Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Red Robin goes all out with new menu additions

O-Ring Shorty
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers unveiled new appetizers and desserts on Monday, tangible proof of an earlier announcement of a series of "traffic-driving initiatives."

The menu change is aimed at capitalizing on trends that began last year, with guests buying more drinks and adding appetizers. That contributed to the 474-unit casual-dining chain’s 1.4% same-store sales increase at company-owned units during the fourth quarter of 2012.

The appetizers are priced at $3, $5, $7 and $9.

The $3 options include a Classic Mini Wedge Salad with blue cheese crumbles, bacon bits, onion straws, diced tomatoes and ranch dressing; and Yukon Chips & French Onion Dip, with fresh kettle chips and a creamy, warm dip.

The $5 appetizers include what well may become my favorite -- the O-Ring Shorty, a shorter version of the chain’s classic onion ring tower. I love Red Robin's rings but never could singlehandedly finish the originally-sized order.

Also at $5, Bar Wings ‘n’ Yukon Chips, a half-order of wings tossed with Buzzard or Island-Style Maui sauce and served on kettle chips, also is new.

The $7 appetizers include such classics as the Jump Starter Double, a basket of fried mushrooms, jalapeƱo coins, onion rings, sweet potato fries, zucchini sticks and cheese sticks, as well as creamy artichokes and spinach dip, the Honest Hummus Plate and Chili Chili Con Queso. New $9 offerings include Saucy Pork Riblets, smothered in Whiskey River BBQ Sauce or Triple S BBQ Sauce and served on a bed of kettle chips, or a full order of Bar Wings ‘n’ Yukon Chips.

The dessert menu now includes Double Berry Cheesecake and a Very Red Velvet Cake.

The beverage menu now includes for spring a new beer milkshake, with Blue Moon Belgian White Beer combined with Cointreau Orange Liqueur and orange juice whipped with soft-serve ice cream.

In addition, the chain brought back its spicy 5 Alarm Burger this week as a limited-time offer through June 3, after asking guests to vote on their favorite burger from the past. The 5 Alarm, which features pepper Jack cheese, jalapeƱos, salsa and chipotle aioli, received more than 56,000 votes, the company said.

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