Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Description of Business and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

Description of Business and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
12 Months Ended
Dec. 25, 2022
Organization, Consolidation and Presentation of Financial Statements [Abstract]  
Description of Business and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
1. Description of Business and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
(a) Description of Business
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc., a Delaware corporation, together with its subsidiaries ("Red Robin," "we," "us," "our", or the "Company"), primarily operates, franchises, and develops casual dining restaurants in North America. As of December 25, 2022, the Company owned and operated 414 restaurants located in 38 states. The Company also had 97 casual dining restaurants operated by franchisees in 16 states and one Canadian province. The Company operates its business as one operating and one reportable segment.
(b) Basis of Presentation and Principles of Consolidation
The consolidated financial statements of the Company are prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States and include the accounts of Red Robin and its wholly owned subsidiaries after elimination of all intercompany accounts and transactions. The Company's fiscal year is 52 or 53 weeks ending the last Sunday of the calendar year. Year-end dates and the number of weeks in each fiscal year are shown in the table below for periods presented in the consolidated financial statements and for the upcoming fiscal year.
Fiscal Year Year End Date Number of Weeks in Fiscal Year
Current and Prior Fiscal Years:
2022 December 25, 2022 52
2021 December 26, 2021 52
2020 December 27, 2020 52
Upcoming Fiscal Years:
2023 December 31, 2023 53
2024 December 29, 2024 52
(c) Reclassifications
Certain amounts presented have been reclassified within the December 26, 2021 and December 27, 2020 Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows to conform with the current period presentation, including prior year reclassifications from Other, net to Amortization of debt issuance costs. The reclassifications had no effect on the Company’s cash flows from operations.
(d) Use of Estimates
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting periods. The areas that require management's most significant estimates are impairment of long-lived assets, lease accounting, estimating fair value, and unearned revenue. Actual results could differ from those estimates.
Change in Accounting Estimate - Gift Card Breakage
As part of its annual assessment of gift card breakage and during the fifty-two weeks ended December 25, 2022, the Company re-evaluated the estimated redemption pattern related to gift cards and aligned the recognition of gift card breakage to the updated estimated redemption pattern. As a result, the Company recognized $5.9 million of additional gift card breakage in Other revenues, partially offset by $0.6 million of associated commissions costs recognized in Selling, general and administrative expenses, in the first quarter of 2022. This change in accounting estimate decreased net loss by $5.2 million, or $0.33 per basic and diluted share for the fifty-two weeks ended December 25, 2022. The Company may record adjustments related to changes in estimated redemption patterns in the future which could be material.
Change in Accounting Estimate - Red Robin Loyalty Breakage
In the fourth quarter of 2022, the Company re-evaluated the estimated redemption pattern related to Red Robin Royalty benefits and aligned the recognition of loyalty breakage to the updated estimated redemption pattern. As a result, the Company recognized an additional $2.9 million of loyalty breakage in Restaurant revenue. The Company re-evaluates the estimated redemption pattern related to Red Robin Royalty each year and may record adjustments related to changes in estimated redemption patterns in the future which could be material.
(e) Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
Revenue Recognition - Revenues consist of sales from restaurant operations (including third party delivery), franchise revenue, and other revenue including gift card breakage and miscellaneous revenue. The Company recognizes revenue when it satisfies a performance obligation by transferring control over a product or service to a restaurant Guest, franchisee, or other customer.
The Company recognizes revenues from restaurant operations when payment is tendered at the point of sale, as the Company's performance obligation to provide food and beverage to the customer has been satisfied.
The Company sells gift cards which do not have an expiration date, and it does not deduct dormancy fees from outstanding gift card balances. We recognize revenue from gift cards as either: (i) Restaurant revenue, when the Company's performance obligation to provide food and beverage to the customer is satisfied upon redemption of the gift card, or (ii) gift card breakage, as discussed below.
Gift card breakage is recognized when the likelihood of a gift card being redeemed by the customer is remote and the Company determines there is not a legal obligation to remit the unredeemed gift card balance to the relevant jurisdiction. The determination of the gift card breakage rate is based upon the Company's specific historical redemption patterns. The Company recognizes gift card breakage by applying its estimate of the rate of gift card breakage on a pro rata basis over the period of estimated redemption.
Red Robin Royalty™ deferred revenue primarily relates to a program in which registered members earn an award for a free entrée for every nine entrées purchased. Registered members can also earn an award if they visit a Red Robin restaurant 5 separate times within 5 weeks of joining our Royalty™ program. We recognize the current sale of an entrée and defer a portion of the revenue to reflect partial prepayment for the future entrée the member is entitled to receive. We estimate the future value of the award based on the historical average value of redemptions. We also estimate what portion of registered members are not likely to reach the ninth purchase or fifth visit based on historical activity and recognize the revenue related to those purchases from deferred revenue. We recognize the deferred revenue in restaurant revenue on earned rewards when the Company satisfies its performance obligation at redemption, or upon expiration. We compare the estimate of the value of future awards to historical redemptions to evaluate the reasonableness of the deferred amount.
Revenues we receive from our franchise arrangements include sales-based royalties, advertising fund contributions, area development fees, and franchise fees. Red Robin franchisees are required to remit 4.0% to 5.0% of their revenues as royalties to the Company and contribute up to 3% of revenues to two national advertising funds. The Company recognizes these sales-based royalties and advertising fund contributions as the underlying franchisee sales occur. Contributions to these Advertising Funds from franchisees are recorded as revenue under Franchise revenue in the Consolidated Statements of Operations and Comprehensive Loss in accordance with ASC Topic 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers.
The Company also provides its franchisees with management expertise, training, pre-opening assistance, and restaurant operating assistance in exchange for area development fees and franchise fees. The Company capitalizes these fees upon collection from the franchisee, which then amortize over the contracted franchise term as the services comprising the performance obligation are satisfied. The Company typically grants franchise rights to franchisees for a term of 20 years, with the right to extend the term for an additional 10 years if various conditions are satisfied by the franchisee.
Other revenue consists of gift card breakage, licensing income, and recycling income.
Cash and Cash Equivalents, and Restricted Cash - The Company considers all highly liquid instruments with an original maturity of three months or less to be cash equivalents. Amounts receivable from credit card issuers are typically converted to cash within two to four days of the original sales transaction and are considered to be cash equivalents.
Cash and cash equivalents are maintained with multiple financial institutions. Generally, these deposits may be redeemed upon demand and are maintained with financial institutions with reputable credit and therefore bear minimal credit risk. The Company holds cash and cash equivalents at financial institutions in excess of amounts covered by the Federal Depository Insurance Corporation (the "FDIC") and sometimes invests excess cash in money market funds not insured by the FDIC. The Company periodically assesses the credit risk associated with these financial institutions and believes that the risk of loss is minimal.
The Company is required to carry restricted cash balances that are reserved as collateral for existing letters of credit. The amounts issued under letters of credit, which are undrawn and expire in June 2023, totaled $9.1 million.
Accounts Receivable, Net - Accounts receivable, net consists primarily of third party gift card receivables, third party delivery partner receivables, trade receivables due from franchisees for royalties and advertising fund contributions, and tenant improvement allowances. At the end of 2022, there was approximately $11.6 million of gift card receivables in accounts receivable related to gift cards that were sold by third party retailers compared to $10.9 million at the end of 2021. At the end of
2022, there was also approximately $2.3 million related to third party delivery partners in accounts receivable compared to approximately $3.0 million at the end of 2021.
Inventories - Inventories consist of food, beverages, and supplies valued at the lower of cost (first-in, first-out method) or net realizable value. At the end of 2022 and 2021, food and beverage inventories were $10.1 million and $8.7 million, respectively, and supplies inventories were $16.3 million and $16.4 million, respectively.
Property and Equipment, Net - Property and equipment are recorded at cost. Expenditures for major additions and improvements are capitalized and minor replacements, maintenance, and repairs are expensed as incurred. Depreciation is computed on the straight-line method based on the shorter of the estimated useful lives or the terms of the underlying leases of the related assets. Interest incurred on funds used to construct Company-owned restaurants is capitalized and amortized over the estimated useful life of the related assets.
The estimated useful lives for property and equipment are:
5 years to 20 years
Leasehold improvements
Shorter of lease term or estimated useful life, not to exceed 20 years
Furniture, fixtures, and equipment
5 years to 20 years
Computer equipment
2 years to 5 years
The Company capitalizes certain overhead related to the development and construction of its new restaurants as well as certain information technology infrastructure upgrades. Costs incurred for the potential development of restaurants that are subsequently terminated are expensed.
Leases - The Company leases land, buildings, and equipment used in its operations under operating and finance leases. Our leases generally have remaining terms of 1-15 years, most of which include options to extend the leases for additional 5-year periods. Generally, the lease term is the minimum of the non-cancelable period of the lease or the lease term inclusive of reasonably certain renewal periods up to a term of 20 years.
We determine if a contract contains a lease at inception. Operating lease assets and liabilities are recognized at the lease commencement date. Operating lease liabilities represent the present value of lease payments not yet paid. Operating lease assets represent our right to use an underlying asset and are based upon the operating lease liabilities adjusted for prepayments or accrued lease payments, initial direct costs, lease incentives, and impairment of operating lease assets. To determine the present value of lease payments not yet paid, we estimate incremental secured borrowing rates corresponding to the maturities of the leases. We estimate this rate based on prevailing financial market conditions, comparable company and credit analysis, and management judgment.
Our leases typically contain rent escalations over the lease term. We recognize expense for these leases on a straight-line basis over the lease term. Additionally, tenant incentives used to fund leasehold improvements are recognized when earned and reduce our right-of-use asset related to the lease. These are amortized through the right-of-use asset as reductions of expense over the lease term.
Some of our leases include rent escalations based on inflation indexes and fair market value adjustments. Certain leases contain contingent rental provisions that include a fixed base rent plus an additional percentage of the restaurant's sales in excess of stipulated amounts. Operating lease liabilities are calculated using the prevailing index or rate at lease commencement. Subsequent escalations in the index or rate and contingent rental payments are recognized as variable lease expenses. Our lease agreements do not contain any material residual value guarantees or material restrictive covenants.
We have elected the short-term lease recognition exemption for all applicable classes of underlying assets. Short-term disclosures include only those leases with a term of 12 months or less, and expense is recognized on a straight-line basis over the lease term. Leases with an initial term of 12 months or less, that do not include an option to purchase the underlying asset that we are reasonably certain to exercise, are not recorded on the balance sheet.
We elected the practical expedient that does not require us to separate lease and non-lease components for our population of real estate assets.
Intangible Assets, net - Intangible assets comprise primarily leasehold interests, acquired franchise rights, and the costs of purchased liquor licenses. Leasehold interests primarily represent the fair values of acquired lease contracts having contractual rents lower than fair market rents and are amortized on a straight-line basis over the remaining initial lease term. Acquired franchise rights, which represent the acquired value of franchise contracts, are amortized over the term of the franchise agreements. The costs of obtaining non-transferable liquor licenses from local government agencies are capitalized and generally amortized over a period of up to 20 years. The costs of purchasing transferable liquor licenses through open markets in jurisdictions with a limited number of authorized liquor licenses are capitalized as indefinite-lived intangible assets.
Liquor licenses with indefinite lives are reviewed for impairment annually or whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate the carrying amount may not be recoverable. If the carrying amount is not recoverable, we record an impairment charge for the excess of the carrying amount over the fair value. We determine fair value based on prices in the open market for license in same or similar jurisdictions. Impairment charges of $0.5 million were recorded related to indefinite-lived intangibles in 2022 and $0.5 million were recorded in 2021. No impairment charges were recorded in 2020.
Impairment of Long-Lived Assets - The Company reviews its long-lived assets, including restaurant sites, leasehold improvements, other fixed assets, information technology systems, right of use assets, and amortizable intangible assets for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset may not be recoverable. Recoverability of assets to be held and used is measured by a comparison of the carrying amount of the assets to the future undiscounted net cash flows expected to be generated by the assets. Identifiable cash flows are measured at the lowest level for which they are largely independent of the cash flows of other groups of assets and liabilities, generally at the restaurant-level. If the assets are determined to be impaired, the amount of impairment recognized is the amount by which the carrying amount of the assets exceeds their fair value. Fair value is generally determined using projected cash flows discounted using an estimated weighted average cost of capital. Management may also utilize other market information to determine fair value such as market rent and discount rates, to estimate the fair value of restaurant right of use lease assets. Restaurant sites and other assets to be disposed of are reported at the lower of their carrying amount or fair value, less estimated costs to sell. Information technology systems, such as internal-use computer software, are reviewed and tested for recoverability if the internal-use computer software is not expected to provide substantive service potential, a significant change occurs in the extent or manner in which the software is used or is expected to be used, a significant change is made or will be made to the software program, or costs of developing or modifying internal-use software significantly exceed the amount originally expected to develop or modify the software.
Other Assets, net - Other assets, net consist primarily of assets related to various deposits, the employee deferred compensation plan, and unamortized debt issuance costs on the revolving Credit Facility. Debt issuance costs on the revolving Credit Facility are capitalized and amortized to interest expense on a straight-line basis which approximates the effective interest rate method over the term of the Company's long-term debt.
Advertising - Under the Company's franchise agreements, both the Company and the franchisees must contribute up to 3.0% of revenues to two national media advertising funds (the "Advertising Funds"). These Advertising Funds are used to build the Company's brand equity and awareness primarily through a national marketing strategy, including national television advertising, digital media, social media programs, email, loyalty, and public relations initiatives.
Total advertising costs of $35.7 million, $34.3 million, and $24.9 million in 2022, 2021, and 2020 and were included in Selling, general, and administrative expenses.
Advertising production costs are expensed in the period when the advertising first takes place. Other advertising costs are expensed as incurred.
Self-Insurance Programs - The Company utilizes a self-insurance plan for health, general liability, and workers' compensation coverage. Predetermined loss limits have been arranged with insurance companies to limit the Company's per occurrence cash outlay. Accrued liabilities and other current liabilities and accrued payroll and payroll-related liabilities include the estimated cost to settle reported claims and incurred but unreported claims.
Legal Contingencies - In the normal course of business, we are subject to various legal proceedings and claims, the outcomes of which are uncertain. We record an accrual for legal contingencies when we determine it is probable that we have incurred a liability and we can reasonably estimate the amount of the loss. In making such determinations we evaluate, among other things, the probability of an unfavorable outcome, and when we believe it probable that a liability has been incurred, our ability to make a reasonable estimate of the loss.
Pre-opening Costs - Pre-opening costs are expensed as incurred. Pre-opening costs include rental expenses through the date of opening for each restaurant, travel expenses, wages, and benefits for the training and opening teams, as well as food, beverage, and other restaurant opening costs incurred prior to a restaurant opening for business. Costs related to preparing restaurants to introduce Donatos® will be expensed as incurred and included in pre-opening costs.
Income Taxes - Deferred tax liabilities are recognized for the estimated effects of all taxable temporary differences, and deferred tax assets are recognized for the estimated effects of all deductible temporary differences, net operating losses, and tax credit carryforwards. Realization of net deferred tax assets is dependent upon profitable operations and future reversals of existing taxable temporary differences. However, the amount of the deferred tax assets considered realizable could be adjusted if estimates of future taxable income during the carry forward period are increased or reduced or if there are differences in the timing or amount of future reversals of existing taxable temporary differences.
Pursuant to the guidance for uncertain tax positions, a taxpayer must be able to more likely than not sustain a position to recognize a tax benefit, and the measurement of the benefit is calculated as the largest amount that is more than 50 percent
likely to be realized upon resolution of the benefit. The Company has analyzed filing positions in all of the federal, state, and foreign jurisdictions where it is required to file income tax returns, as well as all open tax years in these jurisdictions. The only periods subject to examination for the Company's federal and state returns are the 2018 through 2022 tax years.
The Company records interest and penalties associated with audits as a component of income before taxes. Penalties are recorded in Selling, general, and administrative expenses, interest received is recorded in Interest income and other, net, and interest paid is recorded in Interest expense on the consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive loss. The Company recorded immaterial interest expense on the identified tax liabilities in 2022, 2021, and 2020. Approximately $1.1 million of interest income was recorded related to a federal cash tax refund received during the fourth quarter of 2020.
Loss Per Share - Basic loss per share amounts are calculated by dividing net loss by the weighted average number of common shares outstanding during the year. Diluted loss per share amounts are calculated based upon the weighted average number of common and potentially dilutive common shares outstanding during the year. Potentially dilutive shares are excluded from the computation in periods in which they have an anti-dilutive effect. Diluted loss per share reflects the potential dilution that could occur if holders of options and awards exercised their holdings into common stock. As the Company was in a net loss position for the fifty-two week period ended December 25, 2022, December 26, 2021, and December 27, 2020, all potentially dilutive common shares are considered anti-dilutive.
The Company uses the treasury stock method to calculate the impact of outstanding stock options and awards. Basic weighted average shares outstanding is reconciled to diluted weighted average shares outstanding for the fiscal years ended December 25, 2022, December 26, 2021, and December 27, 2020 as follows (in thousands):
2022 2021 2020
Basic weighted average shares outstanding 15,840  15,660  14,314 
Dilutive effect of stock options and awards —  —  — 
Diluted weighted average shares outstanding 15,840  15,660  14,314 
Awards excluded due to anti-dilutive effect on diluted earnings per share 1,481  875  489 
Comprehensive Loss - Total comprehensive loss consists of the net loss and other gains and losses affecting stockholders' equity that, under U.S. GAAP, are excluded from net income. Other comprehensive (loss) income as presented in the consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive loss for 2022, 2021, and 2020 consisted of the foreign currency translation adjustment resulting from the Company's Canadian franchise operations.
Stock-Based Compensation - The Company maintains several equity incentive plans under which it may grant stock options, stock appreciation rights, restricted stock, stock variable compensation, or other forms of awards granted or denominated in the Company's common stock or units of the Company's common stock, as well as cash variable compensation awards to employees, non-employees, directors, and consultants. The Company also maintains an employee stock purchase plan. The Company issues shares relating to stock-based compensation plans and the employee stock purchase plan from treasury shares. We recognize compensation expenses for only the portion of share-based awards that are expected to vest. Therefore, we apply estimated forfeiture rates that are derived from our historical forfeitures of similar awards when a Team Member leaves the Company.
Deferred Compensation - The Company has assets and liabilities related to a deferred compensation plan. The assets of the deferred compensation plan are held in a rabbi trust, where they are invested in certain mutual funds that cover an investment spectrum range from equities to money market instruments. Fluctuations in the market value of the investments held in the trust result in the recognition of deferred compensation expense or income reported in Selling, general, and administrative expenses and recognition of investment gain or loss reported in Interest income and other, net, in the consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive loss.
Foreign Currency Translation - The Canadian Dollar is the functional currency for our Canadian entity operations. Assets and liabilities denominated in Canadian Dollars are translated into U.S. Dollars at exchange rates in effect as of the balance sheet date. Income and expense accounts are translated using the average exchange rates prevailing throughout the period. The resulting translation adjustment is recorded as a separate component of Other comprehensive (loss) income.
During the fourth quarter of 2020, the Company substantially completed the exit of Company-owned restaurants in Canada resulting in the removal of the accumulated currency translation adjustment as a component of stockholders' equity and the recognition in Other charges on the Consolidated Statements of Operations and Comprehensive Loss totaling a loss of $5.5 million.