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Posts Tagged ‘Red Robin’

Restaurants With ‘Xtreme’ Menu Items Are Doing Long-Term Damage (To Their Business)


The Center for Science in the Public Interest has released its 2014 Xtreme Eating Awards and topping the list with a 3,540 calorie meal consisting of a “Monster” double burger and milkshake with a bottomless order of fries is Red Robin.

“[I]t’s the ‘single unhealthiest’ meal the group could find on more than 200 chain restaurant menus it reviewed…” says USA Today.

Also on the list three times is The Cheesecake Factory. And there’s Chevys Tex Mex with a combo plate, a seafood platter from Joe’s Crab Shack, ribs from Famous Dave’s and a deep-dish ranch pizza from BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse.

Restaurants appearing on the list that spoke with the newspaper counter that there are low-calorie options on their menu for those that want them. Red Robin’s SVP and CMO, Denny Marie Post, says that colossal meal is a mixture of their menu’s “most indulgent” items.

All of this might be true, but that’s not what’s getting the media attention. These chains are making a name for themselves for having the most fattening and unhealthy dishes. That can have a negative long-term effect.

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Note to Red Robin: Don’t Tell Vegetarians They’re Just ‘Going Through a Phase’

The first time we saw the below ad for Red Robin, we half-smirked and half-cringed; though we could tell what the spot was trying to do, we were also very aware that the actual execution sent an all-together different message.

In an attempt to humorously inform parents that Red Robin is a restaurant with a variety of options to please the whole family, its latest TV spot features an actress delivering the line, “We even have a garden burger … just in case your teenage daughter is going through a phase.”

Though we agree with Ad Week that this was likely meant to seem conspiratorial (Your kids are picky and fickle? Mine too!) the line instead comes across as abasing, as if insinuating that vegetarianism — often a complex and long-term lifestyle choice –  is little more than a silly whim akin to other overly-dramatic teenage flights of fancy like boyband crushes. Read more

PR Win: Red Robin Encourages ‘Unbridled Acts’ of Kindness

Red Robin Gourmet BurgersToday in It’s the Small Things News, the manager of a North Carolina branch of burger chain Red Robin scored a big PR win just by being nice to a pregnant customer (and saving her a few bucks in the process).

The story: a man visited the restaurant with his (very) pregnant wife and their young son. As he explained to Consumerist, the  manager saw his family come in and stopped by to chat before their meal arrived; he was “extremely friendly and jokingly asked [the] wife if this was her last meal before heading to the hospital” before comping her entire meal and adding the message “MOM 2 BEE GOOD LUC” to the receipt.

Hearts were warmed all around.

A couple of caveats: We understand that any lower-level employee at a comparable restaurant who pulled a move like this would probably find him or herself filing for unemployment right about now. And of course that $11.50 discount comes right out of Red Robin’s budget. Still, we can’t overstate the PR value of “being a nice guy”. Customer loyalty is worth more than a few extra bucks, right?

In a follow-up post, the manager explains that he didn’t do it for the media attention:

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