Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (NASDAQ:RRGB) will release its quarterly report on Thursday, and investors who bought shares as recently as last October have seen their stock double in price. Growth in Red Robin earnings has helped kindle interest in the restaurant chain, which has performed quite well even under some challenging circumstances.

Red Robin is a twist on the typical casual-dining experience, with a family-friendly atmosphere and a combination of traditional burger offerings and other more cosmopolitan menu selections. Yet even though many of its peers have struggled from the sluggishness of the economic recovery, Red Robin has recaptured the growth it enjoyed before the financial crisis. Let's take an early look at what's been happening with Red Robin Gourmet Burgers over the past quarter and what we're likely to see in its quarterly report.

Stats on Red Robin Gourmet Burgers

Analyst EPS Estimate

$0.66

Change From Year-Ago EPS

27%

Revenue Estimate

$239.61 million

Change From Year-Ago Revenue

7.1%

Earnings Beats in Past 4 Quarters

3

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Will Red Robin serve up tasty earnings this quarter?
Analysts have had mixed views in recent months about Red Robin earnings, adding a penny per share to their June-quarter estimates but taking the same penny away from full-year 2013 projections. The stock, though, has continued moving nearly straight up, with another 16% gain just since early May.

Red Robin came into the quarter on a mixed note, with its first-quarter report in May including a 10% drop in earnings but a 2% rise in revenue. Customer traffic fell, but customers spent more on average, leading to a 2.2% rise in comparable-location sales. The company also said that it expected comps for the rest of the year to rise at a 2.5% to 3% rate, more than doubling its 2012 figure.

But Red Robin has also been working hard at its expansion plans. With new restaurant locations popping up across the country, the chain hasn't yet saturated its domestic market. Its Burger Works concept has great potential for matching up to competitors like Five Guys. Moreover, eventual international expansion lies in the future as a potential growth opportunity should the company choose to emphasize it.

Red Robin has also benefited from smart marketing partnerships. In June, the company announced a special deal with 21st Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOX) that involved the introduction of the Berserker burger as a tie-in to Fox's The Wolverine movie premiere. By tying into the popularity of the X-Men character, Red Robin latches onto a potential new audience for its meals. Moreover, promotions centered around local football teams taps into the same sports audience that Buffalo Wild Wings has had such great success capturing.

In the Red Robin earnings report, look to see whether the company manages to avoid the slowdowns that some of its competitors have seen lately. With an emphasis on a quality experience, though, Red Robin has been able to keep sales up even in a tough economy and that should bode well for its future.

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Fool contributor Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter @DanCaplinger. The Motley Fool recommends Red Robin Gourmet Burgers. It recommends and owns shares of Buffalo Wild Wings. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.