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Red Robin

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Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc.
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews
  • Sam's Tavern
  • Sam's Red Robin
TypePublic company
GenreCasual Dining
Founded1940; 82 years ago (1940) in Seattle, Washington, U.S. (as Sam's Tavern)
FounderGerry Kingen
HeadquartersTuscany Plaza
6312 S Fiddlers Green Circle, Suite 200 Greenwood Village, Colorado, 80111,
Number of locations
532 (2021)
Area served
  • United States
  • Canada
Key people
Pattye L. Moore Chairman
Paul J.B. Murphy III CEO
Guy Constant COO
Jonathan Muhtar CCO
Lynn Schweinfurth CFO
Michael Kaplan CLO
Dean Cookson CIO
ProductsBurgers, Chicken, French Fries, Sandwiches, Appetizers, Desserts, Milkshakes, Salads, Soups, Alcoholic Beverages, Soft Drinks[1]
RevenueIncrease US$1.002 billion
(FY February 25, 2021)[2]
Increase US$276.07 million
(FY February 25, 2021)[3]
Footnotes / references

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc., more commonly known as Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews or simply Red Robin, is an American chain of casual dining restaurants founded in September 1969 in Seattle, Washington. In 1979, the first franchised Red Robin restaurant was opened in Yakima, Washington.[6] Red Robin's headquarters are in Greenwood Village, Colorado. As of August 2020, the company had over 570 restaurants in operation[7] with 90 being operated as a franchise.[8]


The original Red Robin stood at the corner of Furhman and Eastlake Avenues E. in Seattle, at the southern end of the University Bridge. This building dated from 1940 and was first called Sam's Tavern. The owner, Sam, sang in a barbershop quartet and could frequently be heard singing the song "When the Red, Red Robin (Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin' Along)". He liked the song so much that he eventually changed the name to Sam's Red Robin.[9]

A Red Robin restaurant in 2015
Red Robin's Gourmet Bacon Cheeseburger

In 1969, local Seattle restaurant entrepreneur Gerry Kingen bought the restaurant and expanded it. The business dropped the "Sam's" and became Red Robin. The first restaurant was 1,200 sq ft (110 m2). It was a favored hangout for University of Washington students.[10][11] Kingen continued to operate the location as a tavern for a few years, but later added hamburgers to the menu, eventually giving fans 28 different burgers to choose from, and sales increased.

After 10 years of building the Red Robin concept Kingen decided to franchise it,[12] which proved to be significant in the development of the chain. Through franchising, and through one franchisee in particular, the chain drew its strength. Kingen's association with the company he founded later ended, but the franchising system endured, creating disciples of the gourmet burger format that extended the physical presence and geographic reach of the enterprise far beyond the efforts of its creator.

In 1979, Kingen sold Michael and Steve Snyder the rights to open a Red Robin in Yakima, Washington and The Snyder Group Company became Red Robin's first franchisee. In 1980, Red Robin opened a restaurant in Portland, Oregon. In 1983, Red Robin adopted a mascot named Red. In 1985, Red Robin had 175 restaurants when the corporate headquarters was moved from downtown Seattle to Irvine, California, after CEO Kingen sold a controlling interest in Red Robin Corp. to Skylark Corporation of Japan and where Michael Snyder had Red Robin offices. With marginal successes and poor financial performance under Skylark's management, Kingen, then a minority owner, in 1995 stepped back into Red Robin with Michael Snyder to nurse the company back to profitability. In 2000, the company opened its 150th restaurant. The headquarters was moved to the Denver Tech Center. In 2000, Red Robin merged with the Snyder Group, and Snyder became president, chairman and CEO of the merged company. Snyder took the company public in 2002.

The first Red Robin in the Chicago area opened in 2001 at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Illinois.[13] Additional locations opened in Warrenville and Wheaton that year.[14]

The original Red Robin closed on March 21, 2010, due to prohibitive maintenance costs for the old building.[15][16][17] It was demolished on August 28, 2014.[18]

As of fiscal year 2015, the company had 538 restaurants with a revenue of US$1.25 billion.[19] To expand their reach, Red Robin added a "simplified" line of restaurants called Red Robin's Burger Works featuring quick service and with locations in Washington, D.C., Illinois, Ohio, and Colorado. These restaurants, launched in 2011, were mostly closed in 2016; three of them were rebranded as Red Robin Express to differentiate them from full-service locations.[20]

On December 2, 2018, Michael Snyder died by suicide.[21]

In September 2019, Paul J.B. Murphy III was appointed as President, Chief Executive Officer, and a member of the Company's Board of Directors, effective October 3, 2019.[22]

In October 2019, the company announced plans to close its five locations in Alberta, Canada, by early December.[23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Gourmet Burgers and Brews - Red Robin".
  2. ^ "RRGB | Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc. Annual Income Statement".
  3. ^ "RRGB | Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc. Annual Income Statement".
  4. ^ Ruggless, Ron (April 3, 2019). "Denny Marie Post retires as Red Robin CEO". Nation's Restaurant News. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  5. ^ "Red Robin leadership". Red Robin. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  6. ^ Ruggless, Ron (December 6, 2018). "Former Red Robin CEO Michael Snyder dies at 68". Nations Restaurant News. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  7. ^ Emmer, Christa (August 19, 2020). "Red Robin Is Adding Something New to the Menu: Pizza". OCN Media. Retrieved August 22, 2020.
  8. ^ Luna, Nancy (September 5, 2019). "Red Robin names industry veteran Paul Murphy as new CEO". Nations Restaurant News. Retrieved September 5, 2019.
  9. ^ "About Us". Red Robin. Archived from the original on May 12, 2014.
  10. ^ Hillestad, Kimberly (April 8, 1999). "A Long Dry Spell". The Daily. University of Washington. Archived from the original on July 8, 2012.
  11. ^ Vu, Tiffany (March 5, 2010). "Bye bye, birdie". The Daily. University of Washington. Archived from the original on July 7, 2012.
  12. ^ "History of Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc".
  14. ^ Tribune, Chicago. "Red Robin in Wheaton".
  15. ^ "Red Robin to close original Seattle location March 21". The Seattle Times.
  16. ^ Guzman, Monica (March 23, 2010). "Red Robin publishes Seattle memories of shuttered restaurant". Seattle's Big Blog.
  17. ^ Clement, Bethany Jean (March 25, 2010). "Bar Exam". The Stranger. Retrieved November 27, 2019.
  18. ^ Savage, Dan (August 28, 2014). "This Red Robin Is No More! It Has Ceased To Be! This Is An Ex-Robin!". Slog (blog). The Stranger. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
  19. ^ Red Robin Gourmet Burgers 2015 Annual Report
  20. ^ "Red Robin giving up on Burger Works fast-casual concept". Denver Post. October 5, 2016. Retrieved May 22, 2022.
  21. ^ Casiano, Louis (December 4, 2018). "Former Red Robin burger chain CEO dead from self-inflicted gunshot, reports say". Fox News. Retrieved September 5, 2019.
  22. ^ Luna, Nancy (September 5, 2019). "Red Robin names industry veteran Paul Murphy as new CEO". Nation's Restaurant News. Retrieved May 22, 2022.
  23. ^ "Red Robin burger chain to close all 5 Alberta locations". CBC. October 21, 2019. Retrieved November 27, 2019.

External links[edit]