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Red Robin Jumping Into Chicken Sandwich Craze Via A Ghost Kitchen: Report

Red Robin Jumping Into Chicken Sandwich Craze Via A Ghost Kitchen: Report

Burger chain Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. (NASDAQ: RRGB) is the latest restaurant to make a push into the premium chicken sandwich category through multiple ghost kitchen concepts, according to a Restaurant Business report.

What Happened: Red Robin appears to be testing multiple ghost kitchen brands specializing in chicken products. A ghost kitchen is a virtual dining concept that operates within an established restaurant. In some cases, the customer is not aware they are really ordering food prepared at a chain restaurant.

In Red Robin's case, the company is testing three chicken brands. The first is a chicken sandwich concept called Chicken Sammy's. The second is named The Wing Dept., which offers chicken wings. The third is a salad concept called Fresh Set.

Users on social media posted pictures of how their orders from one of the three ghost kitchens arrived with Red Robin branding and packaging.

Related Link: Guy Fieri, Mariah Carey And More Celebrities Launching A Ghost Kitchen Concept

Why It's Important: It isn't clear if Red Robin's ghost kitchen was authorized at the corporate level or it is individual action taken by a franchisor.

Red Robin's recent company update and strategic outlook included no mention of ghost kitchens so its new initiative is somewhat of a mystery.

By contrast, Noodles & Co (NASDAQ: NDLS) confirmed its intentions to test a ghost kitchen in two markets.

"We haven't guided to what specifically we're testing on a return basis, but what we are looking for is what kind of performance can we get in a ghost kitchen with a hybrid awareness market," Noodles CFO Carl Lukach told Benzinga in an interview.

What's Next: Ghost Kitchens represents a cheaper option for established restaurants to test new concepts. It shouldn't come as a surprise if Red Robin is quietly testing new products, especially within the very hot chicken market segment.

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(Photo: Cbraccialini via Wikimedia Commons)


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