Post gave Mora a Red Robin gift card, and they snapped a selfie. She even ended up being featured in Inked Magazine.
“I can ensure you I’m probably the oldest woman in there,” she laughs. “I’m not one of their typical cover models, let me say that.”
Post says she has no intentions to get a second tattoo and realizes how high this sets the bar for future motivational tactics. She also understands that it would be challenging to walk into an interview now with a logo permanently drawn on her shoulder. No matter, though: Post hopes to retire with the company that has already promoted her three times.
She joined Red Robin as senior vice president and chief marketing officer in 2011. Four year later, she became executive vice president and chief concept officer, and, in August 2016, was named CEO and president after Steve Carley retired.
The lighthearted challenge underscores the direction Post hopes to advance Red Robin, which is navigating the challenging arena of casual dining by focusing on, as she puts it, “understanding what brought you here.”
Red Robin’s total revenues were up 1.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016, while comparable restaurant revenue fell 4.3 percent. For the entire year, revenues grew 3.1 percent as comparable revenue dropped 3.3 percent.
Post says Red Robin’s changes, which have really been centered on the customer experience, truly circled the topic in the back half of 2016, and the results began to reflect that, leading to a very optimistic path forward.
NPS scores are determined by a diner’s decision whether to recommend Red Robin to a friend or not, using a 0 to 10 scale. Post says they take the top two—9 and 10—eliminate 7s and 8s, and consider 6 a detractor. So the score is the 9s and 10s minus the 6 and under selections.
This is all measured through a tabletop device. In the last year, she says well over 7 million people cast a vote, meaning the 30 percent increase was nothing to gloss over.
“It was a big goal for us to accelerate our momentum,” she says. “We had been improving steadily in regards to our customer service but we started to plateau a bit, as you do with anything when you see an improvement.”
Post admits she didn’t think the boost would happen so quickly. “I kind of threw it out there, and as I looked at the goal it seemed like a real reach frankly. I wasn’t priming my arm.”
Red Robin rolled out its kitchen display systems, moving away from a paper-ticket based model. Otherwise, the improvements can’t be credited to technology or physical changes: the lift came from within the company’s four walls.