SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. — 2018 was a very good year for Red Robin location at the Spokane Valley Mall.
So good, that the crowds of people who flocked to the burger restaurant made the establishment the company's top-selling location.
"It makes me feel pretty good," said Bobby Benton, general manager at the Spokane Valley restaurant.
The location's title as the "busiest" Red Robin in the country came following years of increased sales at the popular spot.
"It's definitely a good location to be in," said Benton, noting that 2018 marked the first time the specific restaurant ranked first in company sales. "Spokane has definitely given us some love. We really appreciate it." Prior to 2018, Benton said that the location still ranked as one of the busiest in the company
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews, which is headquartered in Colorado, is known for its various hamburgers, appetizers, and bottomless steak french fries purchased alongside burgers. The chain currently operates 484 corporate restaurants across the U.S. and Canada in addition to 89 franchise locations.
The original "Red Robin" restaurant was founded in 1969 in Seattle after previously operating under a different name.
The Spokane Valley location opened in 1999 and is set to celebrate its 20th anniversary on May 24th.
As Benton and staff spoke with KREM on Tuesday morning, the restaurant quickly began to fill with hungry customers.
"It's just always busy here," said Katherine Johnson, a Red Robin server. "It will be filling up outside while people are waiting."
The numbers behind the location's popularity don't lie either. The company says that the Spokane Valley Mall location serves an average of 8,300 customers each week. That amounts to roughly 4,500 to 5,000 pounds of french fires served up each week.
"Yeah, it's a lot," said a smiling Brenton. "We definitely go through our potatoes here."
Brenton said that the location's more popular menu items included the Royal Red Robin burger, which is topped with a sunny-side up egg, and the chain's famous Whiskey River barbecue burgers and sandwiches.
"People will actually come here just for our fish and chips," Johnson said, when asked what she serves the most. "I love everything."
While Red Robin said that holidays are typically the busiest days for the restaurant chain, Benton noted that Bloomsday marked the busiest shift of the year for the Valley location.
"When those guys get off the bus, we get a good majority that come in here," he said, adding that the STA Bloomsday pickup location is in the restaurant's parking lot.
For now, Benton and his team appeared to be prepared to retain the company crown of the "busiest" Red Robin.
"This year, we're trending that same way," he said.
Brenton added that his team of roughly 95 employees made the feat possible.
"It's great for the team. We're providing more hours. We can hire more team members," he said. When asked about the cooks cranking out orders for the location, Benton remarked, "If things aren't clicking back there, things aren't clicking up here. They definitely make it happen for us."
"When I come here, I know that it's going to be very busy," Johnson said. "But I also know that my team is there for me. And I can be there for them."