Red Robin testing $15 Kobe beef burger
The casual dining chain is hoping to hike sales by offering premium burgers, with a rollout eyed for later this year.
While some restaurants and fast-food chains are slashing prices to entice diners, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (RRGB) is testing a novel idea: a line of premium burgers that would include Kobe beef and potentially bison.
The burgers may appear on the chain's menu in the second half of 2013, Chief Executive Stephen Carley said at an investor conference last week, according to Nation's Restaurant News.
The big question, Carley said, is what diners want in a premium burger, and "what guests are prepared to pay a premium for."
The new dishes won't come cheap: one Wall Street analyst said he expects the new burgers to be priced as high as $15.
That would mean a single Kobe burger -- even before taxes and tip -- would cost the average American about 10% of his or her weekly food expenditures. The typical consumer spends $151 on food each week, according a study from Gallup last year.
Kobe beef means a specific breed of cattle raised around Kobe, Japan, which is known for tenderness and flavor. Most beef advertised in the United States as "Kobe" actually isn't, but instead comes from other regions of Japan or America.
Nevertheless, it's become a byword for high-quality beef and has found its way onto the menus of both high-end restaurants and casual dining chains, including the Cheesecake Factory, which sells an "American Kobe beef" burger for about $13.95.
Red Robin has grown into a chain of 470 restaurants by offering a range of fire-grilled beef hamburgers and chicken burgers, which generally cost from about $7 to $10.
While it may be a gamble that diners will pay more for food, some restaurant chains are making that bet, given the creeping cost of ingredients.
Wendy's (WEN) earlier this month said it would change its value menu offerings, because selling items for 99 cents was leading to losses. Last week, Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) hinted at higher prices to cope with faster-than-expected food inflation.
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Jae Ho....I hope you live in Japan..??
I've had Kobe twice in Japan..
Once with the Mayor and other dignitaries of Numazu..
And another time in Tokyo...similiar situation..
A small steak, it was an offering; I almost turned down, then I remembered my manners..
I was the only person at the table that had it...
Like I said, it was a special thing from my Japanese host'
And I did not insult them, even being full from a scrumptous....Mostly seafood dinner.
Up until August of 2012, it was illegal to import Kobe Beef from Japan ( The only country that has the real Kobe Beef). All that has changed. The small amount that is being imported today is going almost exclusively to high-end steakhouses who will charge dearly for it – the Old Homestead in New York was one of the first to jump on the legal Kobe bandwagon, and their price of $350 for a steak. So, I really doubt that a "Kobe Beef " burger is going to cost you $15. Get real RR!!!
And I will agree the Region/town is/maybe significant....And I've heard of Kobe being exported to the U.S.and other Countries....I've heard conflicting stories.??
But I will bet $10,000 dollars, that I can make and cook 10 hamburgers from beef....
5 from Kobe beef....and 5 from beef of my choice...
And you won't be able to guess correctly, 50% of the time, which is which...??
Sorry a hamburger is no way, to treat Kobe beef...
A good cut of beef, is a good cut of beef...IMO
Will you receive a certificate of authenticity from your waiter? How does anyone know what they're really getting anymore from a restaurant chain? Chances are, you will pay for regular ground beef, with an added touch of flavor that will make most people believe they are eating something special.
Don't know about the Kobe Region or area of Japan...Been in Japan 4 times...
It's all about how the cow/cattle is raised and what it is fed.....
Yes had Kobe, twice.
And have our own farm/ranch, but just raised a few beef or hogs at a time..
No Bison or Beefalos or anything too exotic..
Mainly Horses and funner things.
I read this Headline and then to everyone else...And just started laughing my azz off...
You don't make a hamburger out of true Kobe beef...Idiots.
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