Red Robin Testing Prototype: Build - A - Burger

CHRIS RUSSELL | DISPATCH PHOTOS Red Robin opened its second Burger Works location last week, in the University District. Unlike a traditional Red Robin restaurant, these test locations are smaller and offer a self-service format with a toppings bar for burgers.Columbus is again playing the role of test market.

Denver-based Red Robin Gourmet Burgers is trying its newest restaurant prototype in central Ohio. Red Robin’s Burger Works opened on March 26 at 1708 N. High St. in the University District.

“Columbus is already a pretty strong market for us, and people already recognize our brand,” said company spokesman Kevin Caulfield. Red Robin has four restaurants in central Ohio and 16 statewide.

That’s why Columbus was chosen as a test market for the fast-casual version of Red Robin.

“The (location) near Ohio State’s campus fit into the smaller footprint we were looking for."

The new Burger Works restaurants are between 2,000 and 4,000 square feet, compared with the typical 6,000square feet of a suburban Red Robin.

It also departs from the company’s traditional sit-down model, employing a self-service style, with a build-your-own burger toppings bar.

“We developed the Burger Works prototype specifically to allow us to go into areas where we wouldn’t have been able to develop traditional Red Robins,” Caulfield said. “The size and (service style) of Burger Works opens up a lot of other opportunities for us, such as opening on college campuses and in airports.” Read More

Posted on April 6, 2012 and filed under Fast Casual.