Red Robin closes 10 underperforming restaurants


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Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc. is closing 10 underperforming restaurants as it works on a turnaround at the casual-dining brand, the interim CEO said Thursday.


Seven of the 10 restaurants are located in enclosed mall locations, the company said. The Greenwood Village, Colo.-based burger brand has previously noted that mall locations had been a drag on company performance.


Red Robin’s same-store sales for the first quarter ended April 21 were down 3.3% and guest counts declined 5.5%. 


Pattye Moore, who has served as interim CEO since April, said the company was “moving with urgency.” Moore, who is also Red Robin’s board chair, assumed the CEO role after the retirement of Denny Marie Post, who had served as CEO since 2016.


“The board has engaged The Elliot Group, which has deep experience in our industry, to assist in the CEO search and the search committee has already begun the interview process,” Moore said in a statement accompanying the first-quarter earnings release.


“At the same time, in the nine weeks since I became interim CEO, I have worked closely with the management team to narrow the list of critical initiatives and simplify our focus,” she said. “We are actively working with The Cypress Group on selectively refranchising and reassessing our real estate portfolio.”

Red Robin had paused unit growth at the end of 2018, a move that followed the shuttering of its short-lived fast-casual Burger Works offshoot.


For the first quarter, Red Robin report net income of $639,000, or five cents a share, down from $4.4 million, or 35 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Revenues were down 2.8% to $409.9 million from $421.5 million in the prior-year period.


The company had 572 units at the end of the quarter, with 483 company-owned.