Casual dining restaurant chain Red Robin Gourmet Burgers reported its 2013 annual revenues exceeded $1.0 billion, growing 4 percent over 2012, for an increase of $40.1 million. Total revenues for 2012 were $977.1 million.
During fourth quarter 2013, when wintery weather and fewer holiday shopping days contributed to a 1.4 percent decrease in guest counts, same store sales climbed 3.7 percent, the result of a 5.1 percent increase in the average check. The uptick in guest checks came from from menu initiatives, says Steve Carley, Red Robin Gourmet Burger chief executive officer.
These menu initiatives include the debut of the chain’s Finest line. The Smoke & Pepper burger is priced at $13.49, and served with the chain’s Bottomless Steak Fries. Guest response exceeded expectations, says Carley. Also helping drive sales are $3, $5, $7, and $9 appetizers and new adult beverage and dessert offerings.
Revenues during fourth-quarter 2013 were $241.93 million, an increase of 0.52 percent from last year's fourth-quarter revenues of $240.68 million. Red Robin also increased its operating profit margins at the restaurant level, primarily from leveraging higher sales on fixed costs. In the fourth quarter, its profit margins reached 21.7 percent, compared to 20.6 percent during the same 12-week period in 2012.
General and administrative costs jumped to $22.8 million, an increase of $2.3 million from fourth-quarter 2012, mainly from an increase in salaries and benefits. Members of the company’s management team also received a combined $1.6 million non-recurring special bonus awarded by the board.
“While we're not immune to the industry headwinds in this intense competitive environment, we believe our success relative to others is the result of remaining true to our brand, staying focused on our key strategic initiatives, and executing improvements our guests are continuing to give us credit for,” said Carley, in an earnings call with investors.
By the end of 2013, there were 355 company-owned Red Robin restaurants, six Red Robin’s Burger Works, and 134 franchised Red Robin restaurants, for a total of 495 restaurants. The company opened 21 new Red Robin restaurants in 2013, relocated another two, and opened a Burger Works. It also remodeled 19 Red Robin restaurants, to meet its new brand standards.
In fiscal year 2014, the company expects comparable restaurant sales growth in the low single digits. It plans to open 20 new Red Robin restaurants, remodel another 50, and open five Red Robin’s Burger Works.
By Joann Whitcher