MARYVILLE, Tenn.,(BUSINESS WIRE) -- For more than 36 years, Ruby Tuesday restaurants meant Tiffany-style lamps, polished brass, striped awnings, and plenty of antiques and curios on the walls. But this week the last one left standing with that look went out with a "bang," as the Company staged a mock demolition on its website that has had thousands of YouTube (YouTube is a trademark and service mark owned by Google, Inc.) replays. In fact, the Company made it appear as if they had blown up a competitor's restaurant right next door, because "all casual dining restaurants have come to look alike, and the demo crew mistook theirs for ours." It's all a fun way to make the point that there is a better, fresher Ruby Tuesday, and it's different from the rest.
If you haven't visited one lately, you're in for a surprise the next time you get a craving for a big, juicy burger and a trip to your favorite salad bar. More than 600 Company-owned Ruby Tuesdays have undergone an extreme makeover, restaurant style. Gone are the artifacts and memorabilia, the black-and-white checked tablecloths and the dark-stained woods. Now there is a clean and more contemporary look, with soft, earth-tone colors, upholstered seats that make you want to stay a little longer, specially commissioned artwork and photographs, and colorful, light-hearted lighting fixtures. On the outside, Ruby Tuesdays are now painted a uniform, pleasing color, accented with attractive black awnings.
It's all part of the Company's nationwide remodeling program that has transformed a familiar brand into "a brand-new Tuesday," and it's happened on a scale and schedule that were unprecedented in the restaurant industry: more than 600 restaurants completely remodeled in less than twelve months, at a total cost of approximately $65 million.
"We are passionate about great food and gracious hospitality," says Sandy Beall, Ruby Tuesday's founder, Chairman, and CEO. "Our new look and feel are an important part of that, and show our determination to consistently provide a high-quality casual dining experience that our guests will remember," he adds.
Elevating Ruby Tuesday above a crowded field of me-too competitors began with the introduction of fresh, high-quality ingredients, and the latest menu, launched last week, includes complete steak dinners with free visits to the chain's famous Fresh Garden Bar, a Dinner for Two at a special value price, and the return of some classics that were guest favorites. The burgers are handcrafted from fresh, USDA Choice beef and topped with slices of seasonal vine-ripened tomatoes and premium cheeses. Crab cakes are "nearly all crab and almost no cake," and steaks include a fresh, premium, aged USDA Prime sirloin. Chicken is fresh and all-natural, and ocean catches include Parmesan Shrimp Pasta and New Orleans Seafood. Ruby Tuesday's classic quiche now reappears, this time served in a delicate puff pastry. The burgers that made the chain famous now include the Triple Prime, a found-nowhere-else combination of prime rib-eye, sirloin, and tenderloin, and Ruby Minis, small treasures with big taste and a lot of guest appeal.
"Our research - and our first-hand experience - tell us that people believe great food like ours tastes even better when it comes with gracious hospitality," Kimberly Grant, Ruby Tuesday's Executive Vice President, says. To be sure that happens, the Company has added new service procedures and puts special emphasis on the importance of servers who look their best and remain constantly focused on the satisfaction of their guests.
A fresh new look, food that is fresh and of the highest quality, and welcoming hospitality are the combination that the Company's leaders are banking on to move a very successful and long-established brand from a familiar bar and grill to high-quality casual dining - an even-better Ruby Tuesday - for another three decades to come.
Ruby Tuesday, Inc. has Company-owned and/or franchise Ruby Tuesday brand restaurants in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and 13 foreign countries. As of June 3, 2008, the Company-owned and operated 721 Ruby Tuesday restaurants, while domestic and international franchisees (including Hawaii) operated 170 and 54 restaurants, respectively. Ruby Tuesday, Inc. is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: RT). http://www.rubytuesday.com/media
This press release contains various forward-looking statements which represent the Company's expectations or beliefs concerning future events, including one or more of the following: future financial performance and restaurant growth (both Company-owned and franchised), future capital expenditures, future borrowings and repayment of debt, availability of debt financing on terms attractive to the Company, payment of dividends, stock repurchases, and restaurant and franchise acquisitions and re-franchises. The Company cautions the reader that a number of important factors and uncertainties could, individually or in the aggregate, cause our actual results to differ materially from those included in the forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, the following: changes in promotional, couponing and advertising strategies; guests' acceptance of changes in menu items; changes in our guests' disposable income; consumer spending trends and habits; mall-traffic trends; increased competition in the restaurant market; weather conditions in the regions in which Company-owned and franchised restaurants are operated; guests' acceptance of the Company's development prototypes and remodeled restaurants; laws and regulations affecting labor and employee benefit costs, including further potential increases in federally mandated minimum wage; costs and availability of food and beverage inventory; the Company's ability to attract qualified managers, franchisees and team members; changes in the availability and cost of capital; impact of adoption of new accounting standards; impact of food-borne illnesses resulting from an outbreak at either Ruby Tuesday or other restaurant concepts; effects of actual or threatened future terrorist attacks in the United States; significant fluctuations in energy prices; and general economic conditions.
SOURCE: Ruby Tuesday, Inc.