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Red Robin offers delivery to build off-premise business

Chain among biggest in casual dining to offer burgers on demand

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc. on Tuesday unveiled the next step in a move toward building off-premise business.

The Greenwood Village, Colo.-based chain is partnering with DoorDash to offer burger delivery from 70 restaurants across the country, including Phoenix; Seattle; Los Angeles; Indianapolis; San Francisco; Chicago; Dallas; Houston; Charlotte, N.C.; Washington, D.C.; Columbus, Ohio; and Minneapolis.

The casual-dining burger specialist has been struggling to turnaround negative same-store sales in recent quarters. Denny Marie Post, Red Robin’s CEO, sees off-premise business as an opportunity to build sales.

The chain has been testing a new online ordering platform and delivery with various third-party partners. A full rollout of refined carryout, delivery and catering options is expected in 2017, but it’s not clear whether DoorDash will be an exclusive partner with that roll out.

Burgers have long proven a challenge in the delivery world, as hot and cold ingredients don’t always travel well in packaging, though DoorDash said burgers and fries are the most ordered food item for delivery across the board.

Red Robin is testing various packaging variations for both carry out and delivery to keep the burgers and various toppings in good shape to travel, but company officials declined to give specifics on those tests.

Jason Rusk, Red Robin’s vice president of alternate platforms, said, “Red Robin wants our guests to enjoy a great meal wherever their busy lives take them, and DoorDash offers a unique opportunity to pair our unmatched quality and taste with speed and convenience of their delivery.”

A growing number of casual-dining players have also jumped on the delivery and take-out bandwagon this year. 

Applebee’s Grill & Bar and Buffalo Wild Wings are testing delivery, and The Cheesecake Factory and Bravo Brio Restaurant Group are rolling it out.

DoorDash officials said the Red Robin deal is their largest with a national casual-dining burger chain. Among casual-dining players, DoorDash is also working with The Cheesecake Factory, Buca di Beppo and P.F. Chang’s China Bistro.

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected]
Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout

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