Red Robin Gourmet BurgersThe first Red Robin location opened in 1969 in Seattle, Washington. The owner, known as Sam, had previously called it Sam’s Tavern. He was a barber shop quartet singer, and sometime in the 50s renamed it to Sam’s Red Robin. The burger chain began when Gerry Kingen bought the restaurant and dropped Sam’s name off of the front of the title. He added burgers to the menu, which made the place a favorite for local University of Washington students.

The first franchise for the chain opened in 1979 and grew slowly for two decades. Between 1979 and 2000 only 150 locations were opened along the west coast. In the eight short years between 2000 and 2008 the chain exploded with growth and rose in numbers to over 400 locations today. Red Robin also has 18 stores in Canada.

All of Red Robin’s burgers are considered gourmet or premium due to the rich toppings used on them. The Royal Red Robin Burger has been the keystone of the menu for many years. This hamburger is topped with a fried egg, tomato, lettuce and condiments. Other popular options feature clear flavor profiles, like the Pacific Island flavors of the teriyaki and grilled pineapple Banzai Burger. The Whisky River Barbeque burger was added recently, and has toppings like fried onion straws and barbeque sauce.

Royal Red Robin BurgerThe Red Robin chain menu also includes a variety of salads, wraps and chicken or fish sandwiches. Non-beef hamburger options include a turkey patty that can be substituted in any of their gourmet burgers. A vegetarian Boca burger is also available at all locations. Red Robin now highlights their fresh ingredients, including fresh beef instead of frozen meat and their soups are prepared in each restaurant instead of shipped pre-cooked.