Now that the school year is coming to a close, Red Robin menu 2018 is offering free burgers now to teachers yet others who work with students. The free burger deal is for anyone who works for or with a school. Diners must show a sound school ID when ordering. The restaurant chain said the deal 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 can get the free burgers too with the ID.
Diners can decide on among five Tavern Double burgers and bottomless steak fries. Burger options are the Cowboy Ranch Tavern Double and the Taco Tavern Double. The burgers usually choose $6.99. Simultaneously, executives detailed initiatives to cancel out the damage by repricing the burger specialist’s everyday-value menu and pushing for additional catering business.
Chain officials attributed the concept’s weak performance for the quarter ended July 15 to fewer guests dining on-site during peak periods, particularly at restaurants located in departmental stores. “The continued weakness in our dine-in traffic caught us unawares, while it is impossible to parse exactly how much is because of change in guest behavior and what exactly 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 waiting around for tables and move on. Even when they stuck it, she continued, tables were turned more slowly, cutting into guest counts on weekends. “Seventy-five percent of losing dine-in service has come from peak periods,” she told financial analysts, as recorded in a transcript from SeekingAlpha.com.
The glut, subsequently, was caused by operational changes undertaken by Red Robin two years ago, a recast known internally as Maestro, Post said. With installing a brand 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 whatsoever. And it impacted us most during peak periods,” she said. “We have seen both our wait time as well as the number of people walking away without getting seated increase year over year.”
Guest-satisfaction gauges as well as 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 a lot more as our takeout and third-party delivery businesses grow,” Post said, noting that employees holding the job are usually 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 continues to check out ways of reducing labor with the adoption of the latest technology, especially in five Western states where labor expenses are increasing in a gallop. She did not name the states, but claimed that Red Robin has 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 potential of trying new signage and site-specific deals to attract more dine-in patrons. Particularly, she noted that Red Robin is forming a catering sales team to advertise the chain’s signature Burger Bar, a mini buffet for ofosii and offices, as a delivery option.
Trying alternative modes of promotion, including discounts for individuals Red Robin’s loyalty program. Post noted that $1.99 kids meals were offered through the quarter 1 day every week, to good effect.
Red Robin CFO Guy Constant stressed that this chain does not believe dine-running a business was cannibalized by takeout and delivery, though he acknowledged, “we have almost no visibility for that because the third-party delivery proprietors don’t share their data.”
Although a lot of Red Robin’s Q2 woes were associated with the drop-off in on-premise business, Post noted which a 2.6% decline in same-store sales was also a direct result the decline within the average check. At fault, 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% 2 yrs ago, when advertising was put behind the array. The mix was raised by an expansion of the menu throughout the quarter to five burgers, from the three which were offered during Q1.
Post explained the everyday value afforded through the menu has indeed drawn customers, however they tended to become current guests who traded down, as opposed to newcomers to the brand. In response, Red Robin will vary the prices of the burgers included in the line, and will move cautiously on expanding the menu. When a burger is put into the Tavern menu, another will probably appear, Post said.