GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. — Paul J.B. Murphy III has been appointed president, CEO and a member of the board of directors at Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc.
Murphy joins the casual dining chain from Noodles & Co., where he oversaw more than 450 restaurants across 29 states as executive chairman. Before that, he was CEO of Del Taco Restaurants Inc. He also held several leadership roles at Einstein Noah Restaurant Group Inc., including president, CEO and board director as well as chief operating officer.
He succeeds Pattye Moore, who was named interim CEO in April following Denny Marie Post’s departure from the company. Murphy’s appointment comes on the heels of a recent leadership shuffle that saw industry veterans Tom Conforti, G.J. Hart and David Pace join the board.
The company has been struggling to regain its footing after several years of declining sales and customer traffic. Same-store sales have fallen every year since 2015, except for fiscal 2017. Last year, the company announced a string of operational changes meant to reduce the number of in-unit jobs. The cost-cutting maneuvers further sunk customer flow, resulting in a several closed restaurants and further operational adjustments.
Murphy will be tasked with leading the company’s ongoing turnaround efforts.
“The board is confident Paul is the right leader to drive the continued transformation of Red Robin and restore the company to sustainable growth and profitability,” Moore said. “Paul brings a multi-decade-long track record of substantial shareholder value-creation, as well as a unique combination of operational, brand-positioning and turnaround expertise.”