10-K 1 rrgb-20231231.htm 10-K rrgb-20231231
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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
FORM 10-K
 ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023
 TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from            to          
Commission file number 001-34851
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
RED ROBIN GOURMET BURGERS, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
DE84-1573084
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
10000 E. Geddes Avenue, Suite 500EnglewoodCO80112
(303) 846-6000
(Address of principal executive offices)(State)(Zip Code)(Registrant's telephone number, including area code)
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Exchange Act:
Title of each classTrading symbol(s)Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock, $0.001 par value
RRGBNasdaq(Global Select Market)
Securities Registered Pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes o    No ý
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Act. Yes o    No ý
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ý    No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes ý    No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or emerging growth company. See the definitions of "large accelerated filer," "accelerated filer," "smaller reporting company," and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated fileroAccelerated filerýNon-accelerated filer
oSmaller reporting company oEmerging growth companyo
If an emerging growth company, indicate by checkmark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management's assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. ý
If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements. ý
Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant’s executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to §240.10D-1(b). o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes o    No ý
The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common stock held by non-affiliates (based on the closing price on the last business day of the registrant's most recently completed second fiscal quarter on The Nasdaq Global Select Market) was $216.6 million. All executive officers and directors of the registrant have been deemed, solely for the purpose of the foregoing calculation, to be "affiliates" of the registrant.
There were 15,541,468 shares of common stock outstanding as of February 26, 2024.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Certain information required for Items 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 of Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K is incorporated by reference to the registrant's definitive proxy statement for the 2024 annual meeting of stockholders, which will be filed within 120 days of December 31, 2023 (the "2024 Proxy Statement").
i

RED ROBIN GOURMET BURGERS, INC.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
  Page
PART I
PART II
PART III
PART IV

i

PART I
ITEM 1.    Business
Overview
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, primarily operates, franchises, and develops casual dining restaurants in North America famous for serving more than two dozen craveable, high-quality burgers with Bottomless Steak Fries® and sides in a fun environment welcoming to Guests of all ages.
We opened the first Red Robin® restaurant in Seattle, Washington in September 1969. In 1979, the first franchised Red Robin restaurant was opened in Yakima, Washington. In 2001, we formed Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc., a Delaware corporation, and consummated a reorganization of the Company. Since that time, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. has owned, either directly or indirectly, all of the outstanding capital stock or membership interests, respectively, of Red Robin International, Inc. and our other operating subsidiaries through which we operate our Company-owned restaurants. Unless otherwise provided in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, references to "Red Robin," "we," "us," "our", or the "Company" refer to Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. and our consolidated subsidiaries.
As of the end of our fiscal year on December 31, 2023, there were 506 Red Robin restaurants, of which 415 were Company-owned and 91 were operated by franchisees. Our franchisees are independent organizations to whom we provide certain support. See "Restaurant Franchise and Licensing Arrangements" for additional information about our franchise program. As of December 31, 2023, there were Red Robin restaurants in 39 states and one Canadian province.
The Company operates its business as one operating and one reportable segment. Financial information for our operating segment is included in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part II, Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
The Company's fiscal year is 52 or 53 weeks ending the last Sunday of the calendar year. We refer to our fiscal years as 2023, 2022, and 2021 throughout this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Our fiscal years, fiscal year end dates, and the number of weeks in each period are summarized in the table below:
Fiscal Year Year End DateNumber of Weeks in Fiscal Year
Current and Prior Fiscal Years:
2023December 31, 202353
2022December 25, 202252
2021December 26, 202152
Upcoming Fiscal Years:
2024December 29, 202452
2025December 28, 202552
Business Strategy
In January of 2023, the Company released its North Star five-point plan designed to enhance the Company's competitive positioning. The North Star five-point plan consists of the following:

Transform to an Operations Focused Restaurant Company:
Empower decision making by operators at the unit level
Incentivize and reward operators to drive business growth and results
Restructured support organization

Elevate the Guest Experience:
Invest in people, food quality, and the restaurant facility
New cooking platform to fully deliver on our commitment of Gourmet Burgers
Menu refresh adding variety of both offerings and price points

Remove Costs and Complexity:
Optimize the supply chain to reduce costs and ensure consistent delivery of high-quality product
Evaluate vendors for need, performance, and competitive costs
Implement ongoing process to reduce costs through actions that uphold our commitment to a great Guest experience
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Optimize Guest Engagement:
Engage and support local communities in which we operate
Enhance the off-premises experience
Further build and engage Guests through Red Robin Royalty® loyalty program

Drive Growth in Comparable Restaurant Revenue & Unit Level Profitability, and Deliver Financial Commitments:
Regain credibility with the investment community
Drive performance in the existing base of restaurants, earning the right to resume new unit growth
Deliver financial guidance commitments

The Red Robin vision is to be the most loved restaurant brand in the communities we serve.
Restaurant Concept
With our menu of Gourmet Burgers and American favorites, creative beverage menu, over 30 bottomless items, energetic atmosphere, and playful environment that connects families of all kinds, our brand not only carries great memories for our most loyal Guests but also appeals to a broad demographic. Our Guests enjoy the playful spirit of our experience and the comfort they feel with friends and family across a diverse and multi-generational demographic.
We pride ourselves on our Gourmet Burgers and other mainstream favorites served in a casual, playful atmosphere. Our menu features our signature product, a line of Gourmet Burgers with layers of fresh ingredients and premium quality, fresh ground beef. We also offer burgers made with other proteins including chicken breasts (grilled or fried), turkey patties, as well as a proprietary vegetarian patty and the Impossible™ plant-based burger patty. We offer a selection of buns, including gluten free, sesame, brioche, and lettuce wraps, with a variety of toppings, including house-made sauces, crispy onion straws, sautéed mushrooms, several cheese choices, and a fried egg. All of our burgers are served with a choice from eight all-you-can-eat bottomless sides from steak fries, to broccoli, to garlic fries. We specialize in customizing our menu items to meet our Guests' dietary needs and preferences and have received recognition from experts in the allergen community. In addition to burgers, which accounted for 56% of food sales in 2023, Red Robin serves an array of other mainstream favorites that appeal to our Guests. These items include a variety of foods like Donatos® pizza, wings, salads, other entrees, and desserts. We also offer a range of single-serve and shareable desserts as well as our milkshakes. Our beverages include signature alcoholic and non-alcoholic specialty drinks, cocktails, wine, and a variety of national and craft beers.
We strive to customize the pace of the experience for our Guests based on their occasion, from accommodating time-pressured meals to offering a place to relax and connect with family and friends. We call this the “gift of time.” Red Robin also has an extraordinary approach to Guest service, and we have cataloged thousands of stories of Red Robin Team Members who live our values. Many examples can be found on our website, www.redrobin.com. Note that our website and the information contained on or connected to our website are not incorporated by reference herein, and our web address is included as an inactive textual reference only.
We also strive to provide our Guests with exceptional dining value and the ability to customize their experience. In 2023, we had an average check per Guest of $17.08. Average check per Guest increased 6.8% compared to 2022. We believe our price-to-value relationship, featuring our innovative array of quality burgers, "instaworthy" beverages, and over 30 bottomless items, differentiates us from our casual dining competitors and allows us to appeal to a broad base of middle income, multi-generational consumers.
ESG: Ongoing Commitment to Sustainability
Red Robin is a company that cares; we strive to impact Guests, Team Members, communities, and our planet for the better. We continued our sustainability journey by completing a materiality assessment, designed to help us identify and understand the ESG topics that matter most to our stakeholders. In 2023, we published our second sustainability report and Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (the "SASB") Restaurant Industry disclosures, which is available on our website at ir.redrobin.com. The contents of the sustainability report, our SASB Restaurant Industry disclosures and our website are not incorporated by reference into this Form 10-K. Our sustainability efforts continue to evolve, and we intend to continue to adapt our sustainability approach to integrate with our North Star strategic priorities.
Human Capital Management
We strive to ensure our people, who we refer to as Team Members, live out and benefit from our core values: Integrity, Fun, Unbridled Hospitality, and High Performance. We believe that when we live out these values, we win together!
Winning together is our core objective. We nurture this culture by ensuring that our people are front and center, that they have a clear understanding of what is expected, and that people love working for our brand. We strive to provide our people with a great place to work, opportunities for growth, and competitive compensation for their contributions. Our values empower
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and motivate our Team Members and create a Company culture that we collectively take pride in every day. We also provide our Team Members the opportunity to grow and develop, promote health and safety, and value inclusion, diversity, and engagement.
As part of our human capital management strategy, we focus on the following areas:
Our Team Members
As of December 31, 2023, we had 22,516 Team Members, consisting of 22,149 Team Members at Company-owned restaurants and 367 Restaurant Support Center and field-based Team Members.
Competitive Compensation and Benefits
We support our Team Members by offering market-competitive compensation and benefits for eligible Team Members. Tip eligible Team Members are paid at least the tip credit rate or minimum wage rate as mandated by federal, state, or local government agencies, in addition to receiving customer tips. We aim to ensure tipped positions make more than the federal, state, or local minimum wage when including tips. Our benefit programs include medical, dental, and vision insurance offerings, employee assistance programs, shift meals, Red Robin meal discounts, paid time off, 401(k) with employer match, an employee stock purchase plan, and equity-based awards for eligible Restaurant Support Center and operations Team Members, generally, at the director level and above.
Compensation and performance evaluations are designed to compensate our Team Members fairly for their level of experience and overall contribution to our business. We leverage our rewards to motivate our Team Members to do what is necessary in our mission to deliver a best-in-class Guest experience. For our operations leaders we implemented a performance-based compensation program. Our individual restaurant managers and multi-restaurant operators are now referred to as "Managing Partners" and "Market Partners," respectively. Under the new compensation plan for these field Team Members, they will earn a base salary plus a performance bonus, which represents a percentage of each of their respective restaurant’s operating profit. We changed our legacy program because we believe providing each Partner with a direct and uncapped financial incentive will attract and retain the best talent in the industry and incentivizes each Partner to take action to drive growth in the restaurant or market they manage. We also believe this program rewards our Partners for making the right day-to-day decisions to satisfy our Guests and meet our financial objectives.
Health and Safety
We operate with the health, safety, and well-being of Red Robin's Team Members, Guests, and communities in mind, as well as federal, state and local regulatory requirements. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, we have taken additional measures to protect our Team Members and Guests from infectious disease as well as comply with state and local protocols designed to maintain a healthy work environment.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion ("DE&I")
At Red Robin, we value everyone for who they are. We are committed to combining the key ingredients of diverse identities, perspectives, and experiences to create our own special seasoning of Unbridled Hospitality. By respecting and supporting our Team Members, our Guests, and our Communities, we all win together. We have a successful Women's Excellence program, a Company-wide resource group to support and inspire Team Members through development, networking, leadership, and other resources while fueling a culture of opportunity and diversity. In 2022, we established a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee to develop a mission and vision for DE&I from a Team Member’s point of view. In 2023, we established a DE&I Steering Council made up of senior leaders of the organization to establish an overarching long-term strategy and plan for our Company. The DE&I Committee meets routinely to assess opportunities for the Company to improve its efforts to create a best-in-class work environment that thrives on inclusion and diversity of thought. The DE&I Steering Council meets with the DE&I Committee, our Executive Team, and Board of Directors on a periodic basis to provide recommendations and updates on our progress against our evolving DE&I objectives.
Restaurant Management
From 2020 through 2022, our typical restaurant management team consisted of a General Manager, an assistant General Manager, one to two associate managers, and additional shift supervisors depending on restaurant sales volumes. We believe it is critical to operate our restaurants with a full complement of experienced and professional restaurant management. Beginning in 2023, we changed the typical restaurant management team to consist of a Managing Partner, an assistant General Manager, a kitchen manager, and service managers, associate managers, or shift supervisors, as appropriate, dependent primarily on restaurant Sales volume. This transition in restaurant management is occurring in phases. This transition marks a major change in our operational approach with expectations for local restaurant leadership to behave as if they are the “owner” of the restaurant. Decision making on a number of activities is now being driven by local leadership with the support of multi-unit field operations leaders when appropriate. In support of this approach, beginning in 2024, the compensation plan for field restaurant leaders will change significantly. A larger portion of the total compensation package for Managing Partners will be in
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the form of a monthly bonus linked to restaurant-level operating profit. Leaders who are effective at driving higher levels of performance will receive higher monetary rewards over time. This model also supports our intent to improve our level of community focus within the local regions we serve. Managing Partners will have the flexibility and resources to drive localized activities aimed at nurturing relationships within their community to drive Guest traffic. Our expectation is this approach will help to drive both top and bottom-line results and engagement.
The management team of each restaurant is responsible for the day-to-day operation of that restaurant, including hiring, training, and coaching of Team Members, as well as operating results. Our typical restaurant employs 40 to 70 Team Members, most of whom work part-time on an hourly basis.
Learning and Development
We strive to maintain quality and consistency in each of our restaurants through the training and development of Team Members and the establishment of, and adherence to, high standards relating to Team Member performance, Guest satisfaction, food and beverage preparation, and the maintenance of our restaurants. Each restaurant maintains a group of certified learning coaches, including a head learning coach, who collectively are tasked with preparing new Team Members for success by providing on-the-job training leading up to a final skills certification for their position. Team Members seeking advancement have the opportunity to join our management development program as a Shift Supervisor. We continue to focus on hiring, training, and retaining our Team Members as we believe this is key to maintaining quality and consistency in each of our restaurants.
New restaurant managers participate in our eight-week Management Foundations training program. This program hones each manager's skills, specifically in two areas: flawless shift execution and effective coaching of Team Members.
These learning and development practices at the restaurants support our talent pipeline to develop and promote our restaurant management Team Members from within.
Team Member Engagement
We regularly collect feedback to better understand and improve Team Member experience and identify opportunities to strengthen our culture. We welcome open, candid feedback to promote Team Members feeling heard and engaged and to better support the values important to each of our Team Members. We accomplish this through a variety of programs and forums, including Team Member engagement surveys, virtual open forums, one-on-one coaching, wellness and engagement meetings, Town Hall meetings, leadership conferences, and exit interviews. In addition to these structured programs and forums, we maintain an open-door policy at all levels of the Company. Our Company remains committed to offering Team Members numerous opportunities to have their voices heard because we believe our Team Members are our most valuable resource.
In 2022, we partnered with an outside vendor and launched a new Team Member engagement survey to all field Team Members in 2023. We have utilized this information to gather insights from our Team Member population and have created action plans from this data to continue to enhance our workplace. We also plan to offer the use of this survey tool multiple times during the year to gain feedback when key events occur, so we can quickly respond to suggestions and concerns when they arise. We believe that such a tool will not only assist us with workforce retention, but also enhance labor productivity over time.
Food Safety and Purchasing
Our food safety and quality assurance programs help manage our commitment to safe, quality ingredients and responsible food preparation and service. Our Food Safety Management Program is a set of systems designed to protect from risk and control hazards. We provide detailed specifications for our proprietary food ingredients, products, and supplies to our suppliers. We qualify and require outside third party certification audits on an annual basis for all of our food and beverage suppliers (excluding alcoholic beverages, which are not held to the same auditing standards), as well as growers. Their certifications must comply with the Global Food Safety Initiative, if applicable. Our restaurant leaders must pass and maintain an accredited manager-level food safety and sanitation certification. We maintain strict food safety protocols, including safe cooking temperature requirements, food handling procedures, cooling procedures, and frequent temperature and quality checks, for the safety and quality of the food we serve in our restaurants. In order to provide fresh ingredients and products and to maximize operating efficiencies between purchase and usage, each restaurant's management team determines the restaurant's daily usage requirements for food ingredients, products, and supplies, and accordingly, orders from approved suppliers, and distributors. The restaurant management team inspects deliveries to ensure that the products received meet our safety and quality specifications. Additionally, we engage an independent auditing company to perform unannounced comprehensive food safety and sanitation assessments at least three times a year in all Company-owned and franchised restaurants. If an assessment identifies any gaps, a documented plan is required for any deficiency noted. This same follow-up requirement is in place for government regulatory inspections.
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To enhance our purchasing efficiencies and obtain competitive prices for our high-quality ingredients, products, and supplies, our centralized purchasing team negotiates supply agreements that may include fixed price contracts that can vary in term or formula-based pricing agreements that can fluctuate on changes in raw material commodity pricing. Of our total cost of goods in 2023, ground beef represented approximately 14%, potatoes represented approximately 12%, and poultry represented approximately 11%. We monitor the market for the primary commodities we purchase and extend contract positions when applicable in order to minimize the impact of fluctuations in price and availability. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we experienced distribution disruptions, commodity cost inflation, and certain food and supply shortages. To manage this risk in part, we enter into fixed-price purchase commitments for certain commodities; however, it may not be possible for us to enter into fixed-price purchase commitments for certain commodities, or we may choose not to enter into fixed-price contracts for certain commodities. We believe that substantially all of our food and supplies meeting our specifications are available from alternate sources, which we have identified to diversify our supply chain. As of December 31, 2023, approximately 50% of our estimated annual food and beverage purchases were covered by fixed price contracts, most of which are scheduled to expire at various times through the end of 2024.
Restaurant Development, Remodels, and Donatos®
With the transition to a new leadership team and focus on the North Star plan in 2022 and 2023, we deprioritized new restaurant growth in the short-term as we focus on other business initiatives and uses of capital.
Beginning in 2022, we resumed our restaurant refresh and remodel program to keep our restaurants relevant and well-maintained. We continue to believe this type of investment presents an opportunity to provide compelling investment returns. We are conducting a thorough review and evaluation of all completed refreshes and remodels to gather learnings and measure consumer response. When complete, we expect this evaluation will inform our go forward design criteria, investment level, and pace of refreshes and remodels.
In 2020, we announced our partnership with Donatos®, a high-quality pizza brand "nested" inside of Red Robin restaurants. Through this partnership, our restaurants prepare and serve Donatos® branded pizzas to our dine-in and off-premises Guests. Pursuant to a licensing arrangement, we pay royalties on sales of Donatos® pizza products to Donatos®. As of December 31, 2023, we have introduced Donatos® pizzas to 273 restaurants. We plan to continue implementation of Donatos® and anticipate eventually operating Donatos® in substantially all Red Robin restaurants. We invested $8.6 million and $6.1 million in the Donatos® expansion in fiscal 2023 and 2022, respectively.
Restaurant Franchise and Licensing Arrangements
As of December 31, 2023, our franchisees operated 91 restaurants in 14 states and British Columbia, Canada. Our two largest franchisees own 41 restaurants located in Eastern and Central Pennsylvania, Michigan and Ohio.
Franchise Compliance Assurance
We actively work with and monitor our franchisees' performance to help them develop and operate their restaurants in compliance with Red Robin's standards, systems, and procedures. During the restaurant development phase, we review the franchisee's site selection and provide the franchisee with our prototype building plans. We provide trainers to assist the franchisee in opening the restaurant for business. We advise the franchisee on all menu items, management training, and equipment and food purchases. We also exchange best operating practices with our franchisees as we strive to improve our operating systems while attaining a high level of franchisee participation.
Information Systems and Digital Technology
We rely on information systems and digital technology in all aspects of our operations, striving to create seamless Guest experiences and enable Operations to deliver on our Brand commitments. In our restaurants, these technologies are designed to facilitate operational efficiency and support the Guest experience. These technologies include (but are not limited to) labor management systems, sales and forecasting tools, inventory management, and operational execution technologies. These technologies are integrated with our point-of-sale system to provide daily, weekly, and period-to-date reporting that is important for our Operators to run an efficient and high-performing restaurant. We also use technology to interact with our Guests via our digital platforms, including our website, mobile Apps, loyalty platform, online ordering site, tabletop kiosks, Server handhelds, and Guest feedback systems, which provide actionable insights on the overall Guest experience.
We utilize centralized financial, accounting, and human resource management systems to support our Restaurant Support Center and Company-owned restaurants. In addition, we use an Operations scorecard that integrates data from our centralized systems and distributes information to assist in managing the performance of our restaurants. We believe these combined tools are important in analyzing and improving our operations, profit margins, and monitoring other key business metrics.
In 2024, we continue to make iterative enhancements to the digital and loyalty experience that benefit our Guests and Team Members. Beginning in 2024, we expect to begin implementing infrastructure modernization efforts to improve
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performance and stability of current and future technology solutions. In 2024, we also expect to launch a new loyalty program, transitioning to a points-based system to reward our most loyal guests.
We accept electronic payment cards from our Guests for payment in our restaurants. We also receive and maintain certain personal information about our Guests and Team Members. We have systems and processes in place that focus on the protection of our Guests' credit card information and other private information we are required to protect, such as our Team Members' personal information. We have taken several steps to prevent the occurrence of security breaches in this respect. Our systems are carefully designed and configured to protect against data loss or compromise. For example, because of the number of credit card transactions processed in our Company-owned restaurants, Red Robin is required to maintain compliance per the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) for our networks and systems both at our Restaurant Support Center and Company-owned restaurants. Red Robin not only meets the requirements but also maintains a higher-level designation as a Merchant. These PCI compliance standards, set by a consortium of the major credit card companies, require annual assessment to ensure certain levels of system security and procedures are in place to protect our Guests' credit card and other personal information.
We engage external security assessors and consultants to review and advise us on our other data security practices with respect to protection of other sensitive personal information that we obtain from Guests and Team Members.
Marketing and Advertising
Our marketing strategy has been designed to foster awareness, elevate brand equity, encourage consideration, and ultimately drive traffic and sales. Our approach encompasses a blend of highly targeted and efficient paid, owned, and earned media channels, including paid search, programmatic digital, social media, creators, reputation management, search engine optimization, social community management, loyalty programs, personalized email marketing, local restaurant marketing, public relations, and investor relations. Our digital footprint extends across platforms such as RedRobin.com, our mobile application, and a dedicated Catering site.
Funding for these initiatives is primarily derived from cooperative creative development efforts and national marketing funds. Beginning in 2023, we initiated a strategic realignment, optimizing the allocation of resources across paid and earned media, and local marketing endeavors. This realignment emphasizes personalized Guest engagement within the communities we serve, with a focused objective to enhance the dine-in experience. Recently, we undertook an extensive consumer research initiative, coupled with a segmentation study, to deepen our understanding of today's Guests. This research informed our growth targets, reinforced the distinctive essence of our brand, and guides our commitment to delivering on our promise to Guests. Additionally, utilizing a Guest satisfaction tool in our restaurants, we actively gather feedback to identify areas for improvement, enhancing restaurant performance and tracking progress. Continuous performance monitoring relative to industry peers, coupled with testing potential business drivers among current and potential Guests, promotes our adaptability and responsiveness to market dynamics.
Leveraging our expansive Red Robin RoyaltyTM database, comprising over 13 million members, we also gain valuable insights into Guest behavior, frequency, and purchase patterns. Our brand creative and messaging celebrate the shared values and playful spirit of both our Guests and our brand, seamlessly extending across craveable food, distinctive positioning, dine-in experience, and emotional connections with Guests.
Central to our vision for future growth is a three-pillar approach, strategically designed to drive stronger dine-in experiences, facilitate more convenient off-premises options (including carryout, catering, and delivery), and employ retention-focused marketing initiatives to enhance Guest frequency. We firmly believe that this holistic approach positions us for growth in the dynamic landscape of our industry.

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Executive Officers
The following table sets forth information about our current executive officers:
NameAgePosition
G. J. Hart66President, Chief Executive Officer, and Member of the Board of Directors
Todd Wilson46Chief Financial Officer
Sarah Mussetter45Chief Legal Officer and Secretary
Jyoti Lynch52Chief Technology Officer
Meghan Spuler43Chief People Officer
Kevin Mayer54Chief Marketing Officer
G.J. Hart.    Mr. Hart joined Red Robin as President and Chief Executive Officer in September 2022. Mr. Hart served as a director of the Company since August 2019. Mr. Hart most recently served as Chief Executive Officer of Torchy’s Tacos from 2018 until 2021. He was previously the Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of California Pizza Kitchen from 2011 to 2018. From 2000 to 2011, Mr. Hart served as President of Texas Roadhouse Holdings, LLC and as Chief Executive Officer and member of the board from 2004 to 2011. Mr. Hart also held leadership positions at Al Copeland Investments, TriFoods International, New Zealand Lamb Company, and Shenandoah Valley Poultry earlier in his career.
Todd Wilson.    Mr. Wilson joined Red Robin as Chief Financial Officer in November 2022. Mr. Wilson previously served as Chief Financial Officer at Hopdoddy Burger Bar and Hibar Hospitality from 2018 until 2022. Prior to that, he was Vice President of Finance for Jamba Juice from 2016 until 2018. From 2011 to 2016, Mr. Wilson served as Division CFO and Vice President of Finance at Bloomin’ Brands.
Sarah Mussetter.    Ms. Mussetter joined Red Robin as Chief Legal Officer and Secretary in December 2022. She previously held the roles of Associate General Counsel and Vice President, Deputy General Counsel for the Company from 2011 to 2021. Prior to joining the Company Ms. Mussetter worked for the law firm of Holme Roberts & Owen LLP (now Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP). Most recently, Ms. Mussetter was SVP Deputy General Counsel for Skillsoft Corp., a learning application and technology company, from September 2021 to December 2022.
Jyoti Lynch.    Ms. Lynch joined Red Robin as Chief Technology Officer in June 2023. She previously served as Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Jamba Juice from 2017 to 2019, and as Chief Information Officer at European Wax Center from 2019 to 2023. She has also served in senior technology leadership roles at Blockbuster, Inc., Fortium Partners, and Speed Commerce.
Meghan Spuler.    Ms. Spuler joined Red Robin as Chief People Officer in December 2023. Prior to joining the Company, she held the roles of Chief People Officer of Eckerd Connects from 2021 to 2023. From 2016 to 2021, Ms. Spuler served as Director of Human Resources, Senior Director of Human Resources, and Vice President of Human Resources for Bloomin' Brands.
Kevin Mayer.    Mr. Mayer joined Red Robin as Chief Marketing Officer in May 2023. Prior to joining the Company, he served as Chief Marketing Officer of Pedego Electric Bikes during 2022. He previously held the roles of Executive Vice President, Chief Growth and Brand Officer and Chief Marketing Officer from 2014 to 2022 at BJ's Restaurants. From 2012 to 2013 Mr. Mayer served as Vice President of Marketing for Volkswagen of America.
Competition
The restaurant industry is highly competitive, and our Guests may choose to purchase food at supermarkets or other food retailers. Although, for some occasions, we compete against other segments of the restaurant industry, including quick-service and fast-casual restaurants, our primary competition is with other sit-down, casual dining restaurants within the full-service dining segment. In addition, we compete to attract Guests for off-premises dining occasions, including online ordering, delivery, to-go, and catering. The number, size, and strength of competitors vary by region, concept, market, and even restaurant. We compete on the basis of taste, quality, price of food and related Guest value, Guest service, ambiance, location, and overall dining experience.
We believe our Guest demographics, strong brand recognition, Gourmet Burger concept, family friendly atmosphere, attractive price-value relationship, and the quality of our food and service enable us to differentiate ourselves from our casual dining competitors. We believe we compete favorably with respect to each of these factors. Our competitors include well-established national chains which have more substantial marketing resources. We also compete with many other restaurant and retail establishments for Team Members.
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Seasonality
Our business is subject to seasonal fluctuations. Sales in most of our restaurants were historically higher during the spring and summer months and winter holiday season due to factors including our retail-oriented locations and family appeal. As a result, our quarterly operating results may fluctuate significantly as a result of seasonality, and seasonality of sales may shift over time. Accordingly, results for any one quarter or year are not necessarily indicative of results to be expected for any other quarter or for any year.
Trademarks
We have a number of registered trademarks and service marks, including the Red Robin®, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers®, "YUMMM®", Red Robin Gourmet Burgers + Brews®, and Red Robin Royalty® and logos. We have registered these marks, among others, with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and we have registered various trademarks in certain other international jurisdictions. Pursuant to our licensing arrangement with Donatos®, we license the right to use the Donatos® trademark.
In order to better protect our brand, we have also registered the Internet domain name www.redrobin.com. We believe our trademarks, service marks, and other intellectual property rights have significant value and are important to our brand building efforts and the marketing of our restaurant concept.
Government Regulation
We are subject to laws and regulations relating to the preparation and sale of food, including regulations regarding product safety, nutritional content, and menu labeling. Our collection or use of personal information about Guests or our Team Members is regulated at the federal and state levels, including the California Consumer Privacy Act.
Our restaurants are subject to various licensing requirements and other regulations by state, and local health, safety, fire, and other authorities, including licensing requirements, regulations for the sale of alcoholic beverages and food, and public health related indoor capacity restrictions. We obtain and maintain necessary licenses, permits, and approvals to run our business. The development and construction of new restaurants is also subject to compliance with applicable zoning, land use, and environmental regulations. We are also subject to certain guidelines under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and various state codes and regulations, which require restaurants and our brand to provide full and equal access to persons with physical disabilities.
We are subject to federal regulation and state laws that regulate the offer and sale of franchises and substantive aspects of the franchisor-franchisee relationship. Various federal and state labor laws govern our relationship with our Team Members and can significantly impact our operating costs. These laws govern minimum wage requirements, overtime pay, tip credits, paid leave, meal and rest breaks, unemployment tax rates, health care and other benefits, workers' compensation rates, citizenship or residency requirements, child labor regulations, and discriminatory conduct.
Available Information
We use our investor relations website, ir.redrobin.com, as a channel of distribution of Company information. The information we post through this channel may be deemed material. Accordingly, investors should monitor this channel, in addition to following our press releases, SEC filings, conference calls, webcasts, and other investor events. Investors and others can receive notifications of new information posted on our investor relations website by signing up for email alerts. We make available through this investor relations website, free of charge, our Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") filings, including our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, and all amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the "Exchange Act"), as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the SEC. All SEC filings are also available at the SEC's website at www.sec.gov. Our website and the information contained on or connected to our website are not incorporated by reference herein, and our web address is included as an inactive textual reference only.
Forward-Looking Statements
Certain information and statements contained in this report are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the "PSLRA") codified at Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act"), and Section 21E of the Exchange Act. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding our expectations, beliefs, intentions, plans, objectives, goals, strategies, future events or performance, and underlying assumptions and other statements which are other than statements of historical facts. These statements may be identified, without limitation, by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "anticipate," "assume," "believe," "could," "estimate," "expect," "future," "intend," "may," "plan," "project," "will," "would," and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements may relate to, among other things: (i) our business objectives and strategic plans, including projected or anticipated growth, including in Guest traffic and revenue, growth strategies, planned improvements in operational efficiencies, gross margins, and
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expense management and enhancements to our restaurant environments and Guest engagement, including the anticipated impacts of innovations, improvements, marketing and branding strategies, and changes to our loyalty program; (ii) our expectations about pricing strategy and average check size; (iii) our expectations of the competitiveness of the labor market and our ability to hire, train, and retain Team Members, as well as the success of our Managing Partner and Market Partner compensation program; (iv) anticipated capital investments and the results of such investments including in our restaurant refresh and remodel program and our digital ecosystem, information technology systems, our restaurant development program, and the anticipated related benefits; (v) our expectations about restaurant operating costs, including commodity and food prices and labor and energy costs; (vi) anticipated legislation and other regulation of our business; (vii) anticipated continued investments in our partnership with Donatos®; (viii) our expectations about anticipated uses of, and risks associated with future cash flows, liquidity, future capital expenditures and other capital deployment opportunities, and taxes; (ix) our expectations regarding competition; and (x) our expectations regarding demand, consumer preferences, and consumer discretionary spending; (xi) our expectations regarding the implementation and anticipated benefits of our ESG, diversity, equity and inclusion and other initiatives; (xii) our ability to successfully implement our food safety programs, (xii) our ability to successfully implement our health and safety initiatives; (xiii) the seasonality of our business; (xiv) our ability to successfully implement, and our expectations regarding, our North Star five-point plan to enhance the Company’s competitive positioning; (xv) our expectations and other statements regarding interest rates, commodity prices and other factors; (xvi) the expected impacts of government regulations on our operations and financial condition, and changes in such regulation; (xvii) the implementation of our restaurant management transition program, including anticipated benefits to our sales, Team Member performance and engagement, Guest traffic, community focus and results of operations; and (xiii) the other risks discussed under Risk Factors below.
Although we believe the expectations reflected in our forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such expectations may prove to be materially incorrect due to known and unknown risks and uncertainties.
In some cases, information regarding certain important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from a forward-looking statement appears together with such statement. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include those described under “Part I - Item 1A. Risk Factors” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. These factors should not be construed as exhaustive and should be read in conjunction with other cautionary statements included in this and other reports we file with the SEC.
All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date made. All subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to us, or persons acting on our behalf, are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which it is made or to reflect the occurrence of anticipated or unanticipated events or circumstances.
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ITEM 1A.    Risk Factors
An investment in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. You should carefully read and consider the risks described below before making an investment decision. The occurrence of any of the following risks could materially harm our business, financial condition, results of operations, or cash flows. The trading price or value of our common stock could decline, and you could lose all or part of your investment. When making an investment decision with respect to our common stock, you should also refer to the other information contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including our consolidated financial statements and the related notes.
Risks Related to Our Business
Our business strategy may not be successful or achieve the desired results, which may have an adverse impact on our business and financial results.
The Company is currently undergoing a significant transformation. In 2023, we launched our "North Star" business strategy. Developed under new leadership, this five-point plan is designed to drive long-term shareholder value and enhance Red Robin's competitive positioning. The North Star five-point plan focuses on transforming to an operations focused restaurant company, elevating the Guest experience, removing costs and complexity, optimizing Guest engagement, and driving growth in comparable restaurant revenue and unit level profitability, and delivering financial commitments.
These strategies and related initiatives, including changes to our restaurant management structures, may not result in increased traffic and sustained higher sales, which are important to achieving our strategic objectives. Changes to our operations structure and compensation, service model, Guest experience and cooking platform, supply chain and vendors, marketing and branding strategies, loyalty program, technology, and Guest engagement may not achieve the business growth and results we expect, which may negatively affect Guest satisfaction, Guest traffic, sales, profits, or liquidity. Our business and desired results depend upon our ability to continue to grow and evolve through various important strategic initiatives. There can be no assurance we will be able to develop or implement these or other important strategic initiatives, or that we have, or will have, sufficient resources to fully and successfully implement, sustain results from, or achieve additional expected benefits from them, which could in turn adversely affect our business.
The global and domestic economic and geopolitical environment may negatively affect frequency of Guest visits and average ticket spend at our restaurants, which would negatively affect our revenues and our results of operations.
The global and domestic economic and geopolitical environment affects the restaurant industry and may negatively affect us directly and indirectly through our customers, distributors, and suppliers. These conditions include unemployment, weakness and lack of consistent improvement in the housing markets, downtrend or delays in residential or commercial real estate development, volatility in the U.S. stock market and in other financial markets, inflationary pressures, wage rates, tariffs and other trade barriers, reduced access to credit or other economic factors that may affect consumer confidence. As a result, our Guests may be apprehensive about the economy and maintain or further reduce their level of discretionary spending, especially in a potential recessionary environment. This could affect the frequency with which our Guests choose to dine-out or the amount they spend on meals, thereby decreasing our revenues and potentially negatively affecting our operating results. Also, our Guests may choose to purchase food at supermarkets or other food retailers. We believe there is a risk that prolonged uncertain economic conditions might cause consumers to make long-lasting changes to their discretionary spending behavior, including dining out less frequently or at lower priced restaurants on a more permanent basis, which would have a negative effect on our profitability as we spread fixed costs across a lower level of sales.
Our success depends on our ability to effectively compete in the restaurant industry to attract and retain Guests.
Competition in the restaurant industry is intense and barriers to entry are low. Our competitors include a large and diverse group of restaurants in all segments ranging from quick serve and fast casual to polished casual and those verging on fine dining. These competitors range from independent local operators that have opened restaurants in various markets, high growth targeted "better" burger concepts in the quick serve and fast casual space, to the well-capitalized national restaurant companies. Many of these concepts have already captured segments of the market that we are targeting, and are expanding faster than we are, penetrating both desirable geographic and demographic markets. Many of our competitors are well established in the casual dining market segment and in certain geographic locations and some of our competitors have substantially greater financial, marketing, and other resources than we have available. Accordingly, they may be better equipped than us to increase marketing or to take other measures to maintain their competitive position, including the use of significant discount offers to attract Guests.
Decreased cash flow from operations, or an inability to access credit or successfully execute our potential sale-leaseback transactions could negatively affect our business initiatives or may result in our inability to execute our revenue, expense, and capital deployment strategies.
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Our ability to fund our operating plans and to implement our capital deployment strategies depends on sufficient cash flow from operations or other financing, including using funding under our revolving Credit Facility and from potential sale-leaseback transactions. The Company is working to complete a third sale-leaseback transaction and if completed, anticipated proceeds will be used to repay debt. Our capital deployment strategies include but are not limited to paying down debt, maintaining and improving existing restaurants and infrastructure, and executing on our long-term transformation strategy. If we experience decreased cash flow from operations, or an inability to access new capital on acceptable terms with acceptable interest rates if needed, our ability to fund our operations and planned initiatives, and to take advantage of growth opportunities, may be delayed or negatively affected. In addition, these disruptions and any resulting negative effect on our net income, cash flows, or other relevant financial performance metrics under our revolving Credit Facility could affect our ability to borrow or comply with our covenants under that facility.
If we are unable to comply with the financial and other covenants in our Credit Facility, our financial condition could be negatively affected.
Our Credit Facility contains financial and other restricted covenants, including among others, a Total Net Leverage ratio covenant. A breach of these covenants could result in default, and if such default is not cured or waived, our lenders could accelerate our debt and declare it immediately due and payable. If this occurs, we may not be able to repay or borrow sufficient funds to refinance the debt. Even if financing is available, it may not be on acceptable terms. A default under our Credit Facility could cause a material adverse effect on our financial condition, including our liquidity and cash flows.
A privacy or security breach involving our information technology systems, or the failure of our data security measures could interrupt our business, damage our reputation, and negatively affect our operations and profits.
The protection of Guest, Team Member, and Company data is critical to us. We are subject to laws and regulations relating to information security, privacy, cashless payments, consumer credit, and fraud. Additionally, an increasing number of government and industry groups have established laws and standards for the protection of personal and health information. The regulatory environment surrounding information security and privacy is increasingly demanding, with the frequent imposition of new and constantly changing requirements including the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and other similar legislative initiatives. Compliance with these requirements may result in cost increases due to necessary system changes and the development of new administrative processes, and if we fail to comply with the laws and regulations regarding privacy and security, we could be exposed to risks of fines, investigations, litigation and disruption of our operations.
Moreover, we accept electronic payment cards from our Guests for payment in our restaurants. In the ordinary course of our business, we receive and maintain certain personal information from our Guests, Team Members, and vendors, and we process Guest payments using payment information. Customers and employees have a high expectation we will adequately protect their personal information. Third parties may have the technology or know-how to breach the security of this customer information, and our security measures and those of our technology vendors may not effectively prohibit others from obtaining improper access to this information. Although we employ security technologies and practices and have taken other steps to try to prevent a cybersecurity incident, we have in the past and could be impacted by a cyber-attack, due to the rapidly increasing number of cybersecurity threats. We have in the past been subject, and we could in the future become subject, to claims, lawsuits, or other proceedings for purportedly fraudulent transactions arising out of the theft of credit or debit card information, compromised security and information systems, failure of our employees to comply with applicable laws, the unauthorized acquisition or use of such information by third parties, or other similar claims. Any such incidents or proceedings could disrupt the operation of our restaurants, adversely affect our reputation, Guest confidence, and our results of operations, or result in the imposition of penalties or cause us to incur significant unplanned losses and expenditures, including those necessary to remediate any damage to persons whose personal information may have been compromised. Although we have established a number of procedures designed to increase transparency and address our Guests' concerns regarding data breaches (whether actual or perceived), this policy may not be effective in addressing those concerns, which may in turn adversely affect our reputation and Guest confidence. We maintain a separate insurance policy covering cyber security risks and such insurance coverage may, subject to policy terms and conditions, cover certain aspects of cyber risks, but is subject to a retention amount and may not be applicable to a particular incident or otherwise may be insufficient to cover all our losses beyond any retention. Further, in light of recent court rulings and amendments to policy forms, there is uncertainty as to whether traditional commercial general liability policies will be construed to cover the expenses related to a cyber-attack and breaches if credit and debit card information is stolen.
Because of the number of credit card transactions we process, we are required to maintain the highest level of PCI Data Security Standard compliance at our Restaurant Support Center and Company-owned restaurants. As part of an overall security program and to meet PCI standards, we undergo regular external vulnerability scans and we are reviewed by a third party assessor. As PCI standards change, we may be required to implement additional security measures. If we do not maintain the required level of PCI compliance, we could be subject to costly fines or additional fees from the card brands that we accept or lose our ability to accept those payment cards. Our franchisees are separate businesses that have different levels of compliance required depending on the number of credit card transactions processed. If our franchisees fail to maintain the appropriate level
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of PCI compliance or they experience a security breach, it could negatively impact their business operations, and we could face a loss of or reduction in royalties or other payments they are required to remit to us and it could adversely affect our reputation and Guest confidence.
If there is a material failure in our information technology systems, our business operations and profits could be negatively affected, and our systems may be inadequate to support our future growth strategies.
We rely heavily on information technology systems in all aspects of our operations including our restaurant point-of sale systems, financial systems, marketing programs, employee engagement, supply chain management, cyber-security, and various other processes and transactions. This reliance has grown since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic as we have had to rely to a greater extent on systems such as online ordering, contactless payments, online reservations, and systems supporting a remote workforce. Our ability to effectively manage and run our business depends on the reliability and capacity of our information technology systems, including technology services and systems for which we contract from third parties. These systems and services may be insufficient to effectively manage and run our business. These systems and our business needs will continue to evolve and require upgrading and maintenance over time, consequently requiring significant future commitments of resources and capital.
We cannot provide assurance, however, that the measures we take to secure and enhance these systems will be sufficient to protect our information technology systems and prevent cyber-attacks, system failures or data or information loss. Cyber-attacks, malicious internet-based activity and online and offline fraud are prevalent and continue to increase. In addition to traditional computer “hackers,” threat actors, personnel (such as through theft or misuse), sophisticated nation-states and nation-state supported actors now engage in attacks. We continue to be subject to a variety of evolving threats, including but not limited to social engineering, such as phishing, malicious code (such as viruses and worms), malware (including as a result of advanced persistent threat intrusions), denial-of-service attacks (such as credential stuffing), personnel misconduct or error, supply-chain attacks, software bugs, server malfunctions and large-scale, complex automated attacks that can evade detection for long periods of time. Ransomware attacks, including those perpetrated by organized criminal threat actors, nation-states and nation-state supported actors, are becoming increasingly prevalent and severe and can lead to significant interruptions in our operations, loss of data and income, reputational harm and diversion of funds. Extortion payments may alleviate the negative impact of a ransomware attack, but we may be unwilling or unable to make such payments due to, for example, applicable laws or regulations prohibiting such payments.
In the past, we have experienced the negative impacts of a breach of a service providers' network. Any breach of our or our service providers' networks, or other vendor systems, may result in the loss of confidential business and financial data, misappropriation of our consumers', users' or employees' personal information or a disruption of our business. Any of these outcomes could have a material adverse effect on our business, including unwanted media attention, impairment of our consumer and customer relationships, damage to our reputation, resulting in lost sales and consumers, fines, lawsuits, government enforcement actions (for example, investigations, fines, penalties, audits and inspections) or significant legal and remediation expenses. We also may need to expend significant resources to protect against, respond to and/or redress problems caused by any breach. Additionally, if third parties on which we rely experience cybersecurity incidents, we may not become aware of such incidents in a timely manner, which may impact our ability to mitigate their impacts, which may exacerbate the risks described above.
In addition, the increased use of employee-owned devices for communications as well as work-from-home arrangements, such as those initially implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, present additional operational risks to our information technology systems, including, but not limited to, increased risks of cyber-attacks. Our software or information technology systems, or that of third parties upon who we rely to operate our business, may have material vulnerabilities and, despite our efforts to identify and remediate these vulnerabilities, our efforts may not be successful or we may experience delays in developing and deploying remedial measures designed to address any such identified vulnerabilities. It may be expensive and time-consuming to remediate material vulnerabilities, and our operations, reputation, sales and financial performance may be adversely impacted if we are not able to successfully and promptly remediate such vulnerabilities. Further, like other companies in the restaurant industry, we have in the past experienced, and we expect to continue to experience, cyber-attacks, including phishing attacks, and other attempts to breach or gain unauthorized access to, our systems. However, despite the precautions we take to mitigate the risks of such events, an attack on our enterprise information technology system, or those of third parties with which we do business, could result in theft or unauthorized disclosure of our proprietary or confidential information or a breach of confidential customer, supplier or employee information. Such events could impair our ability to conduct our operations or cause disruptions to our supply chain, which could have an adverse impact on revenue and harm our reputation. Additionally, such an event could expose us to regulatory sanctions or penalties, lawsuits or other legal action or cause us to incur legal liabilities and costs, which could be significant, in order to address and remediate the effects of an attack and related security concerns. The insurance coverage we maintain may be inadequate to cover claims or liabilities relating to a cybersecurity attack.
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We also use information technology systems to process financial information and results of operations for internal reporting purposes and to comply with regulatory financial reporting, legal and tax requirements. If these systems suffer severe damage, disruption or shutdown and our business continuity plans, or those of our vendors, do not effectively resolve the issues in a timely manner, we could experience delays in reporting our financial results, which could result in lost revenues and profits, as well as reputational damage. Furthermore, we depend on information technology systems and personal information collection for digital marketing, digital commerce, consumer engagement and the marketing and use of our digital products and services. We also rely on our ability to engage in electronic communications throughout the world between and among our employees as well as with other third parties, including customers, suppliers, vendors, and consumers. Any interruption in information technology systems may impede our ability to engage in digital commerce and result in lost revenues, damage to our reputation, and loss of users.
Moreover, these technology services and systems, communication systems, and electronic data could be subject or vulnerable to damage or interruption from earthquakes, terrorist attacks, floods, fires, power loss, telecommunications failures, computer viruses, loss of data, data breaches, or other attempts to harm our systems. A failure of these systems to operate effectively, problems with transitioning to upgraded or replacement systems, or any other failure to maintain a continuous and secure information technology network for any of the above reasons could result in interruption and delays in Guest services, adversely affect our reputation, and negatively impact our results of operations.
Our marketing and branding strategies to attract, engage, and retain our Guests, including anticipated changes to our loyalty program, may not be successful, which could negatively affect our business.
While we persistently refine our communication strategies to effectively target and compete for the right customers, it's essential to acknowledge potential challenges that may arise. For example, our Red Robin Royalty™ loyalty program has historically contributed to sales and Guest count growth. We plan to launch a new loyalty program in 2024 to transition to a points-based program to reward our most loyal guests, but we cannot guarantee this new loyalty program will be a success. We also plan to launch a new marketing program in 2024 designed to drive sales and traffic. If our advertising, branding, and other marketing initiatives fall short, there is a risk that we may not achieve the expected levels of restaurant sales or Guest traffic, potentially impacting our financial results negatively. Furthermore, the competitive landscape presents a challenge, as some competitors boast larger marketing resources and more extensive national strategies, potentially limiting our ability to successfully compete against these well-established programs.
If we are unable to effectively use and monitor social media, our marketing efforts as well as our reputation could be harmed, which could negatively impact our restaurant sales and financial performance.
As part of our marketing efforts, we rely on an omni-channel creative strategy including increased social and digital engagement platforms, including Facebook®, Instagram®, and Twitter® to attract and retain Guests. As a result, we need to continuously innovate and develop our social media strategies to maintain broad appeal. Many of our competitors are expanding their use of social media and new social media platforms are rapidly being developed, potentially making more traditional social media platforms obsolete and making it challenging for us to differentiate our social media messaging. As a result, we need to continuously innovate and develop our social media strategies to maintain broad appeal.
Social media can be challenging because it provides consumers, employees, and others with the ability to communicate approval or displeasure with a business, in near real time, and provides any individual with the ability to reach a broad audience and with comments that are often not filtered or checked for accuracy. If we are unable to quickly and effectively respond, any negative publicity could "go viral" causing nearly immediate and potentially significant harm to our brand and reputation, whether or not factually accurate. In addition, social media can facilitate the improper disclosure of proprietary information, exposure of personally identifiable information, fraud, or out-of-date information.
As a result, if we do not appropriately manage our social media strategies, our marketing efforts in this area may not be successful and any failure (or perceived failure) to effectively respond to negative or potentially damaging social media chatter, whether accurate or not, could damage our reputation, negatively impacting our restaurant sales and financial performance. The inappropriate use of social media vehicles by our Guests or Team Members could increase our costs, lead to litigation, or result in negative publicity that could damage our reputation.
Changes in consumer preferences could negatively affect our results of operations.
The restaurant industry is characterized by the continual introduction of new concepts and is subject to rapidly changing consumer preferences, tastes, and eating and purchasing habits. Our restaurants compete on the basis of a varied menu and feature burgers, salads, soups, appetizers, other entrees, desserts, and our signature alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and we are in the process of rolling out Donatos® pizza to our restaurants. Our success depends, in part, upon the continued popularity of these foods and this style of dining. Shifts in consumer preferences away from this cuisine or dining style could have a material adverse effect on our future profitability. In addition, competitors' use of significant advertising and food
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discounting could influence our Guests' dining choices. There is no assurance that the addition of Donatos® pizza to our menu will not negatively impact our brand or cannibalize sales of core menu items.
Further, changing health or dietary preferences may cause consumers to avoid our products in favor of alternative foods. The food service industry as a whole rests on consumer preferences and demographic trends at the local, regional, and national levels. New information or changes in dietary, nutritional or health guidelines, among other things, may affect consumer choice and cause consumers to significantly alter their dining choices in ways that adversely affect our sales and profitability.
We are subject to all of the risks associated with leasing space subject to long-term non-cancelable leases, and risks related to renewal.
As of December 31, 2023, 398 of our 415 Company-owned restaurants are located on leased premises. We have in the past and may in the future engage in sale-lease back transactions, which have and may in the future increase the number of our leased properties. For example, in 2023, we completed two such transactions, selling and simultaneously leasing back an aggregate of 18 previously owned properties. Payments under our operating leases account for a significant portion of our operating expenses. Additional sites that we lease are likely to be subject to similar long-term non-cancelable leases. In connection with closing restaurants, we may nonetheless be committed to perform our obligations under the applicable lease including, among other things, paying the base rent for the balance of the lease term.
In addition, as each of our leases expires, there can be no assurance we will be able to renew our expiring leases after the expiration of all remaining renewal options, either on commercially acceptable terms or at all. As a result, we may incur additional costs to operate our restaurants, including increased rent and other costs related to the negotiation of terms of occupancy of an existing leased premise. If we are unable to renew a lease or determine not to renew a lease, there may be costs related to the relocation and development of a replacement restaurant or, if we are unable to relocate, reduced revenue.
Changes in consumer buying patterns, particularly due to declines in traffic near our leased locations, and increases in online sales, may affect our revenues, operating results, and liquidity.
The success of our restaurants depends in large part on leased locations. Our restaurants are primarily located near high density retail areas such as regional malls, lifestyle centers, big box shopping centers, and entertainment centers. We depend on a high volume of visitors at these centers to attract Guests to our restaurants. As demographic and economic patterns change, current locations may or may not continue to be attractive or profitable. Online sales continue to increase and negatively impact consumer traffic at traditional "brick and mortar" retail sites located in regional malls, lifestyle centers, big box shopping centers and entertainment centers. A decline in development or closures of businesses in these settings or a decline in visitors to retail areas near our restaurants could negatively affect our restaurant sales. In addition, we compete with other restaurants and retail establishments for prime real estate locations. Desirable locations for the relocation of existing restaurants may not be available at an acceptable cost, due in part to the inability to easily terminate a long-term lease.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, off-premises sales, specifically delivery, increased due to consumer demand for convenience. While we plan to continue to invest in the growth of our off-premises sales, there can be no guarantee we will maintain or increase such sales. Off-premises sales could also cannibalize dine-in sales, or our systems and procedures may not be sufficient to handle off-premises sales, which may require additional investments in technology or people. Additionally, a large percentage of delivery from our restaurants is through third party delivery companies. These third party delivery companies require us to pay them a commission, which lowers our profit margin on those sales, and delivery drivers make errors, fail to make timely deliveries, damage our food or poorly represent our brand, which may lead to customer disappointment, reputational harm and unmet sales expectations. Any bad press, whether true or not, regarding third party delivery companies or their business model may negatively impact our sales. While we have introduced an alternative to third party delivery by offering an online Company platform to collect orders and outsource the "last mile" of delivery, we may not be able to convert Guests to our platform and that model remains subject to some of the same risks.
Our operations are susceptible to the changes in cost and availability of commodities which could negatively affect our operating results.
Our profitability depends in part on our ability to anticipate and react to changes in commodity costs. Various factors beyond our control, including adverse weather conditions, governmental regulation and monetary policy, trade barriers and import tariffs, product availability, recalls of food products, and seasonality, as well as the effects of the current macroeconomic environment on our suppliers, may affect our commodity costs or cause a disruption in our supply chain. In an effort to mitigate some of this risk, we enter into fixed price agreements on some of our food and beverage products, including certain proteins, produce and cooking oil. As of the end of 2023, approximately 50% of our estimated 2024 annual food and beverage purchases were covered by fixed price contracts, most of which are scheduled to expire at various times through 2024. Changes in the price or availability of commodities for which we do not have fixed price contracts could have a material adverse effect on our profitability. Expiring contracts with our food suppliers could also result in unfavorable renewal terms and therefore increase costs associated with these suppliers or may necessitate negotiations with alternate suppliers. We may be unable to obtain
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favorable contract terms with suppliers or adjust our purchasing practices and menu prices to respond to changing food costs, and a failure to do so could negatively affect our operating results.
We may experience interruptions in the delivery of food and other products from third parties.
Our restaurants depend on frequent deliveries of fresh produce, food, beverage, and other products. This subjects us to the risk of interruptions in food and beverage supplies that may result from a variety of causes including, but not limited to, outbreaks of food-borne illness, disruption of operation of production facilities, financial difficulties, including bankruptcy of our suppliers or other unforeseen circumstances, especially where a product comes from a single or small number of suppliers. Such shortages could adversely affect our revenue and profits. Our restaurants bear risks associated with the timeliness of deliveries by suppliers and distributors as well as the solvency, reputation, labor relationships, freight rates, and health and safety standards of each supplier and distributor. We strive to have multiple approved suppliers on key items; however, the Company is undertaking initiatives to consolidate suppliers and there are situations where we only have one approved supplier, which increases the risk to our supply chain if something were to happen to interrupt the supplier's ability to continue supplying the Company. Other significant risks associated with our suppliers and distributors include improper handling of food and beverage products, and/or the adulteration or contamination of such food and beverage products.
Price increases may negatively affect Guest visits.
From time to time, we increase prices, primarily to offset increased costs and operating expenses. We cannot provide assurance that any future price increases will not deter Guests from visiting our restaurants, reduce the frequency of their visits, or affect their purchasing decisions.
New or improved technologies or changes in consumer behavior facilitated by these technologies could negatively affect our business.
Advances in technologies or certain changes in consumer behavior driven by such technologies could have a negative effect on our business. Technology and consumer offerings continue to develop, and we expect new or enhanced technologies and consumer offerings will be available in the future. We may pursue certain of those technologies and consumer offerings if we believe they offer a sustainable Guest proposition and can be successfully integrated into our business model. However, we cannot predict consumer acceptance of these delivery channels or their impact on our business. In addition, our competitors, some of whom have greater resources than us, may be able to benefit from changes in technologies or consumer acceptance of such changes, which could harm our competitive position. There can be no assurance we will be able to successfully respond to changing consumer preferences, including with respect to new technologies or to effectively adjust our product mix, service offerings, and marketing initiatives for products and services that address, and anticipate advances in, technology, and market trends. Additionally, from time to time, we implement new or different technologies in our restaurants, including our recent decision to introduce flat top cooking methods into our restaurants. These initiatives have involved and may in the future involve significant capital expenditures, and may involve unexpected expenditures for training, maintenance or otherwise, and may ultimately not produce the results we anticipate. If we are not able to successfully respond to these challenges, our business, financial condition, and operating results could be harmed.
Expanding our restaurant base is a component of our long-term growth and our ability to open and profitably operate new restaurants is subject to factors beyond our control.
The expansion of our restaurant base depends in large part on our ability and the ability of our franchisees to timely and efficiently open new restaurants and to operate these restaurants on a profitable basis. Delays or failures in opening new restaurants, or the inability to profitably operate them once opened, could materially and adversely affect our planned growth. The success of our expansion strategy and the success of new restaurants depends upon numerous factors, many of which are beyond our control, including the following:
changes to or volatility in the macroeconomic environment nationally and regionally, which could affect restaurant-level performance and influence our decisions on the rate of expansion, timing, and the number of restaurants to be opened;
competition in our markets and general economic conditions that may affect consumer spending or choice;
our ability to locate, hire, train, and retain qualified operating Team Members to staff our new restaurants, especially our Managing Partners and Market Partners;
identification of and ability to secure an adequate supply of available and suitable restaurant sites;
timely adherence to development schedules;
cost and availability of capital to fund restaurant expansion and operation;
negotiation of favorable lease and construction terms;
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the availability and cost of construction materials and labor;
our ability to manage construction and development costs of new restaurants;
unforeseen environmental problems with new locations;
securing required governmental approvals and permits, including liquor licenses, in a timely manner or at all;
our ability to attract and retain Guests;
weather, natural disasters, and other calamities; and
our ability to operate at acceptable profit margins.
The ongoing need for maintenance and improvements at our existing restaurants requires us to spend significant capital and we may not achieve a return on investment.
Many of our existing restaurants are mature and require capital expenditures for maintenance and improvement to remain competitive and maintain our brand standard. Additionally, we announced plans to test a restaurant renovation program, including upgrading interior ambience and exterior appeal of our restaurants. These initiatives involve significant capital expenditures. If we do not make these capital investments or do not achieve a return on the investment, our business, profitability, and our ability to compete effectively could be harmed.
We are subject to the risks presented by acquisitions or refranchising.
As part of our expansion efforts, we have acquired some of our franchised restaurants in the past. In the future, we may, from time to time, consider opportunistic acquisitions or dispositions of restaurants. We may in the future pursue refranchising with quality operators in certain identified markets. Any future acquisitions or dispositions will be accompanied by the risks commonly encountered in acquisitions. These risks include among other things:
the difficulty of integrating operations and Team Members;
the potential disruption to our ongoing business;
the potential distraction of management;
the effect on selling, general, and administrative expenses and earnings;
the inability to maintain uniform standards, controls, procedures, and policies; and
the impairment of relationships with Team Members and Guests as a result of changes in ownership and management.
New or less mature restaurants, once opened, may vary in profitability and levels of operating revenue for six months or more.
New and less mature restaurants typically experience higher operating costs in both dollars and percentage of revenue initially when compared to restaurants in the comparable restaurant base. There is no assurance new restaurants in the future will continue to experience success. It takes approximately six months or more for new restaurants to reach normalized operating levels due to inefficiencies and other factors typically associated with new restaurants. These factors include operating costs, which are often significantly greater during the first several months of operation, and fluctuating Guest counts at new locations, as well as competition from our competitors or our own restaurants, consumer acceptance of our restaurants in new markets and lack of market awareness of our brand in a new market. Further, there is no assurance our less mature restaurants will attain operating results similar to those of our existing restaurants.
The large number of Company-owned restaurants concentrated in the Western United States makes us susceptible to changes in economic and other trends in that region.
As of December 31, 2023, a total of 167 or 40% of our 415 Company-owned restaurants, representing 49% of restaurant revenues, were located in the Western United States (i.e., Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, New Mexico, Utah, and Washington state). As a result of our geographic concentration, negative publicity regarding any of our restaurants in the Western United States, as well as regional differences in the legal, regulatory, and litigation environment, could have a material adverse effect on our business and operations, as could other regional occurrences such as local strikes, regional cost-of-living increases, energy shortages, or increases in energy prices, droughts, earthquakes, fires, or other natural disasters.
We rely on our Senior Executive Team for the development and execution of our business strategy and the loss of any member of our Senior Executive Team could negatively affect our operating results.
We recently implemented significant changes in our senior executive management team to support the Company’s new “North Star” five-point plan. Key members of our senior executive management team are central to our success and difficult to replace. We may be unable to retain them or attract other highly qualified senior executives, particularly if we do not offer
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competitive employment terms. The loss of the services of any of our key senior executives or the failure to implement an appropriate succession plan could prevent us from achieving our business strategy and initiatives, which could adversely affect our operating results.
Changes in our management team can also disrupt our business. The failure to successfully transition and assimilate key employees could adversely affect our results of operations. To the extent we do not effectively hire, onboard, retain, and motivate key employees, our business can be harmed.
If we are unable to successfully recruit and retain qualified restaurant management and operations Team Members in an increasingly competitive market, we may be unable to effectively operate and grow our business and revenues, which could materially adversely affect our financial performance.
Our ability to attract, retain, and motivate qualified management and operating Team Members is central to providing the desired Guest and Team Member experience in our restaurants and delivering on our business strategy. Qualified management and operations Team Members are currently in high demand. Labor shortages in our industry and in the broader economy have disrupted, and may further disrupt, our ability to maintain adequate staffing levels at our restaurants. Increasing competition in the market for Team Members may increase our labor costs, including by requiring us to take additional measures to ensure that our compensation and benefits for Team Members remain competitive within the restaurant industry and with other industries that compete with us for workers, which could materially increase our expenses, or take measures to limit the impact of staffing shortages on the Guest experience.
From time to time, we make capital expenditures for, and commit management resources towards, efforts aimed at improving our competitiveness and our ability to attract and retain qualified management and operating Team Members, such as our recently launched Market Partner and Managing Partner compensation programs designed to reward these Team Members based on the profits of the restaurants they oversee. Additionally, we have made and may continue making changes to our service model, including adding back bussers and providing servers with fewer tables. We may not be successful in implementing these initiatives, and they may not lead to the benefits or results that we anticipate. If we are unable to attract and retain qualified people, our restaurants could be short staffed, we may be forced to incur overtime expenses, hourly Team Member turnover could increase, and our ability to operate our restaurants and roll out new service model and technology solutions effectively could be limited, and the Guest experience could be negatively affected, leading to a decline in traffic and sales, which could materially adversely affect our financial performance.
Our revenues and operating results may fluctuate significantly due to various risks and unexpected circumstances, including adverse weather conditions, natural disasters, climate change, pandemics, and other factors outside our control that could increase costs, disrupt our supply change, and impact seasonality, among other things.
We are subject to a number of significant risks that might cause our actual quarterly and annual results to fluctuate significantly or be negatively affected. Adverse weather conditions, natural disasters, climate change, or catastrophic events, such as terrorist acts, can adversely impact restaurant sales. Natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and severe adverse weather conditions, climate change and health pandemics may keep customers in the affected area from dining out, adversely affect consumer spending and confidence levels. These events may also impact the cost and availability of key commodities such as beef, poultry, potatoes, and other important ingredients in our products; cause material disruptions in our supply chain; impact borrowings and interest rates; cause damage to or closure of restaurants, or result in lost opportunities for our restaurants.
Moreover, our business fluctuates seasonally. Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, sales in most of our restaurants have been higher during the summer months and winter holiday season. As a result, our quarterly and annual operating results and comparable restaurant sales may fluctuate significantly as a result of seasonality and the factors discussed above. Accordingly, results for any one quarter or year are not necessarily indicative of results to be expected for any other quarter or for any year, and comparable restaurant sales for any particular future period may decrease.
Our franchisees could take actions that could harm our business, expose us to liability or damage our reputation.
Franchisees are independent entities and are not our employees, partners, or affiliates. We share with our franchisees what we believe to be best practices in the restaurant industry; however, franchisees operate their restaurants as independent businesses. Consequently, the quality of franchised restaurant operations may be diminished by any number of factors beyond our control. Moreover, franchisees may not successfully operate restaurants in a manner consistent with our standards and requirements or may not hire and train qualified managers and other restaurant Team Members. In addition, as independent businesses, franchisees may not be required to comply with the same levels of business or regulatory compliance we are. While we try to ensure the quality of our brand and compliance with our operating standards, and the confidentiality thereof, are maintained by all of our franchisees, we cannot provide assurance our franchisees will avoid actions that negatively affect the reputation of Red Robin or the value of our proprietary information. Our image and reputation and the image and reputation of
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other franchisees may suffer materially, and system-wide sales could significantly decline if our franchisees do not operate restaurants according to our standards.
We are subject to federal and state laws that regulate the offer and sale of franchises and aspects of the licensor-licensee relationship. Further, there have been historical actions before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) where it was alleged that a parent company could be held liable for the actions of its franchisees, including potentially jointly liable for labor and wage violations by its franchisees. Failure to comply with the laws and regulations governing our franchisee relationships or adverse decisions similar to the above-described NLRB actions could subject us to liability for actions of the franchisees, or expose us to liability to franchisees, or fines and penalties for non-compliance.
Food safety and food-borne illness concerns, and any related unfavorable publicity could have an adverse effect on our business.
We dedicate substantial resources to ensuring our Guests enjoy safe, quality food products. Nonetheless, restaurant businesses such as ours can be adversely affected by publicity resulting from complaints or litigation regarding poor food quality, food-borne illness, personal injury, food tampering, communicable disease, adverse health effects of consumption of various food products or high-calorie foods, or other concerns. Food safety issues also could be caused by food suppliers or distributors and, as a result, could be out of our control. Regardless of the source or cause, any report of food-borne illnesses such as E. coli, norovirus, listeria, hepatitis A, salmonella, or trichinosis, as well as other food safety issues including food tampering or contamination, at one of our or a franchisee's restaurants, could adversely affect our reputation and have a negative impact on our sales. The occurrence of food safety issues could also adversely affect the price and availability of affected ingredients, resulting in higher costs and lower margins.
Health concerns relating to the consumption of beef, chicken, or other food products could affect consumer preferences and could negatively affect our results of operations.
Consumer preferences could be affected by health concerns about food-related illness, the consumption of beef (which is the key ingredient in many of our menu items), or negative publicity or publication of government or industry findings concerning food quality, illness, and injury. Further, consumers may react negatively to reports concerning our food products or health or other concerns or operating issues stemming from one or more of our restaurants. Such negative publicity, whether or not valid, may negatively affect demand for our food and could result in decreased Guest traffic to our restaurants. A decrease in Guest traffic to our restaurants as a result of these health concerns or negative publicity or as a result of a change in our menu or concept could materially harm our business and negatively affect our profitability.
Our business could be adversely affected by increased labor costs, including costs related to the increase in minimum wage and new health care laws.
Labor is a primary component in the cost of operating our business. Increased labor costs, whether due to competition, unionization, increased minimum and tip wage, state unemployment rates, employee benefits costs, or otherwise, may adversely impact our operating expenses. A considerable amount of our restaurant Team Members are paid at rates related to the federal, state, or local minimum wage. Further, we have a substantial number of restaurants located in states or municipalities where the minimum wage is greater than the current federal minimum wage, including California, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and New York. For example, California enacted legislation that increased its minimum wage through a series of annual rate increases, from $10.50 an hour in January 2017 to $16 an hour in January 2024, and some California localities currently mandate wages higher than the state minimum. Effective April 1, 2024, a fast-food restaurant minimum wage of $20 per hour will go into effect for employers with over 60 locations. While we are a full-service restaurant company, this legislation could impact our ability to attract and retain Team Members in California. In addition, the Biden administration and members of Congress have called for an increase in the federal minimum wage and tip credit wage (or eliminate the tip credit altogether) and more mandated benefits. We anticipate additional legislation increasing minimum wages and mandated benefits will be enacted in future periods and in other jurisdictions. In addition to increasing the overall wages paid to our minimum wage and tip credit wage earners, these increases create pressure to increase wages and other benefits paid to other Team Members who, in recognition of their tenure, performance, job responsibilities and other similar considerations, historically received a rate of pay exceeding the applicable minimum wage or minimum tip credit wage. Because we employ a large workforce, any wage increase and/or expansion of benefits mandates will have a particularly significant impact on our labor costs. Our vendors, contractors and business partners are similarly impacted by wage and benefit cost inflation, and many have or will increase their price for goods, construction and services in order to offset their increasing labor costs.
In the past, many of our eligible Team Members chose not to participate in our Company-sponsored health care plans for various reasons, but we expect to continue to see increased costs due to the impact of changes in the health care laws. Our distributors and suppliers also may be affected by higher minimum wage or health care costs, which could result in higher costs for goods and services supplied to us. A shortage in the labor pool or other general inflationary pressures or changes could also increase our labor costs.
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While we try to offset labor cost increases through price increases, more efficient purchasing practices, productivity improvements, changing staffing models, greater economies of scale and by offering a variety of health plans to our Team Members, there can be no assurance that these efforts will be successful. If we are unable to anticipate and offset increased labor costs, our financial performance could be materially adversely affected. Further, changes to our staffing models in our restaurants due to labor costs or any labor shortages, could negatively impact our ability to provide adequate service levels to our Guests, which could result in adverse Guest reactions and a possible reduction in Guest traffic at our restaurants.
Our failure to remain in compliance with governmental laws and regulations as they continually evolve, and the associated costs of compliance, could cause our business results to suffer.
Our business is subject to various federal, state, and local government laws and regulations, including, among others, those relating to our employees, public health and safety, food safety, alcoholic beverage control, public accommodations, data privacy and security, securities regulation, and consumer health regulations, including those pertaining to nutritional content and menu labeling such as the Affordable Care Act, which requires restaurant companies such as ours to disclose calorie information on their menus. These laws and regulations continually evolve and change, and compliance may be costly and time-consuming. Moreover, we may fail to maintain compliance with all laws and regulations despite our best efforts. Changes in applicable laws and regulatory requirements, or failure to comply with them could result in, among other things, increased exposure to litigation, administrative enforcement actions or governmental investigations or proceedings; revocation of required licenses or approvals; fines; and civil and criminal liability. These negative consequences could increase the cost of or interfere with our ability to operate our business and execute our strategies.
Various federal, state, and local employment laws govern our relationship with our Team Members and affect operating costs. These laws govern employee classification, wage rates, fair scheduling and payment requirements including tip credit laws and overtime pay, meal and rest breaks, unemployment and other taxes, health care and benefits, workers' compensation rates, citizenship or residency requirements, labor relations, child labor regulations, and discriminatory conduct. Changes in these laws or our failure to comply with enforcement requirements could require changes to our operations that could harm our operating results. For example, although we require all Team Members to provide us with the government-specified documentation evidencing their employment eligibility, some Team Members, without our knowledge, may not meet federal citizenship or residency requirements, which could lead to a disruption in our work force. In addition, we rely on our Team Members to accurately disclose the full amount of tips received, and we base our FICA tax reporting on the amounts provided to us by such tipped Team Members. Inaccurate FICA tax reporting could subject us to monetary liabilities. A number of other factors could adversely affect our operating results, including:
additional government-imposed increases in minimum and/or tipped wages, overtime pay, paid leaves of absence, sick leave, and mandated health benefits;
increased tax reporting and tax payment requirements for employees who receive gratuities;
a reduction in the number of states that allow gratuities to be credited toward minimum wage requirements; and
increased employee litigation including claims under federal and/or state wage and hour laws, including the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act of 1988.
There has been increasing public focus by investors, environmental activists, the media and governmental and nongovernmental organizations on social and environmental sustainability matters, including packaging and waste, animal health and welfare, human rights, climate change, greenhouse gases and land, energy and water use. As a result, we have experienced increased pressure and expectations to provide expanded disclosure and make commitments, establish goals or set targets with respect to various environmental and social issues and to take the actions necessary to meet those commitments, goals and targets. If we are not effective in addressing social and environmental sustainability matters, consumer trust in our brand may suffer. In addition, the actions needed to achieve our commitments, goals and targets could result in market, operational, execution and other costs, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operation and financial condition. Our results of operation and financial condition could be adversely impacted if we are unable to effectively manage the risks or costs to us and our supply chain associated with social and environmental sustainability matters.
We are subject to "dram shop" statutes in some states. These statutes generally allow a person injured by an intoxicated person to recover damages from an establishment that wrongfully served alcoholic beverages to such intoxicated person. Failure to comply with alcoholic beverage control or dram shop regulations could subject us to liability and could negatively affect our business.
Our future success depends on our ability to protect our intellectual property.
Our business prospects will depend in part on our ability to protect our proprietary information and intellectual property, including the Red Robin, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers®, Red Robin America's Gourmet Burgers & Spirits®, "YUMMM®", Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and BrewsTM, and Red Robin RoyaltyTM names and logos. We have registered or filed applications
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for trademarks for these names and logos, among others, with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and in Canada and we have applied to register various trademarks in certain other international jurisdictions. Our trademarks could be infringed in ways that leave us without redress, such as by imitation or by filings by others in jurisdictions where we are not currently registered. In addition, we rely on trade secrets and proprietary know-how in operating our restaurants, and we employ various methods to protect these trade secrets and proprietary know-how. However, such methods may not afford adequate protection and others could independently develop similar know-how or obtain access to our know-how, concepts, and recipes. Consequently, our business could be negatively affected and less profitable if we are unable to successfully defend and protect our intellectual property.
The Company's effective tax rate could be volatile and materially change as a result of changes in tax laws.
Prior to the 2020 U.S. presidential election, then presidential candidate Biden proposed an increase in the U.S. corporate income tax rate from 21% to 28%, the creation of a 10% penalty on certain imports, and a 15% minimum tax on worldwide book income. Additionally, a repeal of NOL carrybacks has also been discussed. During 2022, Congress passed, and President Biden signed into law, tax legislation that includes the 15% corporate minimum income tax for certain large corporate taxpayers. At this time, the Company is not subject to the corporate minimum tax and does not project that it will be subject to the tax in the near future. If any or all of President Biden’s other proposed legislation (or similar) proposals are ultimately enacted into law, in whole or in part, they could have a negative impact to the Company's effective tax rate and cash tax refunds. Additionally, while we believe our tax estimates are reasonable, the final determination of tax audits could be materially different from our historical income tax provisions and accruals. The results of a tax audit could have a material effect on our results of operations or cash flows in the period which the final determination is made.
A significant increase in litigation could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition, and business prospects.
As a member of the restaurant industry, we are sometimes the subject of complaints or litigation, including class action lawsuits, or from Guests alleging illness, injury, or other food quality, health, or operational concerns. Negative publicity resulting from these allegations could harm our restaurants, regardless of whether the allegations are valid or whether we are liable. In addition, we are subject to the same risks of negative publicity resulting from these sorts of allegations even if the claim actually involves one of our franchisees.
Any failure by us to comply with the various federal and state labor laws governing our relationship with our Team Members including requirements pertaining to minimum wage, overtime pay, meal and rest breaks, unemployment tax rates, workers' compensation rates, citizenship or residency requirements, child labor regulations, and discriminatory conduct, may have a material adverse effect on our business or operations. We have been subject to such claims from time to time. The possibility of a material adverse effect on our business relating to employment litigation is even more pronounced given the high concentration of Team Members employed in the Western United States, as this region, and California in particular, has a substantial amount of legislative and judicial activity pertaining to employment-related issues. Further, employee claims against us based on, among other things, discrimination, harassment, or wrongful termination may divert our financial and management resources that would otherwise be used to benefit the future performance of our operations.
Labor organizing could adversely affect our operations and harm our competitive position in the restaurant industry, which could harm our financial performance.
Our employees or others may attempt to unionize our workforce, establish boycotts or picket lines or interrupt our supply chains which could increase our labor costs, limit our ability to manage our workforce effectively, and cause disruptions to our operations. A loss of our ability to effectively manage our workforce and the compensation and benefits we offer to our staff members could harm our financial performance.
Our current insurance may not provide adequate levels of coverage against claims.
There are types of losses we may incur that cannot be insured against or that we believe are not economically reasonable to insure against. Such losses could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations. In addition, we self-insure a significant portion of expected losses under our employee health, workers' compensation, general liability, property, and cyber insurance programs. Unanticipated changes in the actuarial assumptions and management estimates underlying our reserves for these losses could result in materially different amounts of expense under these programs, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations, and liquidity. Failure to obtain and maintain adequate directors' and officers' insurance could materially adversely affect our ability to attract and retain qualified officers and directors.
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Risks Related to Owning Our Stock
The market price of our common stock is subject to volatility, which has and may continue to attract the interest of activist stockholders or subject us to securities litigation, which could cause us to incur significant expenses, hinder execution of our strategy and impact our stock price.
During fiscal 2023, the price of our common stock fluctuated between $5.39 and $15.63 per share. The market price of our common stock may be significantly affected by a number of factors, including, but not limited to, actual or anticipated variations in our operating results or those of our competitors as compared to analyst expectations, changes in financial estimates by research analysts with respect to us or others in the restaurant industry, and announcements of significant transactions (including mergers or acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures or other strategic initiatives) by us or others in the restaurant industry. In addition, the equity markets have experienced price and volume fluctuations that affect the stock price of companies in ways that have been unrelated to an individual company's operating performance. The price of our common stock may continue to be volatile, based on factors specific to our Company and industry, as well as factors related to the equity markets overall. Moreover, such volatility has in the past and may in the future attract the interest of activist stockholders, and in the past, following periods of volatility in the market price of a company’s stock, securities class action litigation has been brought against companies. Responding to activist stockholders and securities litigation can be costly and time-consuming, and the perceived uncertainties as to our future direction resulting from responding to activist strategies could itself then further affect the market price and volatility of our common stock.
We may not continue to repurchase our common stock pursuant to our share repurchase program, and any repurchases may not enhance long-term stockholder value. Share repurchases could also increase the volatility of the price of our common stock and could diminish our cash reserves.
The Company has an authorized share repurchase program. We are not obligated to repurchase shares of common stock under the repurchase program, and the repurchase program may be suspended or terminated at any time. The amount, timing, and execution of repurchases under this repurchase program may fluctuate, and any repurchases by us of our shares of common stock may further reduce cash available for operations and future growth, as well as debt repayment. Our ability to repurchase stock will depend on our ability to generate sufficient cash flows from operations, as supplemented our capacity to borrow funds, which may be subject to economic, financial, competitive and other factors that are beyond our control. Further, our Credit Agreement limits our ability to repurchase shares to certain conditions set forth by the lenders. Continuing share repurchases, or alternatively limiting or halting share repurchases under our share repurchase program may negatively impact investor perception of us and may therefore affect the market price and volatility of our stock.
ITEM 1B.    Unresolved Staff Comments
None.
ITEM 1C. Cybersecurity
Risk Management and Strategy
The Company has an enterprise risk management program to identify, assess, monitor, and manage significant risks of the Company. The Company evaluates cybersecurity risks alongside other critical business risks under this program, and the Company also has a standalone cybersecurity program. The Company's approach to assessing, identifying, and managing material risks from cybersecurity threats is grounded in established frameworks, including those set forth by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and other industry standards and requirements as defined by various compliance frameworks. Our cybersecurity program prioritizes key areas such as:
Policies, Standards, and Practices: We maintain comprehensive policies, standards, and practices aligned with industry practices and regulatory requirements. These documents serve as the foundation for our cybersecurity program, providing clear guidelines for safeguarding our information systems and data assets.
Threat Monitoring and Assessment: Continuous monitoring and assessment of cyber threats and vulnerabilities are integral to our risk management strategy. We utilize advanced monitoring tools and threat intelligence sources to proactively identify and address potential security risks. The Company uses third-party service providers to support its operations. The Company evaluates third-party service providers from a cybersecurity risk perspective, which may include an assessment of that service provider’s cybersecurity posture or a recommendation of specific mitigation controls.
Audits and Assessments: Regular audits and assessments are conducted by both internal and external experts (consultants, auditors, and other third parties) to evaluate the effectiveness of our cybersecurity controls and processes
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and recommend improvements. These assessments help us achieve compliance with internal policies as well as external regulations and standards.
Incident Response Planning: We have developed comprehensive incident response plans to mitigate cybersecurity incidents. These plans outline clear procedures for detecting, responding to, and recovering from security breaches, minimizing the impact on our operations and stakeholders. External technical, legal, and law enforcement support is engaged as needed to support response efforts.
The Company employs a multifaceted approach through in house capabilities and in partnership with external cybersecurity experts to safeguard its assets, including technical and organizational measures. These include the deployment of technology focused on identifying and remediating threats, ongoing employee training exercises, regular incident response capability reviews and exercises, cybersecurity insurance coverage, and business continuity mechanisms.
Governance
Our Board, with the assistance of our Audit Committee, oversees the Company’s cybersecurity program and strategies. The Audit Committee receives regular reports and updates, typically quarterly, from our Chief Technology Officer (CTO) on a wide range of cybersecurity topics. These reports include detailed insights into risk assessments, mitigation strategies, emerging threats, vulnerabilities, incidents, and prevailing industry trends. After each such report, the Chair of the Audit Committee updates the full Board for transparency and accountability in cybersecurity governance. Additionally, at least annually and as needed from time to time, the Board receives similar cybersecurity updates directly from the CTO. Further, the Board oversees cybersecurity as part of our enterprise risk management program.
To further bolster the Board's understanding of cybersecurity issues, management facilitates ongoing educational opportunities. For instance, in December 2023, the Board engaged in a discussion with cybersecurity experts on building resilience to cyber risk. These educational initiatives empower Board members to make informed decisions and actively contribute to the oversight of cybersecurity governance.
Our CTO, supported by our Vice President of Infrastructure and Security, assumes primary responsibility for assessing and managing material cybersecurity risks. With over 25 years of experience spanning restaurant, retail, and technology brands, our CTO brings a wealth of expertise to the role. Having previously held similar positions leading and overseeing cybersecurity programs at both private and public companies, our CTO is well-equipped to navigate the complex landscape of cybersecurity threats and challenges.
Our Company has established robust policies and processes governing the assessment, response, and notifications associated with cybersecurity incidents. These protocols ensure a systematic and coordinated approach to incident management, with collaboration among engineering, legal, and senior leadership to oversee compliance with legal and regulatory requirements and have clear mechanisms in place for escalating notifications to our CEO and the Board based on the nature and severity of each incident.
While we have experienced cybersecurity incidents in the past, in the last fiscal year we have not identified risks from known cybersecurity threats, including as a result of prior cybersecurity incidents, that have materially affected the Company or our financial position, results of operations and/or cash flows. We continue to invest in cybersecurity and the resiliency of our networks and to enhance our internal controls and processes, which are designed to help protect our systems and infrastructure, and the information they contain. For more information regarding the risks we face from cybersecurity threats, please see “Risk Factors."
ITEM 2.    Properties
We currently lease the real estate for most of our Company-owned restaurant facilities under operating leases with remaining terms ranging from less than one year to over 15 years excluding options to extend. These leases generally contain options which permit us to extend the lease term at an agreed rent or at prevailing market rates. Certain leases provide for contingent rents, which are determined as a percentage of adjusted gross restaurant sales in excess of specified levels. Contingent rental payments are recognized as a variable lease expense when specified levels have been achieved or when management determines achieving the specified levels during the year is probable. Certain lease agreements also require the Company to pay maintenance, insurance, and property tax costs.
We own real estate for 17 Company-owned restaurants located in Arizona (2); California (1); Colorado (4); Florida (1); North Carolina (2); Ohio (1); Pennsylvania (1); Texas (2); Virginia (2); and Washington (1).
Our Restaurant Support Center and test kitchen is located in Englewood, Colorado. We have a dispersed workforce policy that permits many of our Restaurant Support Center Team Members to continue working remotely and we expect that to continue on a go-forward basis. For on-site critical, Company leadership, and those who desire to work in a shared location, we have optimized our office footprint at this location to meet the needs of that population. We occupy this facility under a lease
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that expires May 31, 2025. In addition, we occupy approximately 900 square feet and sublease to third parties the first, second, and third floors of a facility in Greenwood Village, Colorado under a lease that expires on May 31, 2025.
Our existing prototype for new Red Robin restaurants is approximately 5,100 square feet with a capacity of approximately 200 seats. We develop restaurants under ground leases on which we build our own restaurants in addition to converting existing buildings on standalone, in-line, end cap, and mall locations. As of December 31, 2023, our restaurant locations comprised approximately 2.6 million square feet.
ITEM 3.    Legal Proceedings
For information regarding contingencies related to litigation, please see Note 12. Commitments and Contingencies included within Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data of Part II of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for the period ended December 31, 2023, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.
ITEM 4.    Mine Safety Disclosures
Not applicable.
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PART II
ITEM 5.    Market for the Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Our common stock is listed on The Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol RRGB. As of February 26, 2024, there were 84 registered owners of our common stock.
Dividends
We did not declare or pay any cash dividends on our common stock during 2023, 2022 or 2021. We currently anticipate we will retain future cash flow to service debt, maintain existing restaurants and infrastructure, and execute on our long-term business strategy. Our Credit Facility has certain limitations on paying dividends or making repurchases of our shares, and we are subject to certain covenant ratios, including a leverage ratio under our Credit Agreement.
Any future determination relating to our dividend policy will be made at the discretion of our Board of Directors and will depend on then existing conditions, including our financial condition, results of operations, contractual restrictions, capital requirements, business prospects, and other factors our Board of Directors may deem relevant.
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
During the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023, the Company did not have any sales of securities in transactions that were not registered under the Securities Act that have not been reported in a Current Report on Form 8-K. No share repurchases were made by the Company during fourth quarter 2023 and approximately $58.4 million remained available for future purchases as of December 31, 2023. Our ability to repurchase shares is limited to certain conditions set forth by our lenders in the Credit Facility.
Performance Graph
The following graph compares the yearly percentage in cumulative total stockholders' return on Common Stock of the Company since the end of its fiscal year 2018, with the cumulative total return over the same period for (i) The Russell 3000 Index, and (ii) the S&P 600 Restaurants.
Pursuant to rules of the SEC, the comparison assumes $100 was invested on December 28, 2018, the last trading day in the Company's 2018 fiscal year, in the Company's Common Stock and in each of the indices.
This performance graph shall not be deemed to be "soliciting material" or to be "filed" under either the Securities Act or the Exchange Act.
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COMPARISON OF FIVE YEAR CUMULATIVE TOTAL RETURN(1)
2307
 Fiscal Years Ended
 December 30, 2018December 29, 2019December 27, 2020December 26, 2021December 25, 2022December 31, 2023
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. (RRGB)$100.00 $116.13 $75.22 $64.22 $21.33 $46.67 
The Russell 3000 Index100.00 132.48 158.33 199.31 162.32 204.32 
S&P 600 Restaurants(2)
$100.00 $112.21 $145.58 $141.17 $112.11 $132.82 
———————————————————
(1)    Represents performance of $100 invested on December 28, 2018 in stock or index, including reinvestment of dividends based on fiscal year ends for purposes of comparability.
(2)    The S&P 600 Restaurants includes companies such as Bloomin' Brands Inc., Brinker International, Inc., Chuy's Holdings Inc., Dine Brands Global, Inc., Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc., and The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated.
ITEM 6.    Reserved
ITEM 7.    Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations provides a narrative of our financial performance and condition that should be read in conjunction with the accompanying consolidated financial statements.
The Company's fiscal year ends on the last Sunday of each calendar year. Most of our fiscal years have 52 weeks; however, we experience a 53rd week once every five to six years. Our discussion for fiscal year 2023, which ended on December 31, 2023, refers to a 53-week period with the fifty-third week occurring in the fourth quarter. Our discussion for fiscal years 2022 and 2021, which ended December 25, 2022 and December 26, 2021, refers to a 52-week period in each year. The following discussion comparing our results in 2023 and 2022 refers to the fifty-three weeks ended and fifty-two weeks ended, December 31, 2023 and December 25, 2022, respectively. For a discussion comparing our results from 2022 to 2021,
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refer to “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in Part II, Item 7 of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 25, 2022, filed with the SEC on February 28, 2023.
Overview
Description of Business
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc., a Delaware corporation, together with its subsidiaries ("Red Robin," "we," "us," "our" or the "Company"), primarily operates, franchises, and develops casual dining restaurants with 506 locations in North America. As of December 31, 2023, the Company operated 415 Company-owned restaurants located in 39 states. The Company also had 91 franchised restaurants in 14 states and one Canadian province as of December 31, 2023. The Company operates its business as one operating and one reportable segment.
Our primary source of revenue is from the sale of food and beverages at Company-owned restaurants. We also earn revenue from royalties and fees from franchised restaurants.
Highlights for Fiscal 2023 Compared to Fiscal 2022
Total revenues are $1.3 billion, an increase of $37.5 million.
Comparable restaurant revenue(1) increased 1.6%.
Comparable restaurant dine-in sales(2) increased 6.9%.
The fifty-third week in 2023 contributed $24.5 million or 1.9% in restaurant revenue.
Net loss is $21.2 million, a decrease of $57.7 million from a net loss of $78.9 million during 2022.
Adjusted EBITDA(3) is $68.9 million, a $17.2 million increase.
Completed two Sale-Leaseback transactions, generating net proceeds of $58.8 million and a gain, net of expenses of $29.4 million.
Repaid $24.9 million of debt and repurchased $10.0 million of stock.
(1)     Comparable restaurant revenue represents revenue from Company-owned restaurants that have operated five full quarters as of the 52 weeks ending December 24, 2023. The comparable restaurant base includes 406 restaurants out of the total 415 Company-owned restaurants.
(2)    Comparable restaurant dine-in sales are calculated based on the Company’s point-of-sale sales data, which does not include adjustments for loyalty breakage.
(3)    See below for a reconciliation of adjusted EBITDA, a non-GAAP measure, to Net loss.
Key Performance Indicators and Non-GAAP Financial Measures
Restaurant revenue, compared to the same period in the prior year, is presented in the table below:
(millions)
Restaurant revenue for the fifty-two weeks ended December 25, 2022
$1,230.2 
Increase in restaurant revenue from the fifty-third week24.5 
Increase in comparable(1) restaurant revenue
18.8 
Increase in non-comparable restaurant revenue0.7 
Total increase44.1 
Restaurant revenue for the fifty-three weeks ended December 31, 2023
$1,274.3 
(1)    Comparable restaurant revenue represents revenue from Company-owned restaurants that have operated five full quarters as of the 52 weeks ending December 24, 2023.

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Restaurant revenue and operating costs, and restaurant level operating profit for the period are detailed in the table below:
Fifty-Three Weeks EndedFifty-Two Weeks Ended
2023 compared to 2022
(Dollars in millions)December 31, 2023December 25, 2022Increase/(Decrease)
Restaurant revenue$1,274.3 $1,230.2 3.6 %
Restaurant operating costs:
Cost of sales309.0 306.5 0.8 %
Labor473.5 440.6 7.5 %
Other operating225.0 224.7 0.1 %
Occupancy102.8 98.9 3.9 %
Total Restaurant Operating Costs$1,110.3 $1,070.6 12.4 %
Restaurant Level Operating Profit(1)
$164.0 $159.5 2.8 %
(1)    Restaurant Level Operating Profit is a non-GAAP measure. See below for a reconciliation of Restaurant Level Operating Profit to Income from Operations and Income from Operations as a percentage of total revenues.
Fifty-Three Weeks EndedFifty-Two Weeks Ended
2023 compared to 2022
(Dollars in millions)December 31, 2023December 25, 2022Increase/(Decrease)
Restaurant revenue$1,274.3 $1,230.2 3.6 %
Restaurant operating costs:(Percentage of Restaurant Revenue)(Basis Points)
Cost of sales24.2 %24.9 %(70)
Labor37.2 35.8 140 
Other operating17.7 18.3 (60)
Occupancy8.1 8.0 10 
Total Restaurant Operating Costs87.2 %87.0 %20 
Restaurant Level Operating Profit12.9 %13.0 %(10)
Certain percentage and basis point amounts in the table above do not total due to rounding as well as restaurant operating costs being expressed as a percentage of restaurant revenue and not total revenues.

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The following table summarizes net loss and loss per diluted share, and adjusted loss per diluted share for the fifty-three weeks ended December 31, 2023 and fifty-two weeks ended December 25, 2022:
Fifty-Three Weeks EndedFifty-Two Weeks Ended
(Dollars and shares in thousands, except per share amounts)December 31, 2023December 25, 2022
Net loss as reported$(21,228)$(78,883)
Loss per share - diluted:
Net loss as reported$(1.34)$(4.98)
Gift card breakage(1)
0.03 (0.33)
Write-off of unamortized debt issuance costs(2)
— 0.11 
Other charges (gains), net:
Asset impairment0.58 2.43 
Gain on sale of restaurant property, net of expenses(1.87)(0.58)
Severance and executive transition, net of $128 and $(3,299) in stock-based compensation
0.22 0.14 
Other financing costs(3)
— 0.09 
Restaurant closure costs, net0.19 0.05 
Closed corporate office costs, net of sublease income0.03 0.03 
Litigation contingencies0.58 0.26 
Asset disposal and other0.11 0.03 
Income tax effect0.04 (0.58)
Adjusted loss per share - diluted$(1.44)$(3.32)
Weighted average shares outstanding
Basic15,835 15,840 
Diluted(4)
15,835 15,840 
(1)    During 2022, the Company re-evaluated the estimated redemption pattern related to gift cards. The impact of this change in estimate comprised $5.9 million included in Other revenue, partially offset by $0.6 million in gift card commission costs included in Selling, general, and administrative expenses on the Consolidated Statements of Operations.
(2)    During 2022, the Company completed the refinancing of our Credit Facility and reported a non-cash charge associated with the write-off of unamortized debt issuance costs related to the remaining unamortized debt issuance costs.
(3)    Other financing costs includes legal and other charges related to the refinancing of our Credit Facility in 2022.
(4)    The impact of dilutive shares is excluded due to the reported net loss for all periods presented.


28

The following table summarizes net loss, and EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA for the fifty-three weeks ended December 31, 2023 and fifty-two weeks ended December 25, 2022:
Fifty-Three Weeks EndedFifty-Two Weeks Ended
December 31, 2023December 25, 2022
Net loss as reported$(21,228)$(78,883)
Interest expense, net25,796 19,882 
Income tax provision (benefit)310 747 
Depreciation and amortization66,190 76,245 
EBITDA71,068 17,991 
Gift card breakage(1)
480 (5,246)
Other charges, net:
Asset impairment9,130 38,534 
Gain on sale of restaurant property(29,543)(9,204)
Severance and executive transition3,419 2,280 
Other financing costs(2)
— 1,462 
Restaurant closure costs3,062 828 
Closed corporate office costs, net of sublease income416 475 
Litigation contingencies9,140 4,148 
Asset disposal and other1,713 438 
Adjusted EBITDA$68,885 $51,706 
(1)    During 2022, the Company re-evaluated the estimated redemption pattern related to gift cards. The impact of this change in estimate comprised $5.9 million included in Other revenue, partially offset by $0.6 million in gift card commission costs included in Selling, general, and administrative expenses on the Consolidated Statements of Operations.
(2)    Other financing costs includes legal and other charges related to the refinancing of our Credit Facility in 2022.
We define EBITDA as net loss before interest expense, income taxes, and depreciation and amortization. Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted loss per share-diluted are supplemental measures of our performance that are not required by or presented in accordance with GAAP. We believe these non-GAAP measures give the reader additional insight into the ongoing operational results of the Company, and are intended to supplement the presentation of the Company's financial results in accordance with GAAP. Adjusted EBITDA and adjusted loss per share-diluted exclude the impact of non-operating or nonrecurring items including changes in estimate, asset impairments, litigation contingencies, gains (losses) on debt extinguishment, restaurant and office closure costs, gains on sale leaseback transactions, severance and executive transition costs and other non-recurring, non-cash or discrete items; net of income tax impacts. Other companies may define these non-GAAP measures differently, and as a result may not be directly comparable to those of other companies. Adjusted loss per share-diluted and Adjusted EBITDA should be considered in addition to, and not as a substitute for, net loss as reported in accordance with U.S. GAAP as a measure of performance.
29

The following table summarizes Income from Operations, and Restaurant Level Operating Profit for the fifty-three weeks ended December 31, 2023 and fifty-two weeks ended December 25, 2022:
Fifty-Three Weeks EndedFifty-Two Weeks Ended
December 31, 2023December 25, 2022
Income (loss) from operations$4,542 0.3%$(57,497)(4.5)%
Less:
Franchise royalties, fees and other revenue28,752 2.2%35,345 2.8%
Add:
Other charges (gains), net(2,663)(0.2)38,961 3.1
Pre-opening costs587 568 
Selling34,770 2.751,700 4.1
General and administrative expenses89,360 6.984,912 6.7
Depreciation and amortization66,190 5.176,245 6.0
Restaurant level operating profit$164,034 $159,544 
Income (loss) from operations as a percentage of total revenues0.3%(4.5)%
Restaurant level operating profit margin (as a percentage of restaurant revenue)12.9%13.0%
The Company believes restaurant level operating profit is an important measure for management and investors because it is widely regarded in the restaurant industry as a useful metric by which to evaluate restaurant level operating efficiency and performance. The Company defines restaurant level operating profit to be income from operations less franchise royalties, fees and other revenue, plus other charges (gains), net, pre-opening costs, selling costs, general and administrative expenses, and depreciation and amortization. The measure includes restaurant level occupancy costs that include fixed rents, percentage rents, common area maintenance charges, real estate and personal property taxes, general liability insurance, and other property costs, but excludes depreciation and amortization expense, substantially all of which is related to restaurant level assets, because such expenses represent historical sunk costs which do not reflect current cash outlay for the restaurants. The measure also excludes costs associated with selling, general, and administrative functions, pre-opening costs, as well as, other charges (gains), net because these costs are non-operating or nonrecurring and therefore not related to the ongoing operations of its restaurants. Restaurant level operating profit is not a measurement determined in accordance with GAAP and should not be considered in isolation, or as an alternative, to income (loss) from operations as an indicator of financial performance. Restaurant level operating profit as presented may not be comparable to other similarly titled measures of other companies in the Company's industry.
Restaurant Data
The following table details restaurant unit data for our Company-owned and franchised locations for the periods indicated:
30

Fifty-Three Weeks EndedFifty-Two Weeks Ended
December 31, 2023December 25, 2022
Company-owned:  
Beginning of period414 430 
Opened during the period— 
Acquired from franchisees— 
Closed during the period(5)(16)
End of period415 414 
Franchised:  
Beginning of period97 101 
Opened during the period— 
Sold to Company during the period(5)— 
Closed during the period(1)(5)
End of period91 97 
Total number of restaurants506 511 

31

The following table presents total Company-owned and franchised restaurants by state or province as of December 31, 2023:
 Company-Owned RestaurantsFranchised Restaurants
State:
Arkansas
Alaska
Alabama
Arizona18 
California57 
Colorado22 
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida17 
Georgia
Iowa
Idaho
Illinois20 
Indiana11 
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Massachusetts
Maryland11 
Maine
Michigan19 
Minnesota
Missouri
Montana
North Carolina17 
Nebraska
New Hampshire
New Jersey11 
New Mexico
Nevada
New York14 
Ohio16 
Oklahoma
Oregon15 
Pennsylvania11 20 
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas18 
Utah
Virginia20 
Washington37 
Wisconsin11 
Province:
British Columbia11
Total41591


32

Results of Operations
Operating results for each fiscal period presented below are expressed as a percentage of total revenues, except for the components of restaurant operating costs, which are expressed as a percentage of restaurant revenue. Certain percentage amounts in the table below do not total due to rounding as well as restaurant operating costs being expressed as a percentage of restaurant revenue and not total revenues.
Year Ended
 December 31, 2023December 25, 2022
Revenues:
Restaurant revenue97.8 %97.2 %
Franchise revenue1.2 1.5 
Other revenue1.0 1.3 
Total revenues100.0 %100.0 %
Costs and expenses:
Restaurant operating costs(1) (excluding depreciation and amortization shown separately below):
Cost of sales24.2 %24.9 %
Labor37.2 35.8 
Other operating17.7 18.3 
Occupancy8.1 8.0 
Total restaurant operating costs87.2 87.0 
Depreciation and amortization5.1 6.0 
Selling, general, and administrative expenses9.5 10.8 
Pre-opening costs— — 
Other charges (gains), net(0.2)3.1 
Income (loss) from operations0.3 %(4.5)%
Other expense (income):
Interest expense2.0 %1.6 %
Interest (income) and other, net(0.1)— 
Total other expenses, net2.0 1.6 
Loss before income taxes(1.6)(6.2)
Income tax expense (benefit)0.0 0.1 
Net loss(1.6)%(6.2)%
(1)    Expressed as a percentage of restaurant revenue.
33

Revenues
Year Ended
(Revenues in thousands)20232022Percent Change
Restaurant revenue$1,274,294 $1,230,189 3.6 %
Franchise revenue15,867 19,306 (17.8)%
Other revenue12,885 16,039 (19.7)%
Total revenues$1,303,046 $1,265,534 3.0 %
Average weekly net sales volumes in Company-owned restaurants$59,454 $55,852 6.4 %
Total operating weeks21,643 22,028 (1.7)%
Restaurant revenue, which comprises primarily food and beverage sales, increased $44.1 million in 2023, or 3.6%, as compared to 2022. The fifty-third week in 2023 contributed approximately $24.5 million in restaurant revenue. Of the remaining $19.6 million increase, $18.8 million, or 1.6%, was due to an increase in comparable restaurant revenue and the remaining $0.7 million increase was due to non-comparable restaurants, primarily attributed to the Company's purchase of five restaurants from a Franchisee in the second quarter of fiscal year 2023. The comparable restaurant revenue increase was driven by a 6.8% increase in average Guest check with a 5.2% decrease in Guest count. The increase in average Guest check resulted from a 7.5% increase in menu pricing and 0.9% decrease in discounts, partially offset by a 1.6% decrease in menu mix. The decrease in menu mix was primarily driven by Guests shifting visits from third party delivery platforms with elevated menu prices, to dine in visits at standard menu prices, and the removal of low Guest preference, but higher priced burger options. Dine-in sales comprised 75.0% of total food and beverage sales in 2023, as compared to 71.3% in 2022.
Average weekly net sales volumes represent the total restaurant revenue for all Company-owned Red Robin restaurants for each time period presented, divided by the number of operating weeks in the period. Comparable restaurant revenues include those restaurants that are in the comparable base based on operating five full fiscal quarters as of the end of each period presented. Closed Company-owned restaurants were not included in the comparable base for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2023 and December 25, 2022. Fluctuations in average weekly net sales volumes for Company-owned restaurants reflect the effect of comparable restaurant revenue changes as well as the performance of new restaurants during the period.
Franchise revenue primarily includes royalty income and advertising fund contributions. Franchise revenue decreased $3.4 million, or 17.8%, in 2023 compared to 2022. Franchise revenue declined primarily due to a reduction in the percentage of sales each franchisee is required to contribute to support selling activities. This reduction results from an increased focus on local restaurant marketing and reduced national and/or mass media channels pursuant to our North Star strategy. The percentage of sales each franchisee is required to contribute could change in the future, as we expect to align contributions with spending levels, subject to compliance with the respective franchise agreement.
Other revenue primarily comprises gift card breakage, which represents the value associated with the portion of gift cards sold that are unlikely to be redeemed, licensing income, and recycling income. During 2023 and 2022, we recognized $9.9 million and $13.8 million of gift card breakage.
Cost of Sales
(In thousands, except percentages)20232022Percent Change
Cost of sales$308,962 $306,509 0.8 %
As a percent of restaurant revenue24.2 %24.9 %(0.7)%
Cost of sales, which comprises food and beverage costs, is variable and generally fluctuates with sales volume. Cost of sales as a percentage of restaurant revenue decreased 70 basis points in 2023 as compared to 2022. The decrease was primarily driven by menu price increases and implementation of various cost savings initiatives, partially offset by commodity inflation and investments to enhance food quality.

34

Labor
(In thousands, except percentages)20232022Percent Change
Labor$473,538 $440,564 7.5 %
As a percent of restaurant revenue37.2 %35.8 %1.4 %
Labor costs include restaurant-level hourly wages and management salaries as well as related taxes and benefits. Labor as a percentage of restaurant revenue increased 140 basis points in 2023 as compared to 2022. The increase was primarily driven by investments in hourly labor, management labor, and related payroll taxes. Additionally, incentive compensation expense increased due to increased achievement of incentive targets, partially offset by lower group insurance expense. In 2023, we made investments in management and hourly labor to support an enhanced Guest experience, with an objective to drive increases in Guest traffic count over time, resulting in an increase in restaurant profitability.
Other Operating
(In thousands, except percentages)20232022Percent Change
Other operating$224,999 $224,704 0.1 %
As a percent of restaurant revenue17.7 %18.3 %(0.6)%
Other operating costs include costs such as equipment repairs and maintenance costs, restaurant supplies, utilities, restaurant technology, and other miscellaneous costs. Other operating costs as a percentage of restaurant revenue decreased 60 basis points compared to the same period in 2022. The decrease was primarily driven by reduced third party commission expenses associated with lower off-premises mix and lower commission rates, and reduced restaurant supply costs primarily due to various cost saving initiatives, partially offset by higher repairs and maintenance costs.
Occupancy
(In thousands, except percentages)20232022Percent Change
Occupancy$102,761 $98,868 3.9 %
As a percent of restaurant revenue8.1 %8.0 %0.1 %
Occupancy costs include fixed rents, property taxes, common area maintenance charges, general liability insurance, contingent rents, and other property costs. In 2023, occupancy costs increased $3.9 million or 10 basis points as a percentage of revenue compared to 2022. This increase is primarily driven by an increase in fixed rents related to the sale-leaseback of 18 locations and the acquisition of five restaurants from a franchisee, mostly offset by reduced expenses related to net Company-owned restaurant closures.
Depreciation and Amortization
(In thousands, except percentages)20232022Percent Change
Depreciation and amortization$66,190 $76,245 (13.2)%
As a percent of total revenues5.1 %6.0 %(0.9)%
Depreciation and amortization includes depreciation on capital expenditures for restaurants and corporate assets as well as amortization of reacquired franchise rights, leasehold interests, and certain liquor licenses. In 2023, depreciation and amortization expense as a percentage of revenue decreased 90 basis points as compared to 2022. The decrease is primarily due to asset impairments and disposals reducing the depreciable asset base.
Selling, General, and Administrative expenses
(In thousands, except percentages)20232022Percent Change
Selling, general, and administrative expenses$124,130 $136,612 (9.1)%
As a percent of total revenues9.5 %10.8 %(1.3)%
Selling, general, and administrative costs include all corporate and administrative functions. Components of this category include marketing and advertising costs, our Restaurant Support Center, regional, and franchise support salaries and benefits; travel; professional and consulting fees; corporate information systems; legal expenses; office rent; training; and Board of Directors' expenses. Selling, general, and administrative expense decreased $12.5 million, or 9.1% in 2023 as compared to 2022.
35

General and administrative expenses increased $4.4 million or 5.2% in 2023 as compared to 2022. The increase in 2023 was primarily driven by higher incentive compensation, increased travel, and lower capitalized costs due to fewer eligible capital projects, partially offset by a decrease in wages and stock compensation due to a reduction in force in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2022 and executive transitions in fiscal years 2022 and 2023.
Selling expenses decreased $16.9 million or 32.7% in 2023 as compared to 2022. The decrease resulted from a strategic shift as part of the North Star Plan to reallocate dollars from selling expenses to support investments in the Guest experience. The reductions in selling expenses were primarily in internet and local media.
Pre-opening Costs
(In thousands, except percentages)20232022Percent Change
Pre-opening costs$587 $568 3.3 %
As a percent of total revenues— %— %— %
Pre-opening costs, which are expensed as incurred, comprise the costs related to preparing restaurants to introduce Donatos® and other initiatives, as well as direct costs, including labor, occupancy, training, and marketing, incurred related to opening new restaurants and hiring the initial work force. Our pre-opening costs fluctuate from period to period, depending upon, but not limited to, the number of restaurants where Donatos® has been introduced, the number of restaurant openings, the size of the restaurants being opened, and the location of the restaurants. Pre-opening costs for any period will typically include expenses associated with restaurants opened during the period as well as expenses related to restaurants opening in subsequent periods.
Pre-opening costs increased due to one new restaurant opening in 2023 as compared to none in 2022 mostly offset by a decrease due to 26 Donatos® installations in 2023 as compared to 52 Donatos® installations in 2022.
Other Charges (Gains), net
(In thousands, except percentages)20232022Percent Change
Asset impairment$9,130 $38,534 (76.3)%
Gain on sale of restaurant property, net of expenses(29,543)(9,204)*
Severance and executive transition, net of $128 and $3,299 in stock-based compensation
3,419 2,280 50.0 %
Other financing costs— 1,462 (100.0)%
Restaurant closure costs, net3,062 828 *
Closed corporate office costs, net of sublease income416 475 (12.4)%
Litigation contingencies9,140 4,148 *
Asset disposal and other1,713 438 *
Other charges (gains), net$(2,663)$38,961 
* Percentage increases and decreases over 100 percent were not considered meaningful.
For further information on Other charges (gains) line items, refer to Note 4. Other Charges (Gains), net, of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part II, Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Interest Expense and Interest Income
Interest expense in 2023 and 2022 was $26.6 million and $20.6 million, respectively. The $5.9 million increase was due to higher weighted average interest rates. Our weighted average interest rate in 2023 and 2022 was 12.7% and 9.1%, respectively. Average outstanding debt in 2023 and 2022 was $205.6 million and $200.8 million, respectively.
Interest income and other increased by $1.1 million in 2023 due to investment changes related to a deferred compensation plan for which assets are held in a rabbi trust, along with higher interest income on bank account balances in the 53-week period.
Income Taxes
Income tax provision was $0.3 million in 2023, compared to an income tax provision of $0.7 million in 2022. Our effective tax rate was a 1.5% provision in 2023 and a 1.0% provision in 2022, reflecting minimum state income taxes and state franchise taxes despite a pretax net loss position.
36

Liquidity and Capital Resources
Cash and cash equivalents, and restricted cash decreased $26.6 million to $31.6 million at December 31, 2023, from $58.2 million at the beginning of the fiscal year. Approximately $17.2 million of the decline is due to the timing of our payroll cycle which occurred in the 53rd fiscal week and, as a result, was recorded as a cash outflow in the 2023 fiscal year.
The Company is using available cash flow from operations to maintain existing restaurants and infrastructure, and execute on its long-term strategic initiatives. As of December 31, 2023, the Company had approximately $48.6 million in liquidity, including cash and cash equivalents and $25.0 million available borrowing capacity under its Credit Facility.
Cash Flows
The table below summarizes our cash flows from operating, investing, and financing activities for each fiscal year presented (in thousands):
Year Ended
20232022
Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities$(1,157)$35,532 
Net cash provided by (used in) investing activities8,226 (29,568)
Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities(33,712)29,533 
Effect of exchange rate changes on cash(41)
Net change in cash and cash equivalents, and restricted cash$(26,641)$35,456 
Operating Cash Flows
Net cash flows provided by operating activities decreased $36.7 million to $1.2 million in 2023 as compared to 2022. The change in net cash provided by operating activities is primarily attributable to the timing of payroll as a result of the 53rd week discussed above, the receipt of an income tax refund of $14.6 million in 2022, and severance payments and higher interest payments in 2023.
Investing Cash Flows
Net cash flows provided by investing activities increased $37.8 million to $8.2 million in 2023 as compared to 2022. The increase in cash flows provided by investing activities is primarily due to proceeds from sale-leaseback transactions and a sale of real estate, partially offset by increased capital expenditures and the acquisition of five franchised restaurants.
The following table lists the components of our capital expenditures for each fiscal year presented (in thousands):
Year Ended
20232022
Restaurant improvement capital and other$22,160 $15,882 
Investment in technology, infrastructure, and other16,778 12,303 
Donatos® expansion
8,620 6,054 
New restaurants and restaurant refreshes1,882 3,920 
Total capital expenditures$49,440 $38,159 
Restaurant improvement capital and other consists of capital equipment for our restaurants. Investment in technology, infrastructure and other consists of capital costs related to restaurant technology assets, capital overhead, and other centrally developed assets. Expenditures for Donatos® expansion include expenditures for kitchen equipment, other equipment and other capital costs associated with adding Donatos® to our restaurants.
Financing Cash Flows
Net cash flows used in financing activities increased $63.2 million to $33.7 million in 2023 as compared to 2022.
In 2022, financing activities were a source of cash, due to net draws made on long-term debt as a result of the Company's refinancing of debt on March 4, 2022. In 2023, the use of cash resulted primarily from the Company’s repayment of outstanding debt with proceeds from the sale-leaseback transaction, $10.0 million of share repurchases, and standard principal payments due under the terms of the Company’s Credit Agreement.
37

Credit Facility
On March 4, 2022, the Company replaced its prior amended and restated Credit Agreement (the "Prior Credit Agreement") with a new Credit Agreement (the "Credit Agreement"), which provides for a new Senior Secured Term Loan and Revolving Credit Facility (the “Credit Facility”). The Credit Agreement's interest rate references the Secured Overnight Financing Rate ("SOFR"), a new index calculated by short-term repurchase agreements and backed by U.S. Treasury securities, or the Alternate Base Rate ("ABR"), which represents the highest of (a) the Prime Rate, (b) the Federal Funds Rate plus 0.5% per annum, or (c) one-month term SOFR plus 1.0% per annum.
As of December 31, 2023, the Company had outstanding borrowings under the Credit Facility of $182.6 million net of $6.5 million of unamortized deferred financing charges and discounts, none of which was classified as current. As of December 31, 2023, the Company had $25.0 million of available borrowing capacity under its Credit Facility, and $7.7 million letters of credit issued against cash collateral. The Company's cash collateral is recorded in Restricted cash on our Consolidated Balance Sheets.
For additional information regarding our Credit Facility, see Note 8. Borrowings included within the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part II, Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Covenants
We are subject to a number of customary covenants under our Credit Facility, including limitations on additional borrowings, acquisitions, stock repurchases, sales of assets, and dividend payments, as well as a Total Net Leverage ratio covenant. As of December 31, 2023, we were in compliance with all debt covenants.
Debt Outstanding
Total debt outstanding decreased $25.7 million to $189.1 million at December 31, 2023, from $214.9 million at December 25, 2022, primarily driven by payments of long-term debt using proceeds from the sale-leaseback transactions during the fifty-three weeks ended December 31, 2023.
Share Repurchase
On August 9, 2018, the Company's Board of Directors authorized the Company's current share repurchase program of up to a total of $75 million of the Company's common stock. The share repurchase authorization will terminate upon completing repurchases of $75 million of common stock unless otherwise terminated by the board. Pursuant to the repurchase program, purchases may be made from time to time at the Company's discretion and the Company is not obligated to acquire any particular amount of common stock. From the date of the current program approval through December 31, 2023, we have repurchased a total of 1,088,588 shares at an average price of $15.18 per share for an aggregate amount of $16.5 million. The Company completed $10.0 million of share repurchases in 2023 and no share repurchases during 2022. Accordingly, as of December 31, 2023, we had $58.4 million of availability under the current share repurchase program. Our Credit Agreement limits our ability to repurchase shares to certain conditions set forth by the lenders in the Credit Facility.
Contractual Obligations
The following table summarizes the amounts of payments due under specified contractual obligations as of December 31, 2023 (in thousands):
 Payments Due by Period
 Total20242025 - 20262027 - 2028Thereafter
Long-term debt obligations(1)
$278,312 $22,292 $44,585 $211,435 $— 
Finance lease obligations(2)
10,784 1,386 2,815 2,451 4,132 
Operating lease obligations(3)
619,896 82,310 153,136 126,940 257,510 
Purchase obligations(4)
230,683 61,464 95,328 49,813 24,078 
Other non-current liabilities(5)
1,903 360 142 74 1,327 
Total contractual obligations$1,141,578 $167,812 $296,006 $390,713 $287,047 
———————————————————
(1) Long-term debt obligations primarily represent minimum required principal payments under our existing Credit Agreement as of December 31, 2023, including estimated interest of $89.2 million based on a 11.62% average borrowing interest rate.
(2) Finance lease obligations include interest of $2.1 million.
(3) Operating lease obligations exclude variable lease costs, such as sales based contingent rent, and include interest of $192.6 million.
(4) Purchase obligations primarily include the Company's share of expected system-wide fixed price commitments for food, beverage, and restaurant supply items. The timing of amounts presented is estimated based on anticipated inventory needed for the Company’s restaurants and could vary due to changes in anticipated traffic counts, consumer preferences, or other factors.
38

(5) Other non-current liabilities primarily represent the employee deferred compensation plan liability.
Financial Condition and Future Liquidity
We require capital principally to maintain, improve, and refurbish existing restaurants; build new restaurants; support infrastructure needs; fund operational changes; and for general operating purposes. We are required to make interest and principal payments under the terms of our Credit Agreement, and may use capital to pay additional principal on our borrowings or repurchase our common stock as allowed by our Credit Agreement. Our primary short-term and long-term sources of liquidity are expected to be cash flows from operations and our Credit Facility. We expect cash flows from operations and available borrowing capacity under the Credit Facility will be sufficient to meet debt service, capital expenditures, and working capital requirements for at least the next twelve months. The Company is working to complete a third sale-leaseback transaction related to its owned properties and if completed, anticipates proceeds will be used to repay debt. We and the restaurant industry in general maintain relatively low levels of accounts receivable and inventories, and vendors generally grant short-term trade credit for purchases, such as food and supplies. The addition of new restaurants and refurbishment of existing restaurants are reflected as long-term assets and not as part of working capital.
Working Capital
We typically maintain current liabilities in excess of our current assets which results in a working capital deficit. We are able to operate with a working capital deficit because restaurant sales are primarily conducted on a cash or credit card basis. Rapid turnover of inventory results in limited investment in inventories, and cash from sales is usually received before related payables for food, supplies, and payroll become due. In addition, receipts from the sale of gift cards are received well in advance of related redemptions. Rather than maintain higher cash balances that would result from this pattern of operating cash flows, we typically utilize operating cash flows in excess of those required for currently maturing liabilities to pay for capital expenditures, debt repayment, or to repurchase stock. When necessary, we utilize our Credit Facility to satisfy short-term liquidity requirements. We believe our future cash flows generated from restaurant operations combined with our remaining borrowing capacity under the Credit Facility and sale-leaseback transactions will be sufficient to satisfy any working capital deficits and our planned capital expenditures.
Critical Accounting Estimates
Critical accounting estimates are those we believe are both significant and that require us to make difficult, subjective, or complex judgments, often because we need to estimate the effect of inherently uncertain matters. We base our estimates and judgments on historical experiences and various other factors we believe to be appropriate under the circumstances. Actual results may differ from these estimates, including our estimates of future restaurant-level cash flows, which are subject to the current economic environment, and we might obtain different results if we use different assumptions or conditions. We have identified the following as the Company's most critical accounting estimates, which are most important to the portrayal of the Company's financial condition and results and require management's most subjective and complex judgment. Information regarding the Company's other significant accounting policies is disclosed in Note 1, Description of Business and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies, of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part II, Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Impairment of Long-Lived Assets - Long-lived assets, including restaurant sites, leasehold improvements, other fixed assets, right of use assets, and amortizable intangible assets are reviewed when indicators of impairment are present. Expected cash flows associated with an asset are the key factor in determining the recoverability of the asset. Identifiable cash flows are measured at the restaurant-level. The estimate of cash flows is based upon, among other things, certain assumptions about expected future operating performance, including assumptions on future revenue trends. Management's estimates of undiscounted cash flows may differ from actual cash flows due to, among other things, changes in economic conditions, changes to our business model, or changes in operating performance. If the sum of the undiscounted cash flows is less than the carrying value of the asset, we recognize an impairment loss. The amount of the impairment loss is measured as the amount by which the carrying value exceeds the fair value of the asset, which is determined using discounted cash flows.
39

Judgments made by management related to our ability to realize undiscounted cash flows in excess of the carrying amounts of such assets are affected by factors such as changes in economic conditions, changes in operating performance, and the ongoing maintenance and improvements of the assets. As the ongoing expected cash flows and carrying amounts of long-lived assets are assessed, these factors could cause us to realize a material impairment charge. Each restaurant's past and present operating performance were reviewed in combination with projected future results, primarily through projected undiscounted cash flows, which indicated possible impairment. For those restaurants for which undiscounted cash flows did not exceed their carrying value, we compared the carrying amount of each restaurant to its fair value as estimated by management. Determining the fair value of the long-lived assets requires the use of estimates and assumptions and is typically determined using a discounted cash flow projection model. The weighted average cost of capital discount factor is determined using external information such as the risk-free rate of return, industry beta factors, and premium adjustments. Management uses other market information such as market rent and discount rates, which are subject to judgment, to estimate the fair value of restaurant right of use lease assets. During 2023, the Company recognized non-cash impairment charges of $9.1 million, primarily related to the impairment of the long-lived assets at 19 underperforming locations and quota state liquor licenses at three locations. During 2022, the Company recognized non-cash impairment charges of $38.5 million, primarily related to impairments of long-lived assets at 46 underperforming locations and quota state liquor licenses at six locations.
Information technology systems, such as internal-use computer software, are reviewed and tested for recoverability if the internal-use computer software is not expected to provide substantive service potential, a significant change occurs to the extent or manner in which the software is used or is expected to be used, a significant change is made or will be made to the software program, or costs of developing or modifying internal-use software significantly exceed the amount originally expected to develop or modify the software.
Liquor licenses with indefinite lives are reviewed for impairment annually or whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate the carrying amount may not be recoverable. If the carrying amount is not recoverable, we record an impairment charge for the excess of the carrying amount over the fair value. We determine fair value based on quoted prices in the active market for the license in the same or similar jurisdictions, representing a level 1 fair value measurement.
Recently Issued Accounting Standards
See Note 2. Recent Accounting Pronouncements, of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part II, Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for our discussion of recently issued accounting standards.
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ITEM 7A.    Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
Interest Rate Risk
Under our Credit Facility, we are exposed to market risk from changes in interest rates on borrowings. Borrowings under the Credit Facility are subject to rates based on SOFR plus a spread based on leverage or a base rate plus a spread based on leverage. The base rate is the highest of (a) the Prime Rate, (b) the Federal Funds Rate plus 0.5% per annum, or (c) one-month term SOFR plus 1.0% per annum. As of December 31, 2023, we had $189.1 million of borrowings subject to variable interest rates. A 1.0% change in the effective interest rate applied to these loans would have resulted in pre-tax interest expense fluctuation of $1.9 million on an annualized basis.
We continue to monitor our interest rate risk on an ongoing basis and may use interest rate swaps or similar instruments in the future to manage our exposure to interest rate changes related to our borrowings as the Company deems appropriate.
Commodity Price Risks
We purchase food, supplies and other commodities for use in our operations based on prices established with our suppliers. Many of the commodities purchased by us are subject to volatility due to market supply and demand factors outside of our control, including the price of other commodities, weather, seasonality, production, trade policy, and other factors. To manage this risk in part, we enter into fixed-price purchase commitments for certain commodities. As of December 31, 2023, approximately 50% of our estimated annual food and beverage purchases were covered by fixed price contracts, most of which are scheduled to expire at various times through the end of 2027. We believe that substantially all of our food and supplies meeting our specifications are available from alternate sources, which we have identified to diversify our supply chain to mitigate our overall commodity risk. We may or may not have the ability to increase menu prices, or vary menu items, in response to commodity price increases. A 1.0% increase in food and beverage costs would negatively impact cost of sales by approximately $3.1 million on an annualized basis.
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ITEM 8.    Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

RED ROBIN GOURMET BURGERS, INC.
INDEX



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REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM
To the Stockholders and the Board of Directors of Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc.
Opinion on the Financial Statements
We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. and subsidiaries (the "Company") as of December 31, 2023 and December 25, 2022, the related consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive loss, stockholders’ (deficit) equity, and cash flows, for the periods ended December 31, 2023, December 25, 2022, and December 26, 2021, and the related notes (collectively referred to as the "financial statements"). In our opinion, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company as of December 31, 2023 and December 25, 2022, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for the periods ended December 31, 2023, December 25, 2022, and December 26, 2021, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.
We have also audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB), the Company's internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2023, based on criteria established in Internal Control — Integrated Framework (2013) issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission and our report dated February 28, 2024, expressed an unqualified opinion on the Company's internal control over financial reporting.
Basis for Opinion
These financial statements are the responsibility of the Company's management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company's financial statements based on our audits. We are a public accounting firm registered with the PCAOB and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.
We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud. Our audits included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. Our audits also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.
Critical Audit Matter
The critical audit matter communicated below is a matter arising from the current-period audit of the financial statements that was communicated or required to be communicated to the audit committee and that (1) relates to accounts or disclosures that are material to the financial statements and (2) involved our especially challenging, subjective, or complex judgments. The communication of critical audit matters does not alter in any way our opinion on the financial statements, taken as a whole, and we are not, by communicating the critical audit matter below, providing a separate opinion on the critical audit matter or on the accounts or disclosures to which it relates.
Impairment of Long-Lived Assets – Refer to Notes 1, 4, and 9 in the Financial Statements
Critical Audit Matter Description
The Company assesses long-lived assets for impairment at the individual restaurant-level whenever events and circumstances indicate the carrying amount of an asset group may not be recoverable. Expected cash flows associated with an asset are the key factor in determining the recoverability of the asset. Identifiable cash flows are measured at the restaurant-level. The estimate of cash flows is based upon, among other things, certain assumptions about expected future operating performance, including assumptions of future revenue trends. If the sum of the undiscounted cash flows is less than the carrying value of the asset, an impairment loss is recognized and measured as the amount by which the carrying value exceeds the fair value of the asset.
We identified the evaluation of long-lived asset impairment as a critical audit matter because of the significant judgments made by management to estimate the undiscounted cash flows, including assumptions about expected future operating performance, and the fair value of the lease assets. This required a high degree of auditor judgment and an increased extent of effort, when performing audit procedures to evaluate whether management appropriately identified and evaluated potential impairment indicators, and when evaluating the reasonableness of management’s estimates and assumptions, particularly related to undiscounted cash flows and market rent.
How the Critical Audit Matter Was Addressed in the Audit
Our audit procedures related to the impairment of long-lived assets included the following, among others:
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We tested the operating effectiveness of internal controls over the Company’s assessment and evaluation of potential impairment indicators for long-lived assets and over forecasted undiscounted cash flows and market rent used in their recoverability and impairment analyses.
We evaluated the reasonableness of the Company’s evaluation of impairment indicators by:
Evaluating the Company’s process for identifying qualitative and quantitative impairment indicators by location and whether the Company appropriately considered such indicators
Conducting a completeness assessment to determine whether additional impairment indicators were present during the period that were not identified by the Company.
We tested the mathematical accuracy of management’s calculations and the underlying source of information for a selection of restaurant sites.
We evaluated the reasonableness of the information in the Company’s forecasted undiscounted cash flows used in their recoverability and impairment analyses, by comparing the forecasts to
Historical actual information
Internal communications between management and the Board of Directors
Forecasted information included in analyst and industry reports for the Company.
We evaluated the Company’s forecasted undiscounted and discounted cash flows for consistency with evidence obtained in other areas of the audit.
With the assistance of our fair value specialists, we evaluated the market rent by developing a range of independent estimates and comparing those to the market rent used by management.

/s/ Deloitte & Touche LLP

Denver, Colorado
February 28, 2024

We have served as the Company's auditor since 2021.
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RED ROBIN GOURMET BURGERS, INC.
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(In thousands, except per share amounts)
December 31, 2023December 25, 2022
Assets:
Current assets:
Cash and cash equivalents$23,634 $48,826 
Accounts receivable, net21,592 21,989 
Inventories26,839 26,447 
Prepaid expenses and other current assets11,785 12,938 
Restricted cash7,931 9,380 
Total current assets91,781 119,580 
Property and equipment, net261,258 318,517 
Operating lease assets, net361,609 361,432 
Intangible assets, net15,491 17,727 
Other assets, net11,795 14,889 
Total assets$741,934 $832,145 
Liabilities and stockholders' equity:
Current liabilities:
Accounts payable$27,726 $39,336 
Accrued payroll and payroll-related liabilities32,524 33,666 
Unearned revenue36,067 46,944 
Current portion of operating lease liabilities43,819 47,394 
Current portion of long-term debt 3,375 
Accrued liabilities and other current liabilities46,201 49,498 
Total current liabilities186,337 220,213 
Long-term debt182,594 203,155 
Long-term portion of operating lease liabilities383,439 393,157 
Other non-current liabilities10,006 13,831 
Total liabilities762,376 830,356 
Stockholders' (deficit) equity:
Common stock; $0.001 par value: 45,000 shares authorized; 20,449 shares issued; 15,528 and 15,934 shares outstanding as of December 31, 2023 and December 25, 2022
20 20 
Preferred stock, $0.001 par value: 3,000 shares authorized; no shares issued and outstanding as of December 31, 2023 and December 25, 2022
  
Treasury stock 4,921 and 4,515 shares, at cost as of December 31, 2023 and December 25, 2022
(174,702)(182,810)
Paid-in capital229,680 238,803 
Accumulated other comprehensive loss, net of tax(22)(34)
Accumulated deficit(75,418)(54,190)
Total stockholders' (deficit) equity(20,442)1,789 
Total liabilities and stockholders' (deficit) equity$741,934 $832,145 
See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
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RED ROBIN GOURMET BURGERS, INC.
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS AND COMPREHENSIVE LOSS
(In thousands, except per share amounts)
Year Ended
December 31, 2023December 25, 2022December 26, 2021
Revenues:
Restaurant revenue$1,274,294 $1,230,189 $1,137,643 
Franchise revenue15,867 19,306 17,236 
Other revenue12,885 16,039 6,758 
Total revenues1,303,046 1,265,534 1,161,637 
Costs and expenses:
Restaurant operating costs (excluding depreciation and amortization shown separately below):
Cost of sales308,962 306,509 260,896 
Labor (includes $475, $958, and $894 of stock-based compensation)
473,538 440,564 409,901 
Other operating224,999 224,704 207,829 
Occupancy102,761 98,868 96,484 
Depreciation and amortization66,190 76,245 83,438 
Selling, general, and administrative expenses (includes $6,329, $8,635, and $5,728 of stock-based compensation)
124,130 136,612 122,743 
Pre-opening costs587 568 1,410 
Other charges (gains), net (includes $128, $(3,299), and $0 of stock-based compensation)
(2,663)38,961 16,074 
Total costs and expenses1,298,504 1,323,031 1,198,775 
Income (loss) from operations4,542 (57,497)(37,138)
Other expense (income):
Interest expense26,560 20,643 14,176 
Interest (income) and other, net(1,100)(4)(719)
Total other expenses, net25,460 20,639 13,457 
Loss before income taxes(20,918)(78,136)(50,595)
Income tax expense (benefit)310 747 (152)
Net loss$(21,228)$(78,883)$(50,443)
Loss per share:
Basic$(1.34)$(4.98)$(3.22)
Diluted$(1.34)$(4.98)$(3.22)
Weighted average shares outstanding:
Basic15,835 15,840 15,660 
Diluted15,835 15,840 15,660 
Other comprehensive (loss) income:
Foreign currency translation adjustment$12 $(35)$5 
Other comprehensive (loss) income, net of tax12 (35)5 
Total comprehensive loss$(21,216)$(78,918)$(50,438)
See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

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RED ROBIN GOURMET BURGERS, INC.
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF STOCKHOLDERS' (DEFICIT) EQUITY
(In thousands)
Common StockTreasury StockAccumulated
Other
Comprehensive
(Loss) Income,
net of tax
Retained
Earnings
(Deficit)
Paid-in
Capital
SharesAmountSharesAmountTotal
Balance, December 27, 202020,449 $20 4,901 $(199,908)$243,407 $(4)$75,136 $118,651 
Exercise of options, issuance of restricted stock, shares exchanged for exercise and tax, and stock issued through employee stock purchase plan— — (174)7,105 (7,484)— (379)
Non-cash stock compensation— — — — 6,637 — 6,637 
Net loss— — — — — — (50,443)(50,443)
Other comprehensive loss— — — — — 5 — 5 
Balance, December 26, 202120,449 20 4,727 (192,803)242,560 1 24,693 74,471 
Exercise of options, issuance of restricted stock, shares exchanged for exercise and tax, and stock issued through employee stock purchase plan— — (212)9,993 (10,080)— — (87)
Non-cash stock compensation— — — — 6,323 — — 6,323 
Net loss— — — — — — (78,883)(78,883)
Other comprehensive income— — — — — (35)— (35)
Balance, December 25, 202220,449 20 4,515 (182,810)238,803 (34)(54,190)1,789 
Exercise of options, issuance of restricted stock, shares exchanged for exercise and tax, and stock issued through employee stock purchase plan—