Creating a National Kid’s Cook-off to Reach Families

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers wanted to set itself apart from competitors and build brand awareness. Linhart PR combined the popularity of cooking shows, the brand’s family audience and America’s love of gourmet burgers to develop the national Kids’ Cook-Off – a competition that generated year-after-year big news and business results.

The Kids’ Cook-Off competition gave children nationwide the chance to submit their recipes for America’s next gourmet burger.

Integrated Marketing Communications
Media Relations & Influencer Marketing
Multi-Unit Restaurants
Holmes Report SABRE Finalist
PRSA/Colorado Gold Pick


Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews tasked Linhart PR to quickly build brand awareness due to the chain’s aggressive growth plans, increasing competition and the absence, at the time, of Red Robin national advertising.


Research identified Red Robin’s kids and family audience and gourmet burgers as key brand differentiators. Coupled with the popularity of cooking shows, Linhart PR developed the national Kids’ Cook-Off to generate big news and business results. The Kids’ Cook-Off gave children nationwide the chance to submit their recipes for America’s next gourmet burger. The competition’s multi-phase approach generated brand awareness and year-round news coverage through the call for burger recipe entries, championship event with 10 local market finalists, and the winning burger served on the national menu with proceeds benefitting the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC).



205 million

Media Impressions


In Donations


For five consecutive years, the Kids’ Cook-Off reached Red Robin’s core customers and generated:

  • Consumer engagement: The contest generated 54,000+ burger recipe entries from kids. A Fan Favorite website and online voting spurred even greater involvement from families nationwide
  • Sales: Red Robin sold nearly 530,000 kid-created burgers, with more than $270,000 donated to NCMEC
  • Media wins: The contest generated nearly 205 million media impressions, including national media placements (often multiple times) with NBC’s Today Show, Parents magazine and USA Today, among others. A blogger engagement program, celebrity partnerships and multi-media elements (SMTs, webcasts, video) drove added coverage
Learn more about
Partner With Linhart PR

More Work