Red Robin Spins Bullshit When Pressed To Reveal Nutritional Info

Red Robin doesn’t want you to know what you’re eating. The family restaurant has no nutritional information on its website, and when you ask for it, they tell you a whole bunch of PR nonsense.

When Gilbert, a Consumerist reader, emailed them to complain, Red Robin bithely responded that while they won’t tell you what’s in the food,

    “All of our menu items can be customized by adding or deleting any combination of ingredients to meet taste and dietary preferences, so please ask your server to modify your order to meet your special preferences and they’ll be happy to assist you.”

Gee thanks, Red Robin. Go swallow a fork. But we won’t tell you its nutritional content. Hahaha. You’ll be writhing on the floor, Red Robin, both choking and wondering whether the utensil exceeds your RDA of forks.

Gilbert’s screed in response to their vacuum packed reply is priceless, and it’s inside…

Gilbert wrote Red Robin:

“It disgusts me that you don’t have easily-accessible nutrition information available for the public to view on this site. When I asked the wait staff, they had no idea what the caloric value of my Garden Burger was. If the information happens to be available on the “Menu” portion of your site, that part is consistently down, only bouncing me to the “Locate” portion. Not having this information available to me will prevent me from being a Red Robin customer in the future.”

Red Robin wrote back:

    “Hi Gilbert,

    Thank you for contacting Red Robin Gourmet Burgers regarding the nutritional content of our menu items.

    At Red Robin, we focus on serving quality ingredients, and are committed to consistently providing our Guests and Team Members the highest quality menu offerings. While we currently do not offer nutritional content information, we do recognize the importance of our Guests being able to select and order menu items that meet their taste and dietary preferences. All of our menu items can be customized by adding or deleting any combination of ingredients to meet taste and dietary preferences, so please ask your server to modify your order to meet your special preferences and they’ll be happy to assist you.

    Thank you again for contacting us and being a Red Robin Guest!”

Gilbert replied:

“Guest Relations:

Thank you for the canned answer. If Red Robin were really committed to helping people “satisfy their taste and dietary preferences” it would take the necessary steps make this information available. It’s a blatant contradiction so say you’re “helping” people when you’re not even providing them with the tools to make the right decisions about their health. It’s not rocket science.

It seems more likely that you’re committed to keeping the information withheld from the public so that they remain in the dark as to just how unhealthy Red Robin restaurants truly are. It’s fine that you’re unhealthy. Nobody expects a burger joint to be the holy grail of all things fat and calorie-free. There are, however, people who work hard to make restaurants like yours available to themselves as a reward for maintaining a diet consistent with a greater probability of longevity. All you do is alienate them. In addition, there are those who have dietary concerns (sodium intake, for example) whom you alienate as well. How do you help these people?

Do you honestly think you’re going to lose your core audience by making this information available? I don’t. In fact, it’s likely focus groups and market research would yield probable gains in your audience overall. Try it and see.

I feel you’re large enough a chain to be held responsible for providing this information. And no, I’m not arbitrarily choosing “size” as a factor varying directly with your level of responsibility. Put simply, nobody expects Mom’s Cafe to shoulder the costs associated with providing this information. However, restaurants like Red Robin could certainly provide a benchmark by which people could judge Mom’s in the future. Trust me, I’d rather go to the restaurant that’s going to help me meet my goals, not hinder them (especially with PR spin as in this case).

I’m not a fanatic about health. I’m just a regular person, age 18-35, college education, $35,000 – $60,000 annual income, 1.2 cars, and part of a family with 2.3 kids and 1.6 dogs, who happens to be more conscious about what I put in my body than the next guy. And it wasn’t so much that my 0.7 fathers ate a burger which contained a meat patty, a fried egg, cheese and bacon (hold the lettuce and tomato, please) and two baskets of fries; it was that he had no idea of the risks associated with doing so. By my estimates he ate no less than 3,000 calories in ONE SITTING!

All along, my 3-year-old niece, who was celebrating her birthday that day (free sunday!), was watching and acquiring eating habits likely to have an adverse effect on her entire life. No, it’s not your responsibility to alter my niece’s habits. It is, however, your responsibility to help those in her support network make wise decisions about not only how they can set an example, but also about how they can provide her with a healthy diet.

So don’t talk to me about commitment to diet. Talk to me about how you’re going to rewrite your business plan to accommodate the changing dietary needs (and by that I don’t mean more focus groups about which other fried embryo you can slap on a grilled animal smothered in the sliced remains of yet another fried animal) of people all over the country while still showing profitable growth. If you can’t do that, then what sets you apart from Denny’s?

Oh, that’s right. “Taste.”

Regards,

Lost Customer”

— BEN POPKEN

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. phelander says:

    Waaaaaaah….never even HEARD of Red Robin. The guy who wrote the letter to Red Robin sounds like a jerk with too much time on his hands. Go back to the Nazi shirts.

  2. Gilbert Tang, Jr. says:

    Hi Ben,

    Thanks for featuring this on your site. Hopefully it will make a difference. I also posted on my blog http://www.gilberttang.blogspot.com.

    Best,

    Gilbert

  3. Gilbert Tang, Jr. says:

    It’s true, I am a jerk at times. However, I’m usually pressed for time.

  4. squidhat says:

    I find the comment “Waaaaaah” to be a little out of place on a site devoted to consumer topics.. such as complaints.

  5. TheChaz says:

    Phelander, Red Robin has 325 locations in the US and Canada. They’re a major chain, on the order of Chili’s or TGI Friday’s. It’s totally specious for them to argue that because one can customize menu items it would be impossible for them to provide accurate nutritional information. Good on ya, Gilbert.

  6. Smoking Pope says:

    @phelander… Uhhh, so being concerned about your health and making an entirely reasonable request of a restaurant makes Gilbert a jerk? Or maybe it’s registering disgust with the total non-answer he got as a result?

    Jerk, huh? Physician, heal thyself.

  7. MeOhMy says:

    All the nutrition facts I need to know are right here:
    All burgers come with a bottomless basket of steak fries.

    Once I’m sure that a single meal measures in the thousands of calories, I’m no longer really concerned about the exact number.

    A more straight-shooting answer would have been nice, though. Nothing gets my hackles up like feeling that my e-mail was simply parsed for keywords. This may save your company time, but it is not saving face, especially when I have anticipated your canned responses and pre-emptively supplied answers which were obviously ignored.

  8. Ben Popken says:

    Phelander, let me cite your comment from January 3rd about Wedding Depot:

    “Quit blaming the customer. The customer is what keeps business in business. You people are as predictable as the Talkbacker’s on AICN. This is a sight to defend the consumer against bad businesses. This was a clear cut case of BAD customer service. The customer is at NO FAULT here and you know it.”

    I would think the same viewpoint would apply here. P.S. Red Robin is a national chain with 325 locations, not some hole-in-the wall mom and pop greasy spoon parlor.

  9. phelander says:

    Wow, I read all your comments re: me and I must let you know I think you all are right and I am sorry for the misinformed post. And Ben, re: my previous post, the way that you dug that up for reference is exactly the reason why I like this site. Sorry all.

  10. Gilbert Tang, Jr. says:

    You don’t have to apologize to me. Like I said, you were 1/2 right. :)

  11. Once I’m sure that a single meal measures in the thousands of calories, I’m no longer really concerned about the exact number.

    True, but there are other diet concerns other than calories. For example, “Is ‘x’ in this dish?” where ‘x’ is something the patron shouldn’t eat for whatever reason. Sometimes it’s obvious to know when to ask (some pastas are made with egg) but for some foods it wouldn’t occur to you to think that ‘x’ is in it.

    Banquet’s Honey BBQ Wings have pork in them. Would most people know to check if the chicken their buying has pig in it?

  12. adamondi says:

    “It disgusts me that you don’t have easily-accessible nutrition information available for the public to view on this site.” Seriously? Wow, Gilbert. You must have the most idyllic life possible if lack of nutritional info on a burger joint’s website disgusts you. It totally sounds like you were just searching for something to complain about, and decided Red Robin’s lack of nutritional info would do.

    I second the comments of phelander. I am sure that Red Robin is better off without the type of customer who would freak out so much over something so minor. Overreact much? Gilbert sounds like the type of person who would want a very specific special order and then send his burger back three times because there was one onion slice too many on it.

    • Anonymous says:

      @adamondi: You know there are other people out there that have other reasons for making sure that they meet dietary requirements such as diabetics. You can do your best “guess” on the carbs that are in a meal but with out full disclosure you can be WAY off. My husband and I have diabetic twins age 10 – they are volitile enough when it comes to food and growing without eating food from a restaurant that REFUSES point blank to divulge what is in it or what the carb content is. How do we know that that they don’t put SUGAR in their sauces – some places do and we can not judge or account for that without the disclosure. Food is VERY important to diabetics and knowing what you are eating is the key to the whole thing because you have to measure your insulin to be able to consume anything. Red Robin does not care about that part. Not enough insulin makes them sick (high makes their tummies upset and they will throw up) and too much can make them sick as well and could require medical treatment. Now you tell me that it is overreacting when your child is vomiting sick because you couldn’t judge what they had. In an “idyllic life” we wouldn’t have to have the problem but you should wake up and see the real world as it is and know that people do have very specific reasons for wanting to know what they are eating. Count this post as a REAL WORLD lesson if you will because your post really offended me.

  13. Magister says:

    Actually, I just assumed that all major restaurant chains provided nutritional information. Heck, if McD’s can do it, why can’t a more upscale burger joint do it?

    Maybe disgust is a strong word, but I agree with the original topic, they should provide the information.

  14. kcs says:

    I too an really irked by restaurants chains that do not provide nutritional information. While we all know that burgers and fries are high in calories and fat, there are a lot of choices that may be deceptive. Salads would be an example. Many specialty salads (even if you choose lowfat dressing) turn out to have way more calories than you would expect. People think they are making a healthy choice when in fact they may as well have ordered a burger.

    California Pizza Kitchen is another chain that doesn’t provide nutritional information. They are downstairs from my work, so I occassionally eat their BBQ chk salad for lunch. Their website doesn’t have nutritional information, so I recently called them to inquire. They told me that they had no plans to make nutritional information available, but suggested that if I was concerned about nutrion, I could order pizza without the cheese or low fat dressing on my salad. It seems to me that if a restaurant such as Red Robin or CPK does not want to provide this information, they probably have something to hide. I am not interested in patronizing a business that is trying to keep from me what exactly it is that I am putting into my body.

  15. snakeuvs says:

    Isn’t there some sort of FDA requirement that restaurants of a certain size provide this information on their menu or upon request?

  16. Kornkob says:

    Banquet’s Honey BBQ Wings have pork in them. Would most people know to check if the chicken their buying has pig in it?

    And wouldn’t most servers answer ‘no– it’s chicken, there’s no pork’. I have a vegetarian friend who frequently has to ask the server to send vegetable soup or the like back because, despite assurances by an ill informed waitstaffer, it’s made with beef or chicken broth (apparently veggies can actually taste stuff like that— who knew?)

    On another note: I cannot find any supporting evidence of this, however, I was recently told that Wisconsin resturants have to keep updated nutirition and ingredient information on hand. While I was assured this was a health department regulation, I cannot find any reference to this in online documentation (or a book I have left over from my food service days) and suspect that this may have just been corporate policy for the 3 places he worked for (he was a regional manager for a couple differnt chains).

  17. bluegus32 says:

    Phelander — “never even HEARD of Red Robin.”

    You’ve

    never

    heard

    of

    Red Robin?

    *gasp*

    Put down the keyboard and go find one right the hell now. Their burgers are de-freakin’-licious. Personally, I’m glad there’s no nutritional information available to me because when I eat there, I know I’m eating crappy food and I certainly don’t care to be educated as to precisely how crappy it is. Dude, their burgers could be made of human meat. As long as they don’t tell me about it, I’m happy.

    But that’s just me. That information should, at the very least, be available upon request.

  18. Clare says:

    I think perhaps Gilbert would have gotten further with a message that didn’t start with “It disgusts me that…” If I were in the position of the person who responds to customer inquiries, I wouldn’t be inclined to send a personal response to a message like that. Let’s all sing it together: You catch more flies with honey than vinegar!

  19. DeeJayQueue says:

    snakeuvs: I thought so too.

  20. acambras says:

    What “disgusts” me even more than the fact that a restaurant chain isn’t making nutrition info available is that they deliver such a canned response to Gilbert’s inquiry. They didn’t even answer his question.

    I’m glad he called them on it. Whenever I get a canned response, I point out to the company that canned responses are insulting. I also point out any failure to answer the original question.

  21. Gilbert Tang, Jr. says:

    @ Adamondi:

    Something so minor? Are you kidding me? Not that one should be swayed by anything in the way of propaganda, but have you heard of America’s issue with obesity? Idyllic life, indeed!

    To further clarify. It’s not the lack of information that disgusts me, it’s the absence of any sense of social responsibility.

    It behooves Red Robin to keep people like me (not that I adhere to your definition) as a customer. I’m loyal, I’m vocal (in positive ways as well), I’m active both physically and throughout the community, etc. I represent a chance for Red Robin to expand its clientèle. And no, I’m not so arrogant as to say I will single-handedly expand their business. I’m saying that I pride myself on being a good customer. Good customers breed good customers and, in turn, make businesses better as a whole while increasing the bottom line.

    I’m sorry you think such an issue is minor. Certainly the issue of kids trading Red Hot Cheetos like so many Pogs while not being able to run a lap around the red hot asphalt running tracked is trumped by such significantly more pertinent issues as getting out of my Verizon contract.

    Funny, when it’s our bottom line, we care. But when it’s our neighbor’s bottom, “meh.”

  22. Gilbert Tang, Jr. says:

    Sorry, remove “running tracked” from “…run a lap around the red hot asphalt running tracked is trumped by such…”.

  23. snakeuvs says:

    Regarding FDA requirements…I found this on the FDA website:

    http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~lrd/tpmenus.html

    On one hand it says:

    Unlike processed foods, restaurant menu selections are not
    required to supply complete nutrition information.

    But then it goes on to say:

    Furthermore, nutrition information can be provided to the
    consumer by any reasonable means. It does not have to be
    presented in the “Nutrition Facts” format seen on packaged food
    labels, nor does it have to appear on the menu. A restaurant,
    for example, may compile, in a notebook, information on the fat
    content of all menu items that bear fat claims so long as the
    nutrition information is available to consumers upon request.

    Maybe this is why restaurants don’t know what to do.

  24. Gilbert Tang, Jr. says:

    @ Clare:

    I totally agree with you. Only, based on the response, I think it’s safe to say a human only briefly read my comment (if at all) and automatically sent a canned response.

    If you look at all the corporate email addresses the Red Robin responder CC’d (partial headers can be seen at my blog), however, you can see that this struck a chord. I’m sure that whenever RR gets a comment of this specific nature it’s protocol to send some spin and CC the higher-ups.

    I made certain I hit “reply all.”

    Let’s not forget that if you don’t have a fly problem, you can always use that vinegar to make a good pickle…or perhaps a volcano?

  25. Brian Gee says:

    Mmmm. Bleu Ribbon Burger. Oh, the hunger.

  26. Frank Grimes says:

    Phelander, nice backtracking/mea culpa. For a few minutes while reading this thread (and seeing Ben’s response to your post) I was convinced that you’d be the first (I think) commentor casualty of ’07.

  27. Smoking Pope says:

    …”freak out so much over something so minor.”

    It may be minor to someone who doesn’t need to watch what they eat, but if you have a specific dietary need (avoiding sodium, say) then whether or not a meal will make you physically ill is decidedly less than minor.

    Not making nutritional information available to customers who request it is bad business. Flatly ignoring such a request with a canned response is worse.

    You may disagree with the word “disgust”, but the underlying issue is very, very valid, and this is an appropriate forum for it.

  28. dwarf74 says:

    Wow, crazy. We don’t have any Red Robins around here, sadly, but a company’s refusal to provide dietary data is pretty shameful.

    I have to say, though, that the tone you use with a company often influences the answer you get from them. I’m not really sure why Gilbert started out so confrontational here.

  29. adamondi says:

    @Gilbert

    Congratulations on once again demonstrating your overreaction to what you perceive other people to be saying, even though they didn’t say it. I said that Red Robin not providing nutritional information on their website is a minor issue not worthy of the vitriol spewing from your keyboard. You somehow took that to mean that I find the obesity problem in this country to be minor. Huhwha? How is there any logical connection there? Oh, wait. There isn’t.

    If you are truly so concerned about the nutritional content of a Red Robin burger, then perhaps you should hit a bookstore and buy one of those handy pocket calorie guides.

    At any rate, accusing a restaurant of being socially irresponsible for not providing nutritional information on its website is silly. No matter how many times you claim that this is all for the children who can’t run a lap or whatever.

  30. Gilbert Tang, Jr. says:

    @ Adamondi

    Forgive me for drawing the obvious connection between your statement concerning the microcosm of Red Robin’s lack of info with the macrocosm of obesity in America.

    What was I thinking? Of course you’re deeply concerned. That’s clear to me now. How could I question anyone who thinks it’s silly point a socially conscious finger at RR for it’s inability as a multi-million dollar restaurant enterprise to help its customers better understand their offerings.

    Is it also safe to say that if RR were shoveling it’s garbage into the sewers you could also call it silly when the environmentalists complained? You do realize it’s the same logic, right? Or was it a mistake to infer your line of thinking doesn’t hold true in all circumstances. Ever read The Republic?

    For the record, by the way, calorie counting books aren’t as useful (besides portability — but who needs that with the mobile web?) as resources such as http://www.thecaloriecounter.com/Search.aspx and http://www.healthstatus.com/cbc.html.

    And in the future, I promise to keep the spewing vitriol pointed toward myself. Heck, it might even help me to burn off all those excess calories I’m so deeply concerned about…

  31. LTS! says:

    While I think that it would be nice if Red Robin provided Nutritional statistics of their food I don’t think they need to. I support the response based on the fact that a company that says it is trying to help really isn’t and canned responses suck, period.

    Now, if you have a specific dietary need you shouldn’t be visiting a place like Red Robin. You already know what they serve is not healthy no matter how you spin it. From the seasoning they throw on their crispy fried steak fries to the undoubtedly 30% fat content in their burgers you should rest assured that sodium, fat, cholesterol and the other nasties are all there in full force. Why? Because it tastes that good.

    If you truly have dietary needs then you already know where to go because the places that care about it are marketing it. We have Pita Pits and they do a great job of showing the nutritional breakdown of their foods. So much so that you can custom create the Pita on their website and the stats update automatically.

    As far as the obesity problem in this country? It’s people who eat at Red Robin who contribute to that. Well, Red Robin, and pretty much every other restaurant chain. It’s funny how the strong majority of consumers would bitch incessantly if a restaurant provided a smaller portion size. We all want value for our money and the easiest way to provide value is to give the customer lots of the cheap food items. Unlimited fries? What a DEAL! A local chain upped their burger size from 8oz (1/2lb) to 10oz as though that was needed. But you feel more full and so it seems like a better value even though the price also went up about 20 cents.

    BTW: A restaurant should be able to tell you what ingredients comprise their products because of food allergies.

  32. Kornkob says:

    LTS– I think part of the point here is this: Red Robin didn’t offer up any nutirition information— not even ingredients. And I suspect many resturants don’t have that kind of information readily available.

    Effectively forcing anyone with a religious or health objection to specific ingredients to not eat at any reasturant—- except McDonalds, because they provide that information on a neat, easy to readh sheet, which they provide copies of on demand (or even on display).

    In my opinion, resturants should provide, on demand, portion size and ingredient information— even mom and pop places. And I think it should apply to everything. The ingredients of all products should be listed, even things you don’t put in your mouth. Clothes, cars, computers…. I see no reason that this kind of thing is not provided, except that companies don’t want to have to disclose when they are using stuff that might be contraversial.

    Frankly, I wouldn’t object to requiring FDA formatted nutrition information in addition. Honestly, if you have an ingredient list you can go online to grab tools to get a solid estimate of the nutirition information. Even mom and pop should be able to afford 5 minutes of research to gather the data and printed sheet with the data.

  33. This post is making my stomach growl…I need a Bleu Ribbon burger too!!!

    It’s inexcusable to not have nutritional (term used loosely in this case) info on the food served at Red Robin. However, if you are thinking about your health when you walk into a Red Robin, you are in the wrong place.

  34. Celeste says:

    Some companies treat their recipes like they’re state secrets. I can understand why they’d be reluctant to provide a list of each ingredient and the exact quantity for every menu item. Corporations do worry about reverse-engineering. On the other hand, I think I’d have a lot of trouble recreating a product based on nothing but the FDA nutrition information, but that would give my friend who happens to be deathly allergic to nuts the information he needs to avoid the various menu items that would kill him. As it is, we’re mostly stuck with qiuzzing the waiter and hoping they have a clue.

    I want to know what’s in my food, even though I’m not counting calories. It’s not an unreasonable expectation, although just an ingredient list in descending order of quantity would be plenty for me.

  35. Ran Kailie says:

    Is it really that hard for people to take two seconds to look at whats on their burger, make a quick note and estimate measurements? Anyone knows those burgers while tasty are bad for you, the canned response sucks, but common sense, you can look up almost anything online for nutritional content.

    I never let companies without nutritional content listings bother me, I just shrug and make over estimations, and always cut my portions in half.

  36. kcs says:

    “Is it really that hard for people to take two seconds to look at whats on their burger, make a quick note and estimate measurements?”

    Actually, yes it is that hard. Studies show that people drastically underestimate the calorie and fat content of restaurant entrees . . . even people who are more educated on nutrition than the average folk. We should be asking whether it is really that hard for restaurants to make nutritional content available.

  37. Angiol says:

    Personally, I think the “RDA of forks” line is priceless in and of itself.

  38. stenk says:

    I am going to say that all this is a little PC. This is a Burger Joint! If you want to look after your body you should for a start not eat at Burger Joints period.

    And if you do, and it does not kill you then you need to do a little movement to your body…you know exercise.

    Some things should in my opinion stay the same, as long as they advertise that their products do not contain E-Coli then I’m happy.

  39. Kornkob says:

    Stenk, exercise does nothing for allergies. Nor health related exclusions unrelated to calories (some folsk don’t digest some foods very well). Nor does it address people with religious/ethical objections to specific food ingredients.

    Also: burgers are NOT inheriently bad for you. However, burgers with piles of additives to bulk up the calorie and fat content as well as condiments also filled with the same are.

    Seems like asking for companies to provide an ingredients list isn’t unreasonable.

  40. The Unicorn says:

    Their unwillingness to provide nutrition info (even when specifically asked to do so) is particularly unreasonable in light of the “Honest to Goodness Ingredients” campaign on their website: http://www.redrobin.com/home/menu/honest-to-goodness.aspx

    Seems pretty ridiculous to have an entire webpage devoted to how wonderful and special your ingredients are, and then not even offer your customers the option to review what your food is actually made of.

  41. Amry says:

    Who cares? Its a giant greasy burger, of course it’s going to be terrible for you. The actual data is irrelevant.

    Irrelevant because it’s DELICIOUS!

  42. drrew says:

    The funny thing is I just had a Bleu Ribbon Burger on Monday and then went home to try and find out how many calories I had just ingested!!!

    Anyway, while yeah, I’d like to know the information, I think the whole social responsibility angle is a bunch of crap. Blaming the restaurant for your father ordering a 2000 calorie sandwich seems a little misplaced doesn’t it? If you’re worried that somehow your niece is now irreparably scarred, it’s not Red Robin’s fault.

    I actually agree that this information should be made available, however, the reasons for which you argue for it’s availability scream to me of everything that is wrong with this country. Show some personal responsibility, quit blaming others.

  43. Gilbert Tang, Jr. says:

    @ Drrew

    And so the conundrum. How does one take responsibility for that which he isn’t aware?

  44. drrew says:

    By understanding that a hamburger that includes cheese, bacon, a fried egg, and probably a mayonaise based sauce is not going to be very good for me whether I know that it’s exactly 2250 calories or whether I just estimate that man, this thing must be a couple thousand calories. Either way, I know that I’m not eating a bowl of steamed broccoli. I’m eating a hamburger.

    If I was concerned enough that if I ordered this, someone else would be horribly effected, I wouldn’t order it. If I wanted to eat so much to make myself sick, and hell, that can be fun sometimes, I would.

    I wanted to know the calorie count the other day for my own use, not for the good of the world.

  45. stenk says:

    @ Kornkob

    I agree with what you said, and it does to me anyway, feel bad that we need nutritional info on fast food.

    Where I am, McDonald’s now have nutritional info on their BigMacs boxes and after reading this info and taking what is says literary, you should not eat anything for the rest of the day in other works don’t touch those fries and stand back from that Coke! and still I have no idea whats in their beef burgers. The salt in one BigMac is 50% of your RDI (recommended daily intake)

    Food for thought! as long as the food is safe for their clients then I do not see the need.

  46. bluegus32 says:

    Gilbert: Now I have to take exception. Who isn’t aware that a restaurant burger is, by its very nature, fattening? I don’t need to know the exact calorie count in a RR burger to know that if I eat there on a daily basis that I will get fat. You can still take responsibility by exercising some common sense.

    Kornkob: what kind of food allergy could you conceivably have that would prevent one from looking at a burger and determining whether anything on it would cause an allergic reaction? Burger = meat + bun + condiments. If you’re allergic to any of those things, don’t eat it.

  47. raindog says:

    We (not the royal we) stopped eating at Red Robin just because we always felt a bit dead afterward. And sure, you can give away free fries when they’re somewhere between tasteless and freezer-burned and so dry that salt won’t even stick to them.

    We both prefer the burgers at Chili’s and Applebees, on the rare occasion that we want burgers, but there was this place in Rochester called Lindy’s (hope it’s still there next time we visit) that beats ‘em all.

    And I still miss the days when the Friendly’s “Big Beef” was placed between two slices of cheese and two slices of bread…. and then fried a second time. And the fries were crinkle-cut, and fried with either lard or Mel-fry but surely not the soybean/canola oil everyone seems to use now. Yeah, it was unhealthy as anything, but then again, in those days “Big Beef” meant a whole 4 ounces. What’s the biggest Red Robin burger, like a pound?

    I’m in the middle on this issue, for what it’s worth. If I’m going out for comfort food (or in Red Robin’s case, it might be called “discomfort food”) I know damn well it’s going to do me some harm. But so many places make claims on their menus, and they should be required to substantiate those claims.

    In their defense, I don’t remember whether Red Robin is such a place. Applebee’s is, but they put the carbs, fat, etc. right there on the menu when they do. Regardless, no matter how big or small a place is, I think they should have to at least provide ingredient lists. If you’re that small, just copy the ingredient lists off of all your ingredients and indicate which of them are in which menu items.

  48. On the other hand, I think I’d have a lot of trouble recreating a product based on nothing but the FDA nutrition information, but that would give my friend who happens to be deathly allergic to nuts the information he needs to avoid the various menu items that would kill him.

    Exactly! Frankly, I would think restaurants would be pro no-customers-dying-from-anaphylatic-shock.

    what kind of food allergy could you conceivably have that would prevent one from looking at a burger and determining whether anything on it would cause an allergic reaction?

    Fish.

    Restaurant uses Worcestershire sauce in the burger meat. The Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies. Customer with the fish allergy blows up and has no clue why.

    Besides, this isn’t just about one specific burger. It’s about restaurants and what they serve in general.

  49. Hoss says:

    I don’t see where Gilbert actually asks for nutritional information. The tone of the initial message bashes the wait staff and web development staff for not having information that he considers important.

    I don’t see a “could you please send me nutritional information for my local Red Robin”. Maybe they would write back and say that unlike McDonalds, etc., they don’t use centrally prepared and measured food products, so providing exacting nutritional data would not be possible because they don’t know exactly how big the cook is making each burger patty, etc.

    Or maybe they would respond with exactly what you were looking for…along with a coupon or two for being so interested.

    My point is that the tone of the communication seems to violate the manifesto of The Consumerist (mine is always in my coat pocket)

  50. Gilbert Tang, Jr. says:

    You have to understand the following:

    1. Not all “burgers” are created equal. There can be leaner cuts, higher quality meats, less fattening “condiments,” different types of cheese, etc. There are burgers that range in caloric value from 300 calories to 2,500 and more. See McDonalds’ website if you disagree.

    2. We are proven to be unreliable. As illustrated repeatedly in Wansink’s ‘Mindless Eating,” and through countless studies, we consistently and most often detrimentally underestimate the caloric value of any given food.

    3. Do you think you could tell the difference between a 1,500 and a 1,750 calorie burger? I think not. But let me illustrate just how important that 250 calorie difference can be. Say you eat one 1,750 calorie burger a week for a year (and if you don’t believe we normally do that, just substitute the “burger” with any other consistently high-calorie meal we eat). That equates to about 91,000 calories.

    Now lets say you eat one 1,500 calorie burger per year. That’s equal to about 78,000.

    If it takes about 3,500 calories to gain 1 U.S. pound, then ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL and WITHOUT changing ANY OTHER habit, you could save yourself 3.7lbs in a year. If you don’t think that’s a lot, think of it on a greater scale. That’s just ever-so-slightly changing ONE 250 calorie habit ONCE a WEEK. Imagine making small changes like this daily.

    Wansink has a great example of this which he refers to as the 100 calorie rule. Make just ONE 100 calorie decision (say, drink a glass of water instead of that extra soda) per day and WITHOUT changing any other habits and all things being equal, you’ll be about 10 pounds lighter in a year.

    And that’s just calories! What about vitamins? Minerals? Fat content? Calories from fat? Cholesterol? The list goes on. Can you “estimate” those?

    4. Sure, you don’t go into a burger joint if you’re worried about calories. However, in my case, look at the bigger picture. For one, I work my butt off physically so I can “afford” to have a high-calorie meal every now and then. I shave off the junk so I can indulge when necessary. Which brings me to my second point. You might be the most health-conscious person in the world, but it’s pretty difficult–unless you’re a jerk–to say to your family and you’re just-turned-three niece that you won’t go to the local family restaurant on as a result of your inability to quantify calories in a given meal. The social aspects of eating simply cannot be ignored. That’s all the more reason why these restaurants should make this information available.

    5. Nobody has brought up the most important thing. Is this information even useful? That is to say, if RR began giving this information, would people use it to make wiser decisions? Sadly, not so much. Another Wansink study has taken the total calories consumed in an average meal at Subway — clearly big on providing info — with the average calories consumed at McDonald’s. He found there was only a small difference between the two. However, the PERCEPTION of subway patrons was that they were automatically eating healthier just by dining at Subway. Plus they STILL didn’t look at the info and STILL weren’t able to accurately estimate the total calories in their meal. As a result, they ate MORE.

    The information might not be used by the masses, but at least it would be there for those that could benefit. For that matter, to what detriment would it be to RR or any other big restaurant to provide information? The cost of the studies? If anybody here thinks that it’s unfair for a company to have to provide more positive information to consumers as a result of cost, you’re on the wrong site, I assure you.

    I can and will argue this ALL day because it is very, very important. I see it in my family and I see it in my friends and it really bothers me. It should bother you too.

    Perhaps my approach was a little too scathing, but I refuse to concede that there is ANY reason a company shouldn’t be required to provide such information, where possible.

  51. Gilbert Tang, Jr. says:

    @ Hasso

    I asked the wait staff. My request was also implied in my statement to the effect of “without this information I will not be a customer.”

  52. Gilbert Tang, Jr. says:

    PS – Sorry about not editing the long comment above.

  53. stenk says:

    This topic is very close to my heart (pun intended ;))
    I think you are quite lucky in the US to have such a range of fast food outlets enough to make you fat just thinking about it.
    I think we need to be more responsible for our own actionsinactions, if you want to feel good and look good then you would be wise to take into account what you eat and the size of what you eat, whole foods are best period, if it comes in a box and has been prepared by anyone other than yourself you should take caution as to its contents. In the end it is your body and to begin with I don’t trust Nutritional Information from a fast food outlet apart from maybe Subway! although that guy from the subway add does seem to have added a few kilos over the last year or so.
    Basically you alone are responsible for your health and welfare and you should not require the help of some government body that tells you whats good for you and what is not. Information from a burger resturant is helpful but like a few have commented on here if you are worried about your health in anyway, you are best not to eat trans fat induced burgers, no nutritional info panel will help, just stay out.

    This is my opinion only.

  54. FunkyJ says:

    If it really offends you that much, move to Europe or Australia where it’s required to have nutritional value on display.

    Not only are you sending a message to Red Robin, you’re sending it to your stupid government who on the one hand says the population is dangerously overweight but on the otherhand refuses to legislate or take action on it.

  55. Grungydan says:

    People, maybe it is worth noting that nutritional information is still a relatively new thing to find anywhere, generally speaking. It might not seem like it since our brains are now addled into thinking that something that happened yesterday is in the “distant past”, but it is.

    And if you don’t like the fact that RR won’t tell you their nutritional info…don’t eat there. I know, huge stretch. And do you really need them to tell you that their burgers (such as the one in that picture) aren’t all that healthy?

    Seriously. Come on.

  56. jdsmn says:

    What is the hopeful outcome of this being posted on the Consumerist? Is it to get people to boycott RR until they release nutritional info? Make people aware that the burger, which doesn’t have a single spot that doesn’t shine with grease, may not be healthy for you?

    It appears that this thread may have been the best marketing I have seen related to RR in a long time (and free to boot). I (along with others) now crave a meal at a restaurant I all but forgot about. I imagine the RR website is blowing up with people, both checking to see if they can find the nutritional facts, along with checking the locations to dine!

  57. Chris says:

    I was looking for this info the other day, so I understand Gilbert’s concern. The “disgusted” bit in the opening was a bit much, and he definitely lost me at the end with the rant about animal embryos and flesh, and “won’t somebody think of the children!?”

    But his general point is a pretty good one – RR would be more likely to get my business if I knew what I was eating (I’ll only assume the worst, and avoid it), and I doubt they’d lose many of the “who cares” crowd, in any event.

  58. ElizabethD says:

    Red Robin? Pita Pit?

    Where do y’all live that you have these restaurants I’ve never heard of?

    (Not in New England, apparently.)

  59. not_seth_brundle says:

    I don’t understand rants against a company for failing to provide information it is not required to provide. Is this the only burger joint in your neighborhood? If not, just make good on your threat and don’t eat at Red Robin.

    FWIW, I’m a vegan and I have food sensitivities as well, so I’m frequently in the position of having to worry about what’s in a restaurant’s food. If a place can’t tell me whether the soup is made with chicken stock, I won’t order it, and I probably won’t go back.

  60. acambras says:

    jdsmn is right — reading this thread has made me hungry. We don’t have Red Robin here (actually, before today I’d never heard of it), but I’m tempted to scoot over to the drive-thru at Wendy’s.

    I think it’s good business for restaurants to provide information on their products. Some people will ignore it, but some will be interested. And for people with food allergies, knowing what’s in your food (or what it was cooked with) is vital.

    That said, I think Gilbert is being a little bit unreasonable. What he characterized as a “request” (“Not having this information available to me will prevent me from being a Red Robin customer in the future.”) really reads more like a threat to me. And, although I admire how he called Red Robin on their canned response, I do think the rest of his follow-up letter degenerated into a rantfest.

  61. rfrancis says:

    I’m a diabetic.

    My life expectancy is increased if I know what I’m eating.

    Of course, this doesn’t sound like the kind of place I’d try to eat, anyway — bottomless steak fries, indeed — but still.

    Diabetics have come a long way in the last decade in terms of having the tools to decrease the likelihood of complications. Yes, it’s new. It’s new AND GOOD. To shrug it off says “we really don’t want customers, anyway,” which is just how Gilbert said he took it. Good on him.

  62. Ben Popken says:

    All I gotta say is that tonight I had a nice big juicy burger delivered to me from the restaurant down the street, and it was delicious. I don’t particularly care how healthy it was (it wasn’t) but I’d like to think that if I did, the restaurant would provide the information.

  63. Sudonum says:

    My wife has severe food allergies. The rest of the family don’t. When we eat out, and sometimes you don’t have a choice, you try to go somewhere healthy, or at least a place where you’ve eaten before and not had a problem.

    All bets are off when travelling. My wife has some favorite chains because they do publish their nutritional information, and we try to go to there. But then you’re in a airport and they don’t have a food outlet you recognize. So you go somewhere unfimilar and try to order something “safe”. Well there is some ingredient that the waitress or menu failed to mention, even though you may have asked about it. Later while on the plane my wife has an allergy attack. Well isn’t that special!!! Because a restaurant can’t be bothered to let their clients know what is in their food.

  64. Chris says:

    Red Robin IS effing delicious, by the way. So is Pita Pit, luckily. I ended up at P.F. Chang’s today for a business lunch – found the caloric information online this evening. Wish I hadn’t looked.

  65. synergy says:

    Wow. Rantville!

    Red Robin has just in the last, oh, 6 months showed up in south-central Texas. When I was in Seattle 15 months ago and saw one I didn’t know wtf my friends were talking about when one suggested RR and the other replied, “oh not that place, anyone can go to one any day.”

    Now I say, Pita Pit?? wth is that?

  66. About the FDA thing: the restaurant only needs to provide information to back up “claims”, like whether something is “low fat”. FDA-regulated claims are a whole other topic.

    Sadly, I’ve found it almost impossible to get nutritional information from any restaurant that isn’t a national chain with 500 locations. I don’t understand why it’s that hard, either. They are even allowed to estimate based on a “reliable nutrional database”.

    When trying to eat healthy, usually one would try to order vegetables or chicken dishes, which you can guess the calories from by looking at what is in them. However, you have no way of knowing the fat content–the cook might have put half a stick of butter or 500 calories of olive oil on your “steamed vegetables”.

    I once ate a a Benihana-type place and was totally grossed out with the 2 lbs of butter that went into the meal for the table of 8 or so. It made me realize that restaurants are Not To Be Trusted.

  67. superbmtsub says:

    Another reason for me to hate Red Robin.

  68. stenk says:

    @Sudonum

    Not good that your wife has to worry about what she eats in case she has a allergic reaction, and this is something I would never think of, now that I have, I believe information on foods that contain products that can have a adverse reaction to some people should be in place! I have yet to see any restaurant have these processes in place to safe guard their customers. For instance when I go to a Thai restaurant I know for a fact that mostly everything that is prepared has had contact with known allergens like nuts and fish, but never in a million years have I read the menu where it disclosed this information. As for RR, I guess they should be directed to this article. People need to make informed choices about the foods they eat, and for me I guess it’s not such a big deal, but for people with adverse reactions to some foods this is more important then knowing how many calories are in a Double Whooper with Cheese!

  69. I am craving a double del burger. Thanks for all the food talk and the juicy image of the burger have caused my mouth to water for some unhealthy meat products.

  70. Mr. Gunn says:

    Well bless your heart, Gilbert.

    I worked in food service for a long time, and I have to say that I’ve seen far more chip-on-the-shoulder customers who you can tell are going to bitch about something from the moment they walk in the door than I have seen business doing things they shouldn’t.

    What I’m sayin’ is, you catch more flies with honey, darlin’.

  71. Gilbert Tang, Jr. says:

    @ Mr. Gunn

    :) I promise you I’m not the angry guy I seem to be on paper. Restaurants and wait staff usually love having me. I tip well (because everyone should!), I treat people with respect and I’m very loyal.

    But you’re not the first person to fly/honey me on this long string of comments today, so I’ll take your advice to heart and try to approach this endeavor with a little less vinegar.

    Thanks!

  72. jeblis says:

    Quiznos pulls the same BS; which is more insidious since most of their subs probably have more fat and calories than McDs, yet they people are deluded that a sub is healthy. Hey I’m all for eating this stuff; I just want some help calculating my colorie quota for the day. If you don’t provide it, I have to estimate and that means over estimate; which in turn means I can only buy less of your product.

  73. jeblis says:

    I not buying the “but this is a burger joint” argument. I eat plenty of different crappy foods, and generally that’s ok as long as you meet you caloric, fat, protein, carb, etc. targets.

    If I eat a 2000 calorie meal I know I need to make up for it over the next few days. Knowing what’s in it really helps.

    Any lab that does an analysis can easily sign an NDA so ingrediants are kept secret.

    Hell all packaged food must have ingredient lists, nutrition info. Why should these restaurants be exempt?

  74. jeblis says:

    Hey just found this

    http://www.dietfacts.com/list.asp?brand=Quizno+s+%28Austra

    Apparently Australia makes them print it.

    DietFacts.com has a lot of other restaurants. Sadly no Red Robbin.

  75. Gilbert Tang, Jr. says:

    Good stuff, Jeblis.

    With that, it’s a good time to point out how happy I am that people are taking such a keen interest in this subject, whether for or against.

    Thanks!

  76. Her Grace says:

    Mmm…burger. Never had Red Robin, but burger sounds good right now. Ah well, making beef stew, that’s similar and meaty.

    The important thing about nutrition menus is that they help people with food allergies decide if they can eat something. I know enough people with gluten allergies (it’s hidden in all sorts of random stuff), dairy allergies (same issue), and other not-unusual food allergies that I understand the value of at the very least knowing what goes into food. Add that to the lesbian-required coterie of vegetarians and vegans, and I know plenty of picky-eaters with various reasons for said pickiness. I won’t eat anywhere they won’t atleast tell me what goes into the stuff. The actual nutritive value I can make a guess on, to some degree, but knowing what’s in my food is important.

  77. Her Grace says:

    Ack, sorry for the double post. Yes, Australia makes all food places print their info. This has helped immensely in my absolute pickiness.

  78. Kat says:

    Thanks Consumerist, we just got 2 brand new Red Robin restaurants in my county.

  79. FunPaul says:

    The closest Red Robin to me, Shoreview, MN, is adjacent to offices owned by artificial heart makers Medtronic and Guidant. Is that ironic or just good business?
    I wonder if they helped subsidize Red Robin’s lease.
    We should all agree that there are two sides to this issue.
    On one hand, Red Robin is almost like smoking cigarettes insofar as consuming their product by any individual with a modicum of common sense knows that just about any meal one could order on the Red Robin menu is an unreasonably unhealthy, over-portioned, fat, I’m guessing trans-fat, cholesterol laden meal that happens to be very very tasty.
    On the other hand, um well judging by the number of Ford Expeditions and H2′s I see in my local Red Robin’s parking lot, I don’t think that common sense is in abundant supply.

  80. acambras says:

    LOL, FunPaul — at a mall in the city where I used to live, Lane Bryant (plus size clothing store) was located between Williams-Sonoma and Godiva Chocolatier. I always thought that was a little ironic.

    BTW, after reading this thread last night, I did end up going to Wendy’s and getting a Big Bacon Classic meal. It was so yummy. I’m sure I could go online and get the calorie/nutrition info, but the truth is this: I had not been to Wendy’s in quite a long time and I don’t anticipate going back to Wendy’s (or any other burger joint) anytime soon. For most of 2007 so far, I have been cooking healthy meals at home (including more veggies) and exercising. So I’m ok with the occasional indulgence. And hopefully Gilbert’s niece will grow up learning that what’s important is overall good health and good health habits. Everything in moderation (except crack and heroin — she should probably avoid those altogether).

  81. bradmo says:

    I got the same sort of bullshit response from Brinker International, when I tried to find out the nutritional info in the BBQ Chicken Pizza
    at Macaroni Grill.
    There ought to be a law requiring them to provide this information, especially when it’s requested!!
    What if I had some obscure food allergy, and needed to see every single ingredient?

  82. Maryieee says:

    Heres the kicker. If you cant eat crap your right, you should not go to a fast food joint. But if they have a veggie burger, and you think its some what healthy…. and you eat it and its worse than a double meat cheeseburger, what good is that? You are right, this is the United States of America, if we are going to be downloaded with fat, why dont you at least let us know how much crap you are putting in the burgers.

  83. christyk1 says:

    There are lots of places that don’t publish nutrition information…Cracker Barrel for instance. It’s their right.

  84. cwubbs says:

    A Red Robin had just opened up last week, and as I was asked if we wanted to order from this restaurant, I went online, looked at the menu, and tried to search for nutritional value info, which there is none. Then I came across this website. This forced me to do some research, in which I am disturbed to find out that restaurants are exempt from having to provide nutritional stats for as long as they are not claiming to be ‘light’ or healthy. I believe they circumvented the legal aspects by advocating that their ingredients are fresh and that they are of high quality. Nothing says that they are diet friendly.

    Now, I have to say that I agree with most posters that the ingredients itself, for allergy purposes, religious beliefs, etc., should be defined. If recipes are of a concern, quantities should be omitted. As another poster said, going to Red Robin, ordering a burger, slathered with cheese, extra bacon, mayo, etc is not secret that this is high in calories and really not good for you. Common sense needs to be applied as well as personal responsibility and accountability.

  85. shrink says:

    I think I’ve figured it out – red robin is run by the “conceptually challenged”. In fact, I’m not sure if they can read. I sent them the following query/correspondance:
    “It would be of service to potential customers frequenting your establishment to provide some nutritional information and healthy options with less saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, and refined carbohydrates. Although there is an option “to customize” the order – there is no basic information as to how the dish is prepared (are the burgers fried? cooked in oil? what is the fat content of the various dressings for the salads? what is the caloric content of the “sauce” added to the burgers? are the buns normally lathered in mayo/margine?). It is hard to make requests without this information available for the default menu. I hope you will take some of these suggestions to help people make wiser nutritional decisions – I know the lack of any information was a confounding reason for our decision not to have our business luncheon there.”
    And the response?:
    “Thank you for contacting Red Robin Gourmet Burgers regarding the nutritional content of our menu items.

    At Red Robin, we focus on serving quality ingredients, and are committed to consistently providing our Guests and Team Members the highest quality menu offerings. While we currently do not offer nutritional content information, we do recognize the importance of our Guests being able to select and order menu items that meet their taste and dietary preferences. All of our menu items can be customized by adding or deleting any combination of ingredients to meet taste and dietary preferences, so please ask your server to modify your order to meet your special preferences and they’ll be happy to assist you.

    Thank you again for contacting us and being a Red Robin Guest!”

    It’s time to take the bird brain in the room to account – and have consumers/the public inundate them with some info about their questionably edible offerings.

  86. murraybula says:

    After reading through this very long list of comments I feel there are a lot of reasons for Red Robin to disclose some sort of nutrition information. When I go to Red Robin I am going with other people, it is not my restaurant of choice. I usual try to eat relatively healthy, no matter where I am eating at. The last time I was there I ordered “Reds Rice Bowl”. Yea I know it had grilled chicken, long grain white rice, chow mein noodles, pea pods, red peppers, but it is very hard to estimate how much of each. What kind and how much fat is in the oriental dressing? How much dressing comes in the dish besides what is in the small container on the side. What kind of chow mein noodles are they, as the fat content can vary widely? Thankfully I am not allergic to to any food items. I just would like to have a better idea what I am eating. This is a very valid topic for a consumerist web site. By the way I ended up here as this posting was 5th in a google search for “red robin nutrition”, and I never did find any actual nutritional information for them.

  87. garywlynch says:

    I recently asked Red Robin and their stance has changed slightly… They are trying to put up the info later this year…

    Thank you for contacting Red Robin Gourmet Burgers regarding the nutritional content of our menu items. Currently, Red Robin does not have nutritional information to distribute. We do, however, recognize the importance of enabling our guests to make informed eating choices. Therefore, we are in the process of evaluating the nutritional content of our ingredients in an effort to provide you as much data as possible, about as many menu items as we can.

    We expect to have our nutritional information posted on our website later this year. We are always happy to customize your favorite Red Robin menu items to meet your dietary needs…just tell your server how you’d like to modify your order to your preference and they will be happy to assist you.

    Thank you for choosing Red Robin!

  88. sandy1 says:

    Regarding Red Robin’s not providing nutritional information, you may be interested that they will be required to provide such information in the future, at least in one county.

    The first Red Robin restaurant was in Seattle, Washington, although their current headquarters is in Greenwood Village, Colorado, according to their web site. Seattle is in King County, and the King County Board of Health will require some restaurants to provide nutritional information.

    This is from the King County Board of Health web site, dated July 19, 2007:

    “The new law will require chain restaurants with more than ten national locations to display calorie, fat, sodium and carbohydrate information on menus. If the restaurant uses a menu board, the calories will be posted on the board in the same size and font as the price information. The remaining nutritional information will be provided in a plainly visible format at the point of ordering. Only standard menu items will need to be labeled – occasional “specials” will be exempt.

    Restaurants will have until August 1, 2008 to conduct the nutritional analysis and put the information on menus and menu boards. King County will be the second jurisdiction in United States to require menu labeling in some food establishments.”

  89. yahbitchyah says:

    Being an employee of Red Robin, I COMPLETELY agree with this post! I actually found this blog by searching for the nutrition content. The other day a guest asked if we had a nutrition content sheet; our manager, the blithering idiot that he is, told her one could be found online. This sparked my curiosity to see just how many calories are in the junk I shove into my mouth while at work, but I found NOTHING! I think it’s pretty shady to not give any information, I mean, it doesn’t take a rocket scientest to see that the food isn’t all that healthy in the first place.

  90. bbh970003 says:

    Red Robin does have nutritional information on their website. Up toward the upper right there is a link called “feedback”, that is where you’ll find the nutritional information. But, don’t look if you don’t want to know how bad for you the food is because it’s really bad! Thanks.

  91. alexamchavez says:

    I also found this article while trying to find the nutrition info for red robin food. So i went to write a comment under the feedback link on the red robin website and stumbled upon…… the nutrition info! Maybe this “gilbert” made it happen.

  92. ummerruhh says:

    Gilbert, what is it that you don’t get? 6oz ground chuck, 2 tomatoes, 1oz lettuce, 4.5″ bun, 2 slices american cheese, 1/2oz mayo, 1oz relish, 1oz onions, 6oz steak fries(bottomless) = not good for you. Knowing how bad is not going to change it and only an idiot would need it spelled out for him
    The gardenburger has the same calories, etc as the one’s you get in the store.
    If you don’t want to go anymore, then don’t. This little tantrum will not stop anyone else. I worked there for 9 years, I know the guests don’t care. It tastes good.

  93. aerimara says:

    No, of course it’s not “good” for you. The problem is the little piddly things like “If I’m highly sensitive to msg and dairy, what exactly can I eat at any restaurant if pressed to go out?”

    For instance, my husband LOVES RR. I think he’d be very sad if we never went there BUT I keep getting caught out by their foods. Their pot roast burgers and their fajitas? Both dairy in disguise due to uncommonly large butter content.
    Any food made with a stock (animal OR vegetable) has the chance of having msg in it. Any soup, any meat, anything with a ‘savory’ flavor. It’s painstaking to find restaurants that go into such detail for allergy information and so therefore we either go and I take a chance at the roulette that is the dining experience, or we don’t patronize restaurants at all.

    Would greatly enjoy competent allergen information if only just to say “This product may contain ___” and nothing else. Yeah it’s horrible for you in other respects but if you’ve got some special considerations that cannot be absolved by simply leaving off an addition to the burger or by just looking at the product, you’re SOL.
    Let’s not get INTO the fat content, but you know, if you’re willing to say “I’ve been a good girl and have eaten right. I want a treat and I don’t want to be in the kitchen for hours tonight!”, and know you can ‘afford’ the normal unhealthy that is a burger, it’s a disappointment to get stopped at “well but can I actually even EAT it?”

  94. aerimara says:

    Another note: if you ask Red Robin nicely for information concerning allergen information, they are happy to oblige. :D

  95. slheider says:

    I found this site when googling Red Robin allergic reaction. I just had a fairly bad reaction to a Salmon Burger. I chose the Salmon because I had previously had a mild reaction to a burger and didn’t feel like the fish (which I can eat and do like). I have emailed RR about my conclusion. That conclusion being that they do not completely separate their seafood (grilled shrimp etc) from the rest of the grill or use the same utensils for everything. I’m allergic to shellfish, not salmon or anything else that should have been in my food. I didn’t think to ask for special treatment of my order; I didn’t think it would be necessary. But they likely grilled the salmon in the seafood are portion where there was more shrimp with burgers being close by. Burger, mild reaction because of shellfish, salmon big reaction because of proximity, fish sandwich, no reaction because it’s deep fried in a tempura batter.

    Had I know I would have a problem, I would have chosen something else or gone to a different restaurant. I didn’t have any anaphylaxis but I lost my voice while still in the restaurant and had to take 2 benadryl and a hit off my inhaler… and I’ll likely not be ok for another couple of hours… not cool!

  96. BrokenGlassHurts says:

    Here’s some of the information they’re afraid you’ll see:

    [www.thedailyplate.com]

  97. YashEnyalius says:

    Comment on Red Robin Spins Bullshit When Pressed To Reveal Nutritional Info Actually, it looks like Red Robin finally released their nutritional information in February. It turns out it’s not real good for you (but we saw that coming). The link to their “customizer” is Red Robin Customizer. I cannot for the life of me actually find out how to get to the customizer directly from their web page, though.

  98. Emily Tatum says:

    You are not obligated to eat at a restaurant, so if it bothers you that they withhold their nutritional information, just don’t eat there. Get over it.

  99. Anonymous says:

    I’m ready to throw them under the bus just like they have to all of us that work there. They use and abuse us, the managers don’t care about sexual harrassment, they belittle us, scream at us….until we quit, they fire us or send us home crying. As of tonight….I am no longer keeping my mouth shut!!! I know the fat content in all the heart attack platters they serve. Its disgusting that so many eat there and there bottomless fries. America, do yourselves a favor and go else where. Live longer lives so you can see your family and take pleasure with out dying from a heart attack!
    That bbq chicken wrap you think is so healthy has over 80 grams of fat in it. The lowest fat content item on that disgusting menu is the veggie burger and even that has 15 grams of fat. This is all of course with OUT the french fries. The gourmet salads have over 50 grams of fat and the regular beef burgers have beetween 35-60 grams of fat (depending on the burger and again we arent factoring in the fries).

    Fuck off Jerk Joe and Fuck off RR. Your lucky I dont start a class action law suit against you all.

  100. JBarrett says:

    I can relate to you CameoSlater, I was employed by Red Robin a couple of years ago and your pretty accurate in your comments. I had had resigned because of the hypocrites there and what you had to endure from this company. I myself had very ill a couple of times from the menu items and it was my employer! I know at that time that nutritional items were far from any concern. As I see from some of these posts it still is the same way. They preach their superior knowledge of the family burger but this day and age of nutrition Mcd’s give’s more information? They need to take “unbridled” a little further by stepping up to the plate!

  101. Anonymous says:

    I checked the RR website and, sure enough, when you try to get to burger ingredients nutritional information you get a huge PAGE NOT FOUND 404 error message. What a load of hooey!

    I found another site online and saw that the SALAD that I would consider buying had more than 700 calories. I’ve seen enough. I thought I could eat at RR as a little treat after a Weight Watchers’ meeting — you know, there’s a myth that says that the only time “Points” aren’t counted is right after you weigh in for the week, but no way. By eating at RR that treat would instead become the equivalent of eating two sticks of butter. No, thank you. I’ll hold out for something that won’t require I eat over 3500 calories before dessert even arrives.

    I like sushi better than burgers anyway.

    I just called my parents and warned them not to even consider eating at RR. Just go drink from a fryolator and save the $40!

  102. Anonymous says:

    Personally I would just like a printable nutrition list that lists all of their menu items. I am a type 1 diabetic, and although fat and calories and ingredients are important to your health; for me the #1 immediate concern is the carbohydrate level in a menu item. It is very difficult to judge my insulin needs by simply looking at what is on my plate. If I have that list in front of me, i can judge the dosage necessary to prevent me from going through the roof on my blood sugar count.

    For me that’s all that matters. I wouldn’t be at a restaurant in the 1st place if I were looking for some healthy meal. I’d be at home preparing it myself. A night out is a special treat away from the humdrum of hime cooking; but I still can’t be stupid about it.