Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Red Robin testing $15 premium kobe burgers

Kobe burger with bacon, Swiss
Anyone who has visited a Red Robin Gourmet Burgers restaurant would be excused for thinking the last thing the casual dining chain needs is another variety of burger.

Nevertheless, the Colorado-based company, with locations in Latham and Clifton Park, is testing a new line of premium burgers, including Kobe beef and bison, that may debut in the second half of the year.

CEO Stephen Carley said in an interview with Nation's Restaurant News that the chain still is studying what consumers want in a premium burger, as well as, “what guests are prepared to pay a premium for.”

The premium burger line follows the successful launch in 2012 of the Tavern Double Burger for $6.99, which included the chain’s signature "bottomless" steak fries. The burger has add-on topping options for $1, and was designed to compete directly with fast-casual better burger chains that Carley said have reset the bar in the industry.

An industry analyst said he expects the new premium burgers to be priced as high as $14.99.

The chain also is exploring new appetizers and desserts, and is continuing to work on building its bar program.

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