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Red Robin brings quick service restaurant to Ohio State campus

Steve Brown / Lantern photographer

Red Robin is taking its gourmet burgers to High Street in late March, but the location will not house a traditional Red Robin experience.

Red Robin’s Burger Works, at 1706 North High St., will feature a fast, casual concept behind the beef.

Cassie LaBonte, associate marketing manager for Red Robin, said Red Robin’s Burger Works was designed as a smaller and faster alternative to the original Red Robin. There are currently four Red Robin locations in the Columbus, Ohio, area.

“Guests can go in, order and have their food brought to their table,” LaBonte said.

The wait time averages to be about five minutes from the time you order until the time you get your food, which LaBonte said is much quicker than at an original Red Robin.

The full service featured at their parent restaurant isn’t available, and neither are the steak fries, which will be replaced with a thinner cut fry at Burger Works. However the new restaurant offers many classics found on the original Red Robin menu, including such burgers as the Whiskey River BBQ and the Banzai. The menu also includes new additions from the original Red Robin, such as Hand-Breaded Chicken Tenders, a Build Your Own Burger and Hand-Spun Real Ice Cream Shakes.

LaBonte said the average check is about $8.50, a few dollars less than at an original Red Robin.

Denver, Colo., played host to the original Red Robin’s Burger Works, which opened Nov. 21. Since then, the company has announced the opening of two new restaurants, near the campuses of OSU and Metropolitan State College of Denver. Both locations are set to open this spring.

David Johnson, a second-year in film studies, said he believes OSU is a great place for a company to test their product, especially since the campus is so diverse.

“I think it’s cool that OSU gets this opportunity before almost everyone else,” Johnson said.

Hours of operation have not been set for the restaurant, but LaBonte said the company is looking into late-night hours, specifically on the weekends.

Soumi Dey, a first-year in biology, said the idea of staying open late on the weekends would be beneficial to Burger Works.

“When people are going home from being out, it’s nice to have some places open,” Dey said. “They would probably get a lot more business that way.”

In addition to bringing a different dining experience to the campus area, the restaurant will provide about 30 new jobs. LaBonte said hiring will take place sometime in early March.

“A few of my friends are having trouble finding jobs,” Johnson said. “The more opportunities for them, the better.”

With the credibility from Red Robin, LaBonte said she believes the concept of Burger Works will do well in a college setting.

“You will get great burgers that are fiery, fresh and fast,” LaBonte said.

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