is increasing with a gallop. She failed to name the states, but said that Red Robin features a preponderance of stores there.
Bolstering delivery and catering sales at mall units, which make up 16% in the Red Robin chain. Post also mentioned the chance of trying new signage and site-specific deals to draw in more dine-in patrons. Particularly, she noted that Red Robin is forming a catering sales team to market the chain’s signature Burger Bar, a mini buffet for ofosii and offices, being a delivery option.
Trying alternative modes of promotion, like discounts for individuals Red Robin’s loyalty program. Post noted that $1.99 kids meals were offered throughout the quarter some day every week, to good effect.
Red Robin CFO Guy Constant stressed that the chain fails to believe dine-in business was cannibalized by takeout and delivery, though he acknowledged, “we have very little visibility to that particular as the third-party delivery proprietors don’t share their data.”
Although most of Red Robin’s Q2 woes were attributed to the drop-off in on-premise business, Post noted that a 2.6% decline in same-store sales was a result of the decline inside the average check. The culprit, she said, was the achievements of the chain’s Tavern Double Burgers menu, a collection of burgers priced on the bargain rate of $6.99. The everyday-bargain items currently generate 15% of orders, up from 6% a couple of years ago, when advertising was put behind the array. This mixture was raised by an expansion of the menu through the quarter to five burgers, through the three which were offered during Q1.
Post explained that the everyday value afforded from the menu has indeed drawn customers, nevertheless they tended to be current guests who traded down, as opposed to newcomers for the brand. Responding, Red Robin can vary the prices from the burgers contained in the line, and can move cautiously on expanding the menu. If a burger is put into the Tavern menu, another will likely appear, Post said.