Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc. has named Denny Marie Post CEO, replacing Steve Carley, who is retiring after six years at the helm, the company said Monday.
Post, who is also president of Red Robin, joined the company in 2011 as senior vice president and chief marketing officer. She was promoted to executive vice president and chief concept officer in March 2015, and promoted again, to president, in February.
She indicated that her move to CEO, effective Monday, was part of a planned succession at the Greenwood, Colo.-based operator. Post also joins the company’s board of directors.
“I am honored to have this opportunity, and greatly appreciate the thoughtful way Steve and the board planned the succession,” Post said in a statement. “As a team, we have a tremendous legacy to build on, a strong and inspiring culture, talented leadership from our restaurants to our home office, and a collective commitment to deliver a superior guest experience. As much as we have accomplished so far, we have many more ‘best years’ to come.”
Carley said he will continue to serve as an advisor to Red Robin through the end of the year. During his tenure as CEO, Carley spearheaded the growth of more than 540 restaurants in North America, the company said.
He has also led Red Robin through a brand revamp over the last few years that has included the development of a barbell menu strategy that includes both value-positioned and premium burgers, as well as the launch of the fast-casual Burger Works brand.
In February, Red Robin pledged to double earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization by 2020 with a plan that includes revenue growth, expense management and more efficient capital deployment.
“I’m grateful for my time at Red Robin, and, after working in the restaurant industry for more than 30 years, I am looking forward to relaxing and enjoying my family,” Carley said in a statement. “Denny has true passion for Red Robin. She has proven herself as a leader, and she’s well-suited to guide the company’s next phase of growth.”
In addition, Red Robin said Kalen Holmes, former executive vice president of partner resources at Starbucks Corp., and Steven Lumpkin, former executive vice president, chief financial officer at Applebee’s International Inc., have been named board members.
Red Robin operates and franchises 540 restaurants under the Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews and Red Robin Burger Works brands.
Red Robin said same-store sales decreased 3.2 percent at company-owned restaurants for the July 10-ended second quarter, driven by a 3.9 percent drop in traffic that was partially offset by a 0.7 percent increase in average check. . Net income declined 32 percent to $7.6 million, or 55 cents per share, compared with $11.2 million, or 78 cents per share, a year ago. Systemwide revenues totaled $366 million, compared to $363.2 million a year ago.