Red Robin gives up on 'Burger Works' in Chicago

DENVER BUSINESS JOURNAL - Red Robin's attempt to capture some of the frenzied fast-casual dining market in Chicago has fallen short, as the burger chain closed all of its local Burger Works restaurants over the weekend.

Burger Works is Red Robin's quick service version of its traditional sit-down restaurants, and the Chicago locations were part of a nationwide effort to enter the competitive fast-casual burger concept, dominated by chains like Shake Shack, Five Guys, and Smashburger.

Colorado-based Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc. (Nasdaq: RRGB) had opened five locations in Chicago and Evanston over the past two years, including two stores in the past six months, Crain's Chicago Business reported.

Chicago was one of three U.S. test markets where Red Robin opened Burger Works stores, starting in 2014 with outlets on Michigan Avenue and Chicago Avenue in the Gold Coast. Three more locations followed, but the concept didn't generate enough business to remain profitable.

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