It started with the monster shake.
I’m a Red Robin loyalty customer, you see, so they wanted to reward me. A quick glance through my ordering history (post 85 pound weight loss that is) would tell the RR I only order the Ensenada Chicken platter (delish, yes it is) and the light lemonade…maybe the freckled lemonade if I’m feeling crazy.
But in my email came flying this bad boy–the monster Gingerbread shake. I could have this for free, said they. Hmmm….let me think. Um, no. Alex, I’ll take light lemonade for 20, please, instead of the monster shake for 793.
Then, comes promotion #2 to round out my Red Robin email attack: the free Jim Beam Burger. That was on 12/4. If your name was any derivative of Jim you get this for free, all 950 calories of it. (That’s according to My Fitness Pal because I can’t even find it on RR’s home page on their nutritional finder.)
What a gift. And at a time when holiday shoppers are stressed out, hungry, and looking for a food rush. It’s no coincidence there’s a ten pound average holiday gain to add to the skyrocketing obesity/overweight epidemic which, in America, will reach 90% by 2023 if we continue at the current rate.
Still, it’s not every day people offer me free food just because my name is Jamie so to be honest the idea tempted me–not to eat it, but to get it and gift it to somebody who eats stuff like that. I had a few ideas of people who fit the bill. (Do you see how I was lured in and appalled simultaneously?)
So I called to order one. “Sorry. That’s against the rules. You need to eat it here. Only Jamies. And you have to show ID,” says Jamie. Not even kidding. Her name was Jamie. I wondered if that was a stage name.
The college students at my son’s school were all jacked up on this promo. I get it. Free food can save you on a college budget and who can resist a campaign that tells them “sometimes you just need to get burger faced.” (Come on, Red Robin. Really? To be a fly at that marketing campaign pitch meeting.) I wondered if said students would have the monster shakes to go along with their Jim Beam’s. I pictured college students everywhere spun out on sugar and fat, burping in red booths everywhere.
And this horrified me. Why can’t they have a nice chicken salad promotion? Or the Ensenada Chicken platter? Doesn’t this fit better with the bird theme anyway? Or anything with just one eensy weensy (non-deep-fried) veggie represented somewhere.
I’m a fan of the Robin, but something here needs to give, and it’s not Red Robin encouraging poor healthy eating habits from all their loyal supporters, especially when they are most vulnerable.