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Red Robin 1Q same-store sales fall 1.2%

Tavern Double burgers, quicker service minimized the decline

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc. credited its Tavern Double burger menu, faster service and efforts to grow off-premise sales for minimizing same-store sales declines in the first quarter, the company said Tuesday.

The Greenwood Village, Colo.-based casual-dining chain said same-store sales fell 1.2 percent in the first quarter ended April 16. That reflected a 1.7-percent decline in traffic and a 0.5-percent increase in average check, the company said.

“The steps we’ve taken so far are strengthening our business, enabling us to gain market share, and separating Red Robin from our casual-dining competitors,” said Denny Marie Post, Red Robin’s CEO, in a statement.

“During the first quarter, our everyday value Tavern Double burger menu continued to drive traffic, our teams delivered on improved speed of service, and our recent investments in the growing off-premise use began to gain traction,” Post said. “The early success of these and other initiatives gives us confidence that we are laying the groundwork for improved performance for the balance of the year and beyond.”

The company said the 0.5-percent increase in average check included a 1.6-percent increase in menu price and a 1.1-percent decline in menu mix.

For the first quarter, income declined 18.7 percent, to $11.6 million, or 89 cents per share, from $14.2 million, or $1.03 per share, the previous year. Revenue increased 4.1 percent, to $418.6 million, from $402.1 million the previous year.

As of April 16, Red Robin had 556 restaurants, including 469 company-owned locations and 87 franchised units.

During the first quarter, Red Robin opened six restaurants, including one unit that was temporarily closed in 2016, and relocated one unit. One franchised restaurant opened.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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