Red Robin

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Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc.
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews
  • Sam's Tavern (1940-1942)
  • Sam's Red Robin
Company typePublic
GenreCasual Dining
  • 1940; 84 years ago (1940) in Seattle, Washington, U.S. (as Sam's Tavern)
  • 1969; 55 years ago (1969) (as Red Robin)
FounderGerry Kingen
HeadquartersTuscany Plaza
6312 S Fiddlers Green Circle, Suite 200 Greenwood Village, Colorado, 80111,
Number of locations
502 (2023)[citation needed]
Area served
  • United States
  • Canada
Key people
G.J. Hart (CEO)
Todd Wilson (CFO)
Sarah Mussetter (CLO)
Kevin Mayer (CMO)
Jason Rusk (CBDO)
Jyoti Lynch (CTO)
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 first Red Robin was located at the corner of Furhman and Eastlake Avenues E. in Seattle, at the southern end of the University Bridge. This building dated from 1916 as a grocery store and was later converted into a restaurant in the 1920s; it was owned by 12 properties and known by various names. It was renamed to Sam's Red Robin Tavern in 1942, allegedly by owner Samuel Caston, who sang in a barbershop quartet and could frequently be heard singing the song "When the Red, Red Robin (Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin' Along)".[9][10]

A Red Robin restaurant in 2015

In 1969, local Seattle restaurant entrepreneur Gerry Kingen bought and expanded the restaurant. 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.[11][12] 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 ten years of building the Red Robin concept, Kingen decided to franchise it,[13] which proved to be significant in the development of the chain. The chain drew its strength through franchising and through one franchisee in particular. Kingen's association with the company he founded later ended, but the franchising system endured.

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. In 2000, the company opened its 150th restaurant. The headquarters were moved to the Denver Tech Center. In 2000, Red Robin merged with the Snyder Group, and Snyder became the company's president, chairman, and CEO. Snyder took the company public in 2002. In 2005, Snyder was ousted as CEO after allegations of fraud, which led to a SEC investigation and settlement and shareholders' lawsuit.[14][15][16]

The first Red Robin in the Chicago area opened in 2001 at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Illinois.[17] Additional locations opened in Warrenville and Wheaton that year.[18]

The original Red Robin closed on March 21, 2010, due to prohibitive maintenance costs for the old building.[19][20][21] It was demolished on August 28, 2014,[22] to make way for a three-story residential building named the "Robin's Nest".[9]

As of the fiscal year 2015, the company had 538 restaurants with a revenue of $1.25 billion.[23] 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 were rebranded as Red Robin Express to differentiate them from full-service locations.[24]

On December 2, 2018, Michael Snyder died by suicide.[25] In September 2019, Paul J.B. Murphy III was appointed president, Chief Executive Officer, and a member of the company's board of directors, effective October 3, 2019.[26] The following month, the company announced plans to close its five locations in Alberta, Canada in the Edmonton area by early December.[27]

In 2021, Red Robin refocused its efforts on growth in its home state of Washington, opening a new location in Federal Way, Washington on November 15.[28] The following November, the company closed its location in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and finished pulling all of its locations out of the Boston area.[29][30]

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. Archived from the original on March 31, 2019. 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. ^ a b Eals, Clay (November 10, 2022). "Red Robin restaurants arose from a tiny site near the University Bridge". The Seattle Times. Retrieved September 18, 2023.
  10. ^ "About Us". Red Robin. Archived from the original on May 12, 2014.
  11. ^ Hillestad, Kimberly (April 8, 1999). "A Long Dry Spell". The Daily. University of Washington. Archived from the original on July 8, 2012.
  12. ^ Vu, Tiffany (March 5, 2010). "Bye bye, birdie". The Daily. University of Washington. Archived from the original on July 7, 2012.
  13. ^ "History of Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc".
  14. ^ "Michael J. Snyder: Lit. Rel. No. 20142 / June 4, 2007". Retrieved May 31, 2023.
  15. ^ "Red Robin ex-CEO settles SEC fraud charges over pay". Reuters. June 4, 2007. Retrieved May 31, 2023.
  16. ^ "Retirement and General Release Agreement--Michael J. Snyder". Retrieved May 31, 2023.
  17. ^ Gottesman, Walter (January 15, 2001). "Hamburger restaurant chain makes area debut at Woodfield". Chicago Tribune.
  18. ^ "Red Robin in Wheaton". Chicago Tribune. August 14, 2001.
  19. ^ Leson, Nancy (May 1, 2010). "Red Robin to close original Seattle location March 21". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on July 15, 2010. Retrieved September 18, 2023.
  20. ^ Guzman, Monica (March 23, 2010). "Red Robin publishes Seattle memories of shuttered restaurant". Seattle's Big Blog.
  21. ^ Clement, Bethany Jean (March 25, 2010). "Bar Exam". The Stranger. Retrieved November 27, 2019.
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ Red Robin Gourmet Burgers 2015 Annual Report[permanent dead link]
  24. ^ "Red Robin giving up on Burger Works fast-casual concept". Denver Post. October 5, 2016. Retrieved May 22, 2022.
  25. ^ Casiano, Louis (December 4, 2018). "Former Red Robin burger chain CEO dead from self-inflicted gunshot, reports say". Fox News. Retrieved September 5, 2019.
  26. ^ Luna, Nancy (September 5, 2019). "Red Robin names industry veteran Paul Murphy as new CEO". Nation's Restaurant News. Retrieved May 22, 2022.
  27. ^ "Red Robin burger chain to close all 5 Alberta locations". CBC. October 21, 2019. Retrieved November 27, 2019.
  28. ^ Sullivan, Olivia (November 10, 2021). "Red Robin Gourmet Burgers opens to public Nov. 15". Retrieved January 24, 2023.
  29. ^ Gremillion, Bria; Guillory, Deon (November 7, 2022). "Red Robin closes BR location". WAFB. Retrieved January 24, 2023.
  30. ^ "Red Robin Closes Last Location in Greater Boston". WBTS-CD. November 25, 2022. Retrieved January 24, 2023.

External links[edit]

  • Official website Edit this at Wikidata
  • Business data for Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc.: