Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, which had kept its 556 restaurants open for off-premise orders during the coronavirus pandemic, said it is temporarily closing 35 locations today.
Most of the restaurants are located at malls, where traffic has come to a halt due to mandated business closures across the nation to curb the spread of the deadly and highly contagious virus. For the week ending April 12, the company reported same-store sales plunging 65.2%. The weekly declines in the previous three weeks ranged from 63.9% to 72.7%.
The closures, which resulted in furloughing of some restaurant workers, are part of additional actions taken Tuesday “to preserve liquidity, reduce costs, and better position Red Robin for the long term,” CEO Paul Murphy said. >
Other measures taken Tuesday to sustain operations during the COVID-19 crisis include 20% pay cuts for non-furloughed corporate staff and restaurant supervisory team members and the elimination of 50 restaurant support center G&A positions. The layoffs are effective April 17.
The pay reduction for remaining employees will be effective April 20. On April 1, the company said executive base salaries would be cut by 20%, including Murphy's base pay.
The announcement comes two weeks after the Greenwood Village, Colo.-based casual-dining chain said it had more than doubled its off-premise sales during the initial weeks of dine-in closures forced by the pandemic. At the time, the company said the to-go business was offsetting some of the company's losses from dine-in closures.
“I’d like to thank all of our team members that have been working tirelessly to optimize our off-premise execution, grow our to-go, delivery, and catering channels, and deliver on the Red Robin brand promise to our communities,” Murphy said in a statement released Tuesday. “For all those team members affected by the changes announced today, I sincerely thank you for all your contributions to Red Robin and commitment to serving our guests."
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