It’s no longer a secret that consumers are looking for meat-free options, even at traditionally meat-heavy establishments like All-American burger joints.
Red Robin has taken noticed and announced the addition of the Impossible Burger at all 570 of its US locations. The move comes after a disappointing year for Red Robin from a sales perspective.
From Red Robin’s perspective, the chain could use the attention that a popular new menu item launch could bring. Red Robin has been struggling to pull its sales up for multiple quarters, feeling the pressure from operational inefficiencies and being slow to adapt to new digital sales channels, including online ordering and delivery.
In the fourth quarter of 2018, Red Robin reported a 4.5 percent decline in comparable store sales and a 4.4 percent decline in comparable guest count at its restaurants, compared to the same period in the prior year. Total revenue was down 10.8 percent in the quarter.
“2018 was, in sum, a very disappointing year for us,” Red Robin CEO Denny Marie Post told investors on the company’s most recent earnings call. “It brought a lot of hard-earned learning, which we are using to urgently set new plans to turn our performance around.”