MARYVILLE, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Ruby Tuesday announced today that all its 674 company-owned restaurants are now smoke-free. This effort is another step the brand is taking to provide a more enjoyable dining experience for its guests and promote wellness for its team members. Ruby Tuesday is making the announcement in conjunction with the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout, which is recognized on November 18.
"In keeping with our high-quality casual dining mission, this action further supports our Fresh Taste, Fresh Place brand transformation," says Sandy Beall, the founder and CEO of Ruby Tuesday. "We care about the health and comfort of our guests and team members and feel it is the right thing to do."
The American Cancer Society agrees. "We applaud Ruby Tuesday for making all its restaurants smoke-free and thus protecting the health of its customers and employees," says John Chiaramonte, Government Relations Director for the American Cancer Society in Tennessee.
Ruby Tuesday's Executive Vice-President, Kimberly Grant says, "Our team members have been smoke-free at work since May of 2009, so this is the natural next step."
Ruby Tuesday recently unveiled a new Fit & Trim menu that makes it easier to eat healthy while dining out, with the addition of lunch salads, more seafood, and new choices on the Fresh Garden Bar. Grant says the new smoke-free environment keeps with the restaurant chain's new focus. "Guests have responded favorably to the other improvements and we expect they will embrace this positive change as well," says Grant. The smoke-free policy extends to the bar and patio areas as well, where outdoor seating is available.
"In 2005, we began a reimaging initiative that included a focus on fresher food and gracious hospitality," says Beall. "The updated look, feel, and menu offerings are all important components of Ruby Tuesday's mission to consistently provide a high-quality, casual dining experience with compelling value that guests will enjoy and remember. We believe that a smoke-free environment will enhance the Ruby Tuesday experience," Beall adds.
Ruby Tuesday, Inc. has Company-owned and/or franchise Ruby Tuesday brand restaurants in 46 states, the District of Columbia, 15 foreign countries, and Guam. As of August 31, 2010, the Company owned and operated 674 Ruby Tuesday restaurants, while domestic and international franchisees (including Hawaii and Guam) operated 146 and 57 restaurants, respectively. Ruby Tuesday, Inc. is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (Symbol: RT).