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June 25, 2009

Red Robin Moves Forward on Animal Welfare

The Humane Society of the United States

chicken

iStockphoto

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. has become the latest restaurant chain to move away from eggs from caged hens. With more than 300 locations in 40 states, the company's switch to cage-free eggs is a good step forward for laying hens—and the latest in a growing trend.

Eggs from Caged Hens on the Way Out

The Greenwood Village, Colo.-based chain will exclusively use cage-free eggs in all company-owned stores by the end of 2010. Red Robin's phase-in will begin in July, and it will be one-third complete by the end of 2009. One of their burgers features a patty topped with eggs.

Red Robin is also in the process of working with pork suppliers to phase in gestation crate-free pork at company-owned locations. 

A National Trend

Red Robin is in good company. In 2007, Washington-based Burgerville became the first restaurant chain to stop using eggs from caged hens. Soon other chains like Burger King, Wendy's, Hardee's and Carl's Jr. began reducing their reliance on eggs from caged hens, too.

This is positive movement for laying hens, since most of the country's 280 million hens are confined in tiny battery cages where they can barely move. Each bird has less space than a sheet of paper on which to spend more than a year before she's slaughtered.

"The Humane Society of the United States applauds Red Robin for joining the national movement away from cruel battery cages," said Paul Shapiro, senior director of The HSUS' factory farming campaign. "We look forward to working with the company to continue raising the bar when it comes to animal welfare."

Working Cooperatively

Susan Lintonsmith, Red Robin senior vice president and chief marketing officer, said, "Red Robin's high standards for quality and unsurpassed Guest service remain our top priorities.  We recognize that the elimination of battery cages in egg production has become an increasingly important issue in the communities we serve, so we're excited about our progress towards a supply chain in which all of our eggs are cage-free eggs."

"We sincerely appreciate the insights and ideas that The Humane Society of the United States has shared with Red Robin," said Lintonsmith.  "We are pleased with their support for our battery cage-free egg commitments and look forward to continuing our dialog with the Humane Society on animal welfare issues."

 

 

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