On the top line, revenues rose 4.1% year/year to $418.6 million, slightly beating expectations.
And looking ahead, the company is expecting full year 2017 earnings to come in ahead of expectations. Red Robin is forecasting fiscal year 2017 earnings to ring the register at $2.80-3.10, excluding non-recurring items, putting the mid-point easily ahead of expectations.
The company expects approximately 45% of the $2.80-3.10 in earnings to come in the first half of 2017 and 55% in the second half of 2017.
Revenue in the quarter increased $24.8 million primarily due to new restaurant openings and acquired restaurants, partially offset by decreases of $4.6 million, or 1.2%, in comparable restaurant revenue and $3.8 million from closed restaurants. Franchise and other revenue decreased $0.3 million, primarily driven by the loss of royalties from 13 franchised restaurants acquired during the first quarter of 2016.
System-wide restaurant revenue (which includes franchised units) for the first quarter of 2017 totaled $498.8 million, compared to $493.0 million for the first quarter of 2016.
Comparable restaurant revenue decreased 1.2% in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the same period a year ago, driven by a 1.7% decrease in guest counts, partially offset by a 0.5% increase in average guest check. The increase in average guest check comprised a 1.6% increase in pricing and a 1.1% decrease in menu mix.
So, pricing improved, but traffic weakened... something to stay on top of.
During the first quarter of 2017, the Company opened six Red Robin restaurants, including one restaurant that was temporarily closed during 2016, and relocated one Red Robin restaurant. The company's franchisees opened one restaurant during the first quarter of 2017.