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My Personal Red Robin Boycott

OK, I am one cranky vegan and instead of sitting around and taking it, I'm doing something about!

So for the past year Red Robin has been one of those "fall back" restaurants I go to occasional when I need someplace where  I know I can get something to eat when I'm with my omni family. I don't go there a lot, maybe once every other month, but every time I have been there the servers have been really nice and have always insured  me that their boca burgers and fries were vegan...THEY ARE NOT! I was there the other day and the guy is like "oh, you're vegan? guess you can't eat here then huh?" and I'm all like "WHAAAAAT??" So yeah, he tells me that neither the boca or the gardenburger they serve are vegan and that the fries are not vegan because of the frier they go in!!! I'm soooo pissed. So I decided to write somebody!

Letter #1

Hi There! OK--here's the situation. I am a vegan and I go to Red Robin regularly and enjoy your Boca burger. While dining there yesterday our server told us that Red Robin does not use the Boca vegan grillers but a kind that has cheese in it!! I was shocked and horrified since in the past I was always assured that they were indeed the vegan grillers. I am grateful for the servers honesty but I am now frustated and upset that 1. servers in the past were knowingly feeding me something I am morally, ethically and dietiarily against and 2. that Red Robin apparently has no vegan option at all (a side salad is not a vegan dinner option either). I understand that vegans make up a very small portion of the popolation, but if you consider the growing numbers of vegetarians, vegans, and other health concious people you would see that there are a lot of us! I appreciate that you offer both Garden Burger and Boca burger--but since you use both kinds that contain either eggs, cheese or other animal products they are not vegan friendly. Both of these brands offers a vegan burger--please consider switching to one of them so vegans can enjoy a great dinning experience with your company too! Thank you!!!

Response #1

Hello and thanks for your e-mail re: Red Robin menu options. We greatly appreciate your comments and feedback on our menu!

Unfortunately we do not offer a vegan version of the Boca / Garden burger on our menu However, at Red Robin, we are happy to customize any menu item, when possible, to meet your nutritional or dietary needs. Please feel free to ask a server on your next visit and he / she would be happy to help you. We are constantly changing our menu to meet the needs and desires of our guests. We will certainly take your feedback into consideration when changing our menu again in the near future.

Thanks again for your e-mail and for being a Red Robin guest. We look forward to serving you again soon!

*Yeah...this bull shit letter just pissed me off*

Letter #2

Thank you for your quick response, However, it was pretty useless. Telling me I can customize an item sounds like I can go in and order any number of items--but I can't! How do you veganize one of your burgers or sandwiches when you won't offer vegan boca patties? How do I veganize soups that have beef and chicken broth bases? How do I veganize appitizers that are covered in meat and dairy? You do not even have one garden/vegetarian salad! Which means the only thing I can have is a side salad with no cheese--I hate to tell you this, but iceberg lettuce and tomatoes is not a creative, delicious or even nutritious "meal" and for $5 I can do a lot better someplace else!

Americans are slowly waking up and realizing they don't want to eat deep fried meat slathered in dairy and eggs with a side of genetically modified, deep friend potatoes. I urge you to reconsider putting vegan friendly salads, appitizes, soups and yes, boca patties on your menu! Even KFC has a vegan friendly faux chicken sandwich! If someone who has been boycotted by PETA for the last 5 years can make some changes I'm sure a high quality restaurant like Red Robin's can easily make a few as well. No one expects you to stop selling your signature burgers and fries--just open up the menu a little so you are not excluding entire sections of the population.

As for now I will not be eating at your restaurant any longer and I will be urging my friends and family to do the same. Until you are able to provide me with a real dining option, my money, and that of my peers will be spent else where.

Thank you.

Response #2

Hello,

Thank you again for your return email. At Red Robin, you may customize any menu item, or create your own entrée with available food ingredients, to meet your dietary needs. For instance, any of our available salads can be made vegan by removing meat, cheese, and egg (where applicable). There's a Red's Rice Bowl, minus the fried linguini, and chicken is a vegan entrée. Vegan ingredients to chose from and customize your own order include: black beans, rice, a side salad, steamed veggies, melon wedges, celery sticks, Steak Fries if fried in a designated fryer (please inquire with the manager), a wide variety of fresh produce items.

Hope this is helpful to you,

Jennifer

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Yeah..I have not even bothered to reply to this. I appreciate they are trying to show me what i can eat--but come on! Celery sticks and black beans?? That's crap and we all know it! Why would I got to a restaurant and shell out full price for a dinner entree and only end up with a fraction of a meal that is bland and tasteless when I can use the same amount of money to buy good ingredients and make my own dish? And is it really that hard to purchase the vegan boca/gardenburgers?? WTF!!??!

Anyways...if anyone else wants to send a friendly vegan message to red robins you can use this addy...

guestrelations@redrobin.com

Maybe if enough people pressure them they will get a real vegan option!!

First of all, I'm on my own Red Robin Boycott just because of their STUPID commercials!

This is RIDICULOUS. They can easily switch over to an actual soy patty without the cheese (if they actually gave a friggin' HOOT) and they should find a way to change the way they make their fries (a designated fryer? ARE YOU JOKING?). Think of all of the vegans they have been ripping off and feeding dairy/meat grease too. They obviously have no compassion whatsoever to take into consideration the people who choose not to consume animal products and then advertise vegan options. I guess they follow the motto, "What they don't know won't hurt them." WRONG! Some people can get sick like that.

I know that Peta.org had them listed as a vegan safe restaurant - you should totally get in touch with someone there for a full expose on nasty Red Robin!! They can set up a whole campaign.

I commend you for taking action, even if your complaints did go through one of the douche bag's ear and out the other. There are other ways to protest this, though...I'll start by sending an e-mail of my own!

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I find it ridiculous that they are suggesting that a server will be happy to help you veganize/customize any menu item when it is their servers that originally lied to you and led you to believe that their garden burgers were vegan.  How could you possibly ever trust them to actually cook your fries in a "designated" fryer or not chop your vegetables on the same cutting board they were grating cheese onto? 

There are no Red Robins where I live so boycotting won't be a problem for me!

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I had always assumed they offered two veggie burgers for a cheesy one (gardenburger) and the non-cheese one (boca). Why have cheese in both? It seems like, them's being a big restaurant chain, it wouldn't be that hard to get the vegan boca burger or the vegan gardenburger from their distributor.

Once upon a time iHop also had two veggie burgers, the cheese-laden gardenburger and the vegan boca burger (it was on a 'special menu' they had for 'specialty diets'(as in there was the vegan item, and some low-carb items  :P ).

Oh well...

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Message sent to RR!  In the meantime, Ruby Tuesday's veggie burger patty is vegan.  I've made servers confirm that for me on multiple occasions, so unless SEVERAL of them are lying, I believe it is safe. 

But beware, it's massive!

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I agree with Storm, their servers can't be trusted. THEY LIED!  :boooo:
This kind of behaviour really gets my goat. There is NO difference in lying to someone who is anaphalactic & some who chooses not to eat things like eggs...in there minds, do they think that just a little bit of egg won't hurt?
If I ever come across a Red Robin, I definitely won't be stopping in.

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They were very quick to respond!

My email to them:
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Hello!
I have a small request that could have many positive implications for Red Robin's image.  First, thank you for offering healthy options on your menu such as steamed vegetables, beans, rice, and others.  I would like to propose the idea of switching your current Boca veggie burger to one of the vegan Boca options.  In doing this, you would satisfy a whole new sector of customers.  Trust me, word spreads quickly throughout the vegan community, which is continuing to grow as the public becomes more educated on how central diet is to overall health.  I believe making this change would increase your customer base and show that your restaurant cares enough to include a main entrée that is vegan, not just regular menu options that can be made vegan by removing the main ingredients.

Thank you for your time and consideration to satisfy a larger variety of customers.
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Response:
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Hello and thanks for your e-mail re: Red Robin’s Boca Burger. We greatly appreciate your comments and feedback.

Great suggestion! We are constantly changing our menu to meet the needs and desires of our guests. We will certainly take your feedback into consideration when changing our menu again in the near future.

Thanks again for your e-mail and for being a Red Robin guest. We look forward to serving you again soon!
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One positive thing I noticed is that the woman who responded to me, Angel, copied 8 other "______@redrobin.com" people in on her response.  Hopefully one of those cc'ed is higher up on the ladder and will take notice!

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I love your final answer and glad you didn't disrespect them.  That's how changes can happen! 

Any place that has vegan black beans and rice is fine with me.  :)

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There's a Red's Rice Bowl, minus the fried linguini, and chicken is a vegan entrée.

I had to read this line about five times before it made sense to me. I kept thinking she was trying to say that chicken was a vegan entree.

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Thanks for the support fellow vegans!!!!

Yeah--the whole thing is shenanigans! There really is no reason for them not to offer the vegan boca or the vegan gardenburger or both for that matter!

And defintely, like Storm said, how can I ever trust the servers again? I'm just so bummed, RR's was a great place to grab a vegi burger and fries when the mood struck and now that has been taken away from me and the rest of the vegan community :( I just think it's crap they listed celery sticks as a vegan option to me...are you kidding me? Mmmmm celery sticks...sounds filling...

Anyways...I'm just so annoyed with them that I never want to step foot in there again--I'll spend my precious few dollars at locally owned restaurants that DO have REAL vegan options!

Keep spreading the word!! <3

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My biggest problem is not the lack of vegan options, it's that the servers were deceitful.  I know that omnis take being vegan less seriously, but what if your choice was based on a religious preference.  They'd be facing a lawsuit.  It's kind of okay that there are no vegan options.  Let us know so we can choose whether or not to eat there, but don't LIE about it.

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There's a Red's Rice Bowl, minus the fried linguini, and chicken is a vegan entrée.

I had to read this line about five times before it made sense to me. I kept thinking she was trying to say that chicken was a vegan entree.

You weren't the only one...

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There's a Red's Rice Bowl, minus the fried linguini, and chicken is a vegan entrée.

I had to read this line about five times before it made sense to me. I kept thinking she was trying to say that chicken was a vegan entree.

You weren't the only one...

it's that stupid comma that is misplaced.

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There's a Red's Rice Bowl, minus the fried linguini, and chicken is a vegan entrée.

I had to read this line about five times before it made sense to me. I kept thinking she was trying to say that chicken was a vegan entree.

You weren't the only one...

it's that stupid comma that is misplaced.

i'll boycott them just for bad grammar!
actually, i don't have any red robins that you speak of. never heard of it.

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I believe Red Robin goes by Johnny Rockets in the lower half of the country--but I'm not 100% on that...

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never heard of johnny rockets, either!

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wait, kfc has a vegan chicken sandwich? this is news to me. i would still never go there, but interesting

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wait, kfc has a vegan chicken sandwich? this is news to me. i would still never go there, but interesting

i think it's only in canada so far, and you have to ask for it w/o mayo and have it on a different bread.. like order it in the wrap or something i think.

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aaaaand see my thread on why i am 'never eating out again!' ever.  this shit happens to me all the time, and i'm fucking over it.

i will never trust another restaurant to give me a vegan option unless it specifically says on the menu that it is vegan because most servers have no clue what's in the food and are too lazy to actually ask about it.  (i say most..  i know there are those out there who do ask, but who knows if they get an honest response from the chefs?)

even if my 'veganized' meal is actually vegan, it's pretty damn tasteless and nutritionless.  my days of plain, flavorless burritos and wilty vegetable sandwiches are over.  i'd rather cook.  i took this far enough recently that for my birthday dinner my parents wanted to take me out, but i cooked for them instead because i literally just cannot get a decent meal in a restaurant around here.  and of course, after eating a cheese-filled veggie burger last week...  yeah.  i'm finished with restaurant food that isn't clearly labeled.

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i agree, red robin blows. i've been boycotting them for a while, and i also sent them an email. really, red robin is one of the only places (along with outback/longhorn steakhouse) i actually won't go if others are going there because all there'd be for me to eat is lettuce. i didn't even know they had veggie burgers-- i don't think my local one does, if that's possible.

i'm sure the manager would be thrilled to fry my fries in a brand spanking new and clean fryer.

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ooo.  servers, man.  they get you every time. 

personally, i don't think they are lying (at least not to me), but i don't trust them unless they are vegan or vegetarian.  a lot of people are still so uneducated about what the veg*n diet consists of...  i've seen a bunch of forum posts on here where veg*ns get asked stupid questions like, "oh, you don't eat meat?  what about fish?"  :o

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